So, this week I hate writing. I mean, I really HATE it. I’m sure you can’t relate because you LOVE writing. NOT.
Writing is usually tolerable for me because I write with the same three people all the time – Me, Myself and I!
About a month ago I began working on a grant with a team of 5 people. The proposal was for a million dollars so needless to say we were serious about the work product. We had two months to plan, write and revise the grant — and it still ended up being a nightmare. Have you ever looked at a document that had track-changes from 5 different people?!?
Yesterday, while working on the grant I finally lost my mind.
Based on this experience, I came up with a step-by-step guide that I would use/recommend if I participate in another collaborative grant-writing process.
1. Have the entire team review the Request for Proposal (RFP) and come up with a list of questions and concerns.
2. Share initial thoughts about the RFP and the questions and concerns identified by the reviewers.
3. Have the team consider whether the grant builds upon an existing project/program area or if this will be a proposal for a new project/program.
4. Brainstorm ideas for this proposal and then organize the thoughts into a rough outline.
5. Divide the proposal sections up to the team members based on strengths (i.e. Who is good at finding data? Creating charts? Drafting letters of support? Writing an abstract/program summary? Drafting budgets?).
6. Set due dates and meeting times NOW so as to avoid meeting time conflicts as you get further into the process.
7. Pick an editor, one person whose sole responsibility is to organize the sections into a working draft.
8. Have the editor email the draft to the team and ask them to bring comments/edits to the next meeting.
9. Meet as a team to come to consensus and have the editor add the agreed upon changes to the draft.
10. Identify 1-3 people who are willing to review the updated draft and submit their comments to the editor.
11. The editor will share the reviewer comments with the team via email.
12. Meet as a team and make final decisions about the reviewers comments.
13. Have the editor make the final changes and prepare to submit the document.
Give yourself enough time to submit the proposal BEFORE the deadline. Double check the RFP for guidelines about postmark dates, online submission times and even submission via CD.
Have you ever written a grant with a team of people? If so, what do you think of the steps I outlined? What would you do differently?