Boise-based Joanne Taylor PR has added grant writing to its list of services. This is the result of much heartache over the loss of state funding for public schools and libraries, and tough times for non-profits that serve underprivileged youths and their families across the US.
It took a friend of 30+ years to fire me up and get me to do something to try to help. She writes grants for the Washoe County School District in Reno, and it’s not unusual for her to bring in $6-8 million in one month for the district. In September of 2010, she raked in $27 million. The day I found that out is the day I asked her to be my mentor. She agreed and has been teaching me the tricks of the trade for the past three months. Certainly it’s going to take me a lot longer than that to get it down, but I’ve made a start. The first step is most important, right?
I’m currently working on my 6th formal grant. It’s interesting, and somewhat surprising, how closely the grant proposal process aligns with PR planning. You start with research in order to grasp an understanding of the situational landscape. Then you define your mission, state your goals, outline your strategies, and determine how to evaluate success. The proposal is the pitch. It’s much longer, of course, but our knack for keeping it brief and to the point makes us a rare commodity among grant writers, and makes our proposals stand out.
Once I tackle private grants, I’m going to turn my attention toward federal grants. This is where the real fun begins….