Last week I told you that I was doing some research on how ready schools are to accept and manage contributions and donations from our communities. Â This week I am here to tell you that I think I am hearing those words in my head, “Houston, we have a problem.” Â Thing is I don’t know exactly how big this problem is and what kind of attention it deserves, but I continue to get info from friends that offers evidence that there are a number of schools and districts around the country who do not have policies in place for accepting and managing community contributions…and in many cases where there are policies, no one pays any attention to them. Â This is an area we have to get right, because if we don’t, we will never realize the full potential of our schools and communities. Â
Our communities need to trust our schools and school districts in order to support us. Â And we all need to be on the same page when it comes to handling the support they lend us.Â
I’m going to continue to study this issue and dig deeper to see just how big of a problem we may have…so, please,Â keep sharing your experiences and thoughts with me on this issue and I will keep digging. Here’s my email address:Â firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ Â Â
I also received a question from a young woman, Sonia, who wants to learn how to write proposals and she wanted to know where she could find top notch training. Â I asked someone I have complete trust in, Polk County (Florida) Grants Administrator Marcia Ford. Â Marcia suggested that Sonia first look at theÂ Grantsmanship Center, HQ in LA, They offer courses all around the country. Sessions are hosted at local nonprofits and should have a schedule of courses on the web site several months out. Not cheap, but thorough and widely recognized.Â
Marcia also pointed out that the Foundation Center, based in New York, has some basic lessons online and offers workshops around the country. This organization doesn’t deal with government grants, just foundations. They sell reference books and an online service to find grant opportunities, and have some to look at online.Â
Marcia reminded her that there are other commercial outfits out there, but theÂ Grantsmanship Center andÂ Foundation CenterÂ are the ones that have helped define the field over the years.Â They have the right stuff.
The Grant Professional Certification Institute, affiliated with the Grant Professional Association (formerly Amer. assoc of Grant Professionals) is an independent professional association (I.e. Nonprofit, not a vendor) that has published standards for grant developers. These were compiled by subject matter expert panels around the country in preparing certification exams. There are also vendors who offer “certifications” but they make you buy their courses to qualify. These are not bad, just not recognized by the field as a whole.Â
Marcia reminded me to remind Sonia to start small. Trying to start out with a federal application is a recipe for wasted effort and frustration. And Marcia is absolutely right. Â More importantly, those who get classroom grants are likely to keep trying and pick up the funder preferences that add to their success as they go. Like anything that matters…it takes time, practice and a few rejections along the way.
Please don’t forgetÂ I amÂ offeringÂ FREEÂ general membership in the Grant Writers’ Directory to grant writers who join the directory in the next 7 days. All you need to do is insertÂ ”SparkSomeGood”Â (without the quotation marks)Â in the promo code when asked in the sign-up process. Â Join the Grant Writers’ Directory TODAY!Â
Remember, I want www.GrantsAlert.com to become your Grants-HQ. for grants for teachers, grants for schools and grant writers who can help you secure those grants. Our focus is on: what’s in the best interest of our kids.