You Have an Idea– Congratulations!
If you have an idea about a project you’d like to see happen in your community, congratulations. You, as an originator, have taken the first step in initiating progress in any number of areas including education, building, health, the arts, heritage, sports, agriculture, the environment, and more. Your idea could help shape the world in a positive way.
Hey–Where Did That Great Idea Come From?
Ideas show up in our conversations, dreams, in the shower, while driving, walking–even napping or swinging in a hammock.
They appear in a moment or grow for years. If you’re reading this blog because you have an idea you’d like to activate, you’ve come to the right place. Because community growth is born from great, everyday ideas.
Take a look around your community. How did the community theater start? Who came up with the idea of a dock or wharf? What was the need? How many years did it take to put those ideas into place? Now, so many people enjoy these spaces.
You might be able to see an empty lot across the street from your office or home. Perhaps you’ve noticed that the children who walk by the lot every day would gain from a pool, gym, or a place to gather. You see the need. You can envision the building and you might even be able to imagine people entering and exiting after a family swim.
Or, maybe the river trail you walk on every day is deteriorating and causing problems for people, wildlife, and the river environment. You can see how upgrades might help the situation. You see the problem and, like most people, the solution.
Are We There Yet?
I’m the same, I can see the problem and solution. However, when I first began writing grants, thinking about activating that solution seemed complicated. A long road stretched out in front of me with speed bumps of concepts and paperwork. Figuring out the delineations between the definitions of “goals” and “objectives” bored me silly.
I loved the stories, the subjects, research, people, and especially, results. However, I didn’t look forward to writing overblown prose.
You’re An Inspiration
Early on, I realized that there was probably a better way. I persisted in developing an easier system for myself because I enjoyed the challenge. I also like gaining money for enhancement of public spaces or needs.
Over the years, certain constants began to emerge from the grants I wrote. I realized that funders were probably just as bored with figuring out the nuances between “goals and objectives” as I was. It was a relief to find that they shared my love of the subjects, stories, research, and people. The opportunities to connect with and impact the community were more important than prose or word count.
More years rolled along and I began to review grants as well as write them. That’s when I began to understand that it doesn’t matter what your level of experience is with writing grants, or with writing, for that matter.
Successful funding happens when an application embodies certain qualities that connect you and the funder.
What are these qualities?
- Confidence in your goals and partners
- An honest, compelling story
- Congruence in budgets and narrative
- Saying thank you.
Combine them all and you have a project over which you and the funder can shake hands!
Because of people like you, wharves, hospitals, railway stations, airports, shelters, schools, and public gardens happen. You initiate restoration and conservation of sanctuaries, forests, and watersheds. Museums, schools galleries, hospitals, theaters, and more gain capital and program funding.
Want to Know More About How You Can Turn Your Idea Into a Reality?
My new book with Self-Counsel Press, The Grant Writing and Funding Coach out in May 2017, takes you through simple and enjoyable steps to building bridges with funders.