I submitted a grant application requesting $1M+ over a four-year period from the department of public instruction (DPI) in my state. Actually let me rewrite that sentence. “We submitted a grant application requesting $1M+ from…..”
You can’t do this work (or other types of work) all by yourself (unless you’re an artist). In my case it took a team to write, cut, paste, edit, revise, change, and rework all of the sections of the 60+ page grant application.
Sure, I wrote the main body of the application but my newly appointed finance officer also contributed. He was my equal partner in this attempt. He also made the entire experience visiting with the principals of the schools enjoyable with his particular brand of humor.
“The students are looking at me as if I’m about to enroll and they probably think you are my mother,” he joked while we were waiting in the lobby of a high school. Boy, did I laugh! He does looks like a teenager. I bet it’s tough for him to get people to take him seriously.
But you’ll realize within seconds of meeting him that he’s a lot smarter than you and he can get to the root of an issue speedy quick. In fact if people knew about him they would be knocking on his door.
The program director whom I consider as excellent CEO material was an excellent “Oxford Scholar” editor. She made the entire experience enjoyable with her quirky sense of humor. “I protest!” she wrote on one of the pages about a missing comma.
Our DPI liaison took our calls and patiently answered our many, many questions. She and another DPI staff member were our “Advil.” Nothing else had a more calming and long-lasting impact on us than them.
My heartfelt thanks to them all.
Even though there’s a 50/50 chance of getting the funds, I’ll take the blame if we end up with no $$$.
Our fingers are crossed.
Sarah Shapard is interim executive director for a nonprofit organization that provides afterschool services to public schools in two separate school districts in her county. She can be placed as an interim CEO for businesses and nonprofits in her county and surrounding counties.