An Open Letter to Granting Organizations
Dear Grant Making Executive:
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and National Philanthropy Day, I extend my special thanks to you for all you do for our community and to help make our jobs a little easier.
Thank you for answering my phone calls, meeting with me, and discussing my project, even the week the proposal was due when I know you had a long list of people to call and a full schedule of meetings. You not only help me better understand how to secure funding from your organization, but your community view helped me to find partners that will extend my mission even further.
Thank you for your honesty. While I know you will never tell anyone not to apply for your grants, your willingness to tell me that our application has “a snowball’s chance” let me move on and dedicate my time and energy working on an application that better fit my needs and had a better chance of success.
Thank you for seeing me as a person not as someone with their hand out. Not every grant writer, fundraiser or executive director is the same. While I know we have a professionally-based relationship, I appreciate the opportunity to know you as a person and for you to know me the same way.
Thank you for understanding that life happens. When I submit the wrong financial statement or budget, I appreciate the opportunity to correct the error without having the application immediately disqualified.
Thank you for your fairness. I also understand that rules exist for a reason and that if you extend the deadline for me, you have to do so for everyone.
Thank you for putting the grant application questions in front of the log-in screen of your online application so that I don’t have to create an account just to see what it will take to complete the application or if I truly qualify. And, a special thank you for adding character counts to the sample application so I don’t have to go through the entire online application to see how long to write each answer. And for not making me answer every question before I can proceed with the online application. Sometimes I want to enter the data in steps instead of the entire application all at once.
And while we are on the subject of online applications, thank you for letting me print out the final application before submitting it. For the super type-A grant professional (and find me one who isn’t?!), the ability to double or triple check my application before hitting the submit button helps me sleep at night. (Yes, I know you see therapy in my future!)
Thank you for coming to our events and taking an interest in our work. I know you must get invited to a hundred different fundraisers, ribbon cuttings, and other events at nonprofit organizations across the community. Know that we appreciate it when you take a few minutes out of your day to interact with our clients and get to know our programs in a more personal way.
And finally, thank you for all you do to make our community a better one. Your funding allows our nonprofits to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, educate our children, train a future workforce, give us beauty and joy through the arts, teach us about our heritage, give us places to play, and keep us healthy. In short, you help us make the community a better place to live, work and raise a family.
The grant writers, fundraisers and volunteers of the community