We’ll talk a little about these two main functions on a grant writing team along with a few others that might be helpful in organizations that can assemble a multi-disciplinary grant writing team. Assembling your team is the first step, the next step is training them with a grant writing course.
First I want to define the roles so you can get familiar with how they may be applicable to your organization. Each grant program is different, each applicant is different, and each set of circumstances that created a need for funding are unique. That means the roles presented here are generic so they can be applicable to a wide range of potential grantees.
These are the people who will actually be doing the work, who may already be doing the work, or who will be responsible for planning how the work will get done.
The Doers help your organization or entity to get the work done once the grant is funded. That makes them a crucial part of the planning for new funding.
When you empower The Doers to help write a grant, you will get information that is technically correct. The downfall is that this group might not have all the skills to do every part of the grant application. Even if you assemble a team of Doers, they may not have access to all the information typically required in grant applications.
Another potential benefit of involving The Doers is that you can create buy-in that will be crucial to implementing whatever plan you have included in the grant application. You may also avoid the pitfall of hiring a grant writer who submits a grant application with a plan that cannot be implemented by The Doers.
The Financial People-
We all know if we fall into this category…or not. The Financial People are the ones who have access to financial information, identification numbers, or have the authority to sign on behalf of the organization.
The Financial People might include anyone on the finance team including the Chief Financial Officer, Financial Analysts, Grant Managers, or others who can help prepare a budget.
The financial people are crucial to have onboard early in the process to ensure that they are aware you are seeking funding and can help you develop the necessary financial requirements for submission.
However, like the Doers, the Financial People have limitations. Often The Financial People don’t know how the work is actually done. They may lack insight on how programs/services are deployed or do not have all the parameters on how to create a successful program/service.
Assembling a Multi-Disciplinary Grant Writing Team
There may be others who need to be on board with your grant application. Your grant writing team might include the chief of your organization. The person who is in charge of the organization is a key player to have on board.
If you are a small organization, you may be the Chief, and the Financial People and the Doer all wrapped into one person. That’s OK! You’ll just have a bit more work to do than a team of people would each have.
Having someone who is responsible for managing grants and seeking new grant funding is a luxury most organizations do not have. Especially business owners who are looking for business grants.
One way to build out your grant writing team is to develop the talent internally. You can grow an intern or an administrative staff member into a grant manager with a little practice. If you have someone who is good at keeping track of things, good with details and has strong writing skills- you can create a grant manager position or add to an existing job.
The last position I’ll mention is the person or people who have access to data. Most grant applications require some sort of justification of need. That means you’ll need someone who knows how data works and how to interpret it.
Getting access to the right kind of data that is required in your grant application can be tricky. You may need an external partner, like a university researcher, who can help you get access to and analyze the data required by your potential funder.
Go Team! Take a Grant Writing Course!
No matter how you assemble your team, you have to work with the talent you have. If your team is new to grant writing you can use the resources and tools I’ve developed to teach the team all the skills they need.
If your team has experience but wants a deeper understanding of how to create high-scoring grants, take one of the grant writing courses.
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