Find the pope in the pizza

Do you think Father Guido Sarducci could find the grant writer at a planned giving conference? Look around — it’s me! I am a card-carrying lifelong learner, in attendance at presentations on donor relations, board development, strategic planning, capital campaigns — all to make me a better team player at the development table.

As a grant writer, my role could be silo’ed so easily – I could be too busy with all the tasks of grant writing to get acquainted with the rest of the development team in my organization and their roles. But coordinating with the rest of the team actually SAVES me time, and paves the way to more grant success.

If I’m thinking of going out for a grant from a family foundation, it’s good to know if someone on their board has a relationship with my org already. If I’m going out for a corporate foundation grant? It pays to find out if perhaps my donor relations officer’s spouse works there and could put in a good word, or even sponsor or nominate my organization for an award we would otherwise be ineligible for.

And of course, best practices dictate that I make sure the strategy of another of my team isn’t being short-sheeted by me applying for a grant. Perhaps my Major Gifts officer has already been cultivating a relationship with a key player at a foundation that would net our organization more than I could win in a grant.

Knowing the struggles, challenges and strategies employed by the rest of my development team makes me a better partner and more valuable to the development unit of my organization. By knowing the earmarks of a good potential donor, I can also help identify them for my fellow team members, and we all win!

Pizza for everyone!

Share this Post