Granted: some mistakes are expensive.

Tucker's baby picture

Yes. I just used my own dog for clickbait. But come on! Look at that face!

I used this photo as the image for the most recent of a series of articles on the grantee and program officer relationship. I enjoyed talking to old friends in the field of grantmaking and was pleased to make connections with new folks. The posts were a new type of writing for me and I’m clear there’s still a lot to learn about The Art of the Blog, as well as the practice of placing content on the various social media platforms.

This last post came out in the form of a tip list, and some of the pointers were pretty funny (perhaps funnier if it didn’t happen to you…and perhaps even funnier if you have actually done those things). Ultimately, for me, the advice from program officers was a reminder that sometimes it’s just a matter of slowing down and paying attention to the guidelines, the deadlines, and any other lines that are being drawn. It really can be that simple.

On the other hand,  sometimes, it doesn’t matter how great, deserving, innovative, critical (etc.) a project is, it’s just not going to happen with a particular funder.

It’s a little like auditioning for a role: who you know or the color of your hair or the height of the other actor being cast or what the casting director had for breakfast may eclipse talent.

In any case, it’s best-foot-forward, and figuring out how to bring humanity to the table. Unless, of course, the gatekeeper/decisionmaker is an autocratic egomaniac: then, it’s time to go knock on another door.

Try to not look too annoyed when someone unhelpfully says, “Oh, you could get a grant for that!”  Instead, ask them for their RFP.


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