We’re very pleased to have a few words from Rachel Stevenson. Get to know your online instructor for the upcoming class on grant writing.
The class starts on November first and you can sign up on this page of the Pennwriters Website. And now, some interesting words from Rachel.
1. What do you think is the greatest fallacy people believe about grant writing?
Today people like to go all out. We see video resumes and other social networking ways to stand out. Nonprofits can have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other networking sites. Most people think bigger is better and that’s not really true about grants. We’ll learn why that’s not true during the class.
2. Have you seen changes in grant writing over the past few years?
The introduction of the Common Grant application has really changed grant writing and to be honest I’m not sure if it’s for the better, but I know people would debate me on the topic. It is certainly easier to apply for multiple grants this way and not have to change a lot of information for each grantmaker, but I’d argue that it also isn’t as personal. I’d love for someone to debate with me!
3. Can you give an example of a very successful grant experience that you’re aware of?
During the course I will introduce you to several websites where you can find sample documents so you can see what successful grants look like. As for examples around the area I believe that Drake Well’s MEET-U trailer (which is a mobile trailer and truck that travel about showing the history and future of energy) is really amazing and does great grant work. (Full disclosure: I used to be on the board of the Friends of Drake Well, Inc and saw the birth of the MEET-U)
4. How did you become interested in grant writing?
I have two masters degrees and in each I had to take grantwriting classes. Both were very different. Currently I guest lecture for Goucher College (my alma mater for my second masters) about grantsmanship. It became serious for me when I was hired at the public library and was chosen to teach the Foundation Center classes. The Foundation Center is a database that organizations can purchase to search for grants. They also offer a variety of programming to help nonprofits diversify their funding streams. I teach these classes at the library, but the course for Pennwriters will focus on more than just the Foundation database.
5. How can writers support their local libraries?
To be completely honest — help us tell our story. Library budgets are often on government (city, county, state, etc) chopping blocks. Help us by telling everyone you know the value of your library. I’ve attended conferences where entrepreneurs have said that everyone has a smart phone or Google and can start a business from there. This isn’t true in my home county. In fact, one-third of the population can afford a computer, smart phone, or internet. Not to mention that there are still rural areas that don’t have any internet access at all. Libraries help with this. We call it the digital divide. Talk about our programs and let people know how we’ve helped you or your sister, brother, mother, father, kids, nieces, nephews, neighbor’s second cousin’s uncle through marriage — you get the picture.
6. What book are you reading right now?
This is actually tough for me because I normally have a bunch of books that I read at once:
Currently there is a new Agatha Christie bio I am reading by Laura Thompson that is making me realize how ignorant about Christie’s life I actually am.
Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan who I probably have my biggest love/hate relationship with as a nonfiction writer (He write beautiful non-fiction, but he mentions so many other wonderful books in books that my book wish list and reading list grow and grow to a point where I’ll never finish any of them and could probably have fed and clothed a small country based on books I buy and borrow)
Somewhere in France and Moonlight Over Paris (the first and third books in the Jennifer Robson’s Ashton family quartet) these are old favorites that I tend to read again and again.
A Tyranny of Metrics by Jerry Muller. This is a fascinating look at how we are so obsessed with metrics that now we care more about how we collect the metrics instead of the metrics themselves.
Finally I’m reading The Writing Class by Jincy Willet. I found this book while trying to search for another and it just sounds fascinating. So far it’s pretty funny.Share this: