Get in the Hunt. Take a prize.

Contact Jason Stalder at 916-844-4189

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The "Grant Pirate" Simile

The idea of a "Grant Pirate" comes from a simile of the grant development process. For me, the process is not dissimilar to piracy - except for the stealing... pillaging... institutional violence... So maybe, really nice, hard-working, ethical type pirates!

To explain this simile, and how they are similar, consider the following 5 Rules your organization should live by if it is going to be pursuing grant opportunities:

Rule 1: Know your crew and your ship. Do you have the man power to support a major proposal development? Is your organizational capacity sufficient to handle the grant management workload associated with the prize? Do you have a sufficiently robust accounting structure to meet the fiscal requirements? Can you responsibly and efficiently handle a grant of the size you want to pursue? Are you absolutely positive? The prospect of treasure only brings out the very best in people (that's a joke).

Rule 2: Get in the hunt; stay in the hunt. Grants won’t find you; you find them. Get on distribution lists of potential funders. Sign up for notifications. Follow them on social media. It's a hunt; it's not always easy to find the right target.

Rule 3: Getting treasure requires careful navigation. There are layers of guidelines and rules for each grant. Failure to understand them will result in a failure to land that prize. When you land the grant, there are even more rules. Failure to follow them will result in an unhappy funder.

Rule 4: Have a plan of attack. What’s the plan for after you get that prize? What are you going to do with all that treasure? What’s the back-up plan? And the back-up, back-up plan? Before you go to the work of engaging the target, you need to have a really good plan for what do with the money. That plan includes an understanding of what it will and will not pay for. If you try to get the money first and then make a plan, you’ll be playing catch-up and likely not be able to use all the money you get. Then you wasted resources getting something you did not use; that's literally throwing money out the door.

Rule 5: It's going to be a battle. Every grant development is going to be a fight for your share; the bigger the prize the bigger the effort. As a result, when you develop with a Grant Pirate, it doesn’t matter what your role in the organization is. When the fight is on, it’s all hands on deck. Success requires a whole team effort. A grant writer will give you an advantage, but success is the result of a collaboration between the organization and the writer.

Not sure where to start?

Check out the resources page for more information on where to find grant opportunities!