I have always believed that grant awards come to those writers who exhibit the following energetic and leadership image:
I must be the expert, totally believe in this project, think Win-Win at all times, a “Take Charge” Leader and know everything there is to know about this project. I have the expertise, confidence, honesty, perseverance, high energy and listening power. I possess effective communication and problem-solving skills to bring this proposal to successful fruition.
One of the major dilemmas that I identified over the years is that there are proposals written that never get “off the ground”, much less submitted. I’m aware of organizations that have spent days and even months on developing a specific proposal, yet it never gets submitted.
After investigating this predicament, I discovered that it occurs because of a simple omission. No specific person was assigned the leadership role of getting the proposal written and submitted. Many times, an organization will select team members because of their ability to write one specific section of the proposal. This is fine, except the problem here is that this proposal lacks the leader who is needed to pull all of the sections together and get it submitted in a timely fashion.
I strongly recommend that to produce a successful proposal, someone must be clearly designated right up front as the team leader who is the sole person responsible for getting the proposal written and submitted on time. It’s as simple as that, yet many times, organizations do not designate a specific person for this role. Thus, the grant-writing process suffers because the proposal pieces are never gathered and assembled to meet the deadline.
When you are both the team leader and the key writer, immediately, let everyone know that you are ultimately the “boss” for getting this proposal submitted. It is vital that right up front, you let everyone know who you are and what your role entails. Regardless of the others who contribute to the proposal, in the end, you are the one who is totally responsible for the success or failure of this grant proposal.
You want to be first when it comes to a grant award because second best is no better than being last. In both cases, you come away without the “prize”. The keystone of a winning proposal is to be detail-intensive, generate an award-winning piece and most importantly, submit the proposal on time.
Dr. Patricia Laino
Dr. Patricia Laino earned a Baccalaureate in Science and a Master of Science from SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, New York. She was awarded a Certificate of Advanced Study from SUNY Cortland, New York and earned a Doctorate in Business Organization, Administration, Research and Policy from Buffalo State University of New York. She has been a presenter of “How To Win At Writing Grants” at numerous colleges.