If seeking grants is an important part of your job, you're a grant professional-even if it's not in your job title or your job description. You may be a development director, executive director, program manager, artistic director, principal, or teacher. You may not even get paid, but you're a committed volunteer who spends significant time developing grant proposals. Grant professionals have been doing it for at least a year, at least part time, and have written at least a few proposals. This book is for them as well as for more seasoned veterans.
Strategic Grantsmanship grew out of Wells's experiences during twenty-five years as a grants consultant and over forty years working with nonprofits. There are several good books on how to write grants. (There's a list in the book.) Most of these books are geared toward beginners and cover the same basic material. But there are very few resources for the working professional who wants to move to the next level. Strategic Grantsmanship: It's Time to Raise Your Game provides more advanced information for them-and for you.
Wells divides the book into three sections and addresses these topics:
Part One: Before You Start Trends That Are Changing Grant Writing Honing Your Professional Skills
Part Two: Strategic Grant Writing Developing a Strategic Approach Telling about Yourself Researching to Establish Need Using Logic Models in Grant Development Matching Evaluation to Your Project and Organization Using an Outside Evaluator Using the Budget to Tell Your Story Using Attachments Effectively
Part Three: Managing Grants Strategically Basic Grants Tracking for the Small Organization Grants as Part of a Capital Campaign Basic Funder Research Competitive Funder Research Grant Writing Resources
Wells's hope is that this book will be immediately useful to the active grant writer. Readers will stop in the middle of the book because they're inspired to make changes in the proposals they're working on this week. The first-year grant writer might say, "Wow, I never thought of that. I can use this technique to make my proposal stand out." The experienced grant writer may say, "Huh. I've always shown matching funds in the budget, but I never thought about it in the larger context. Now I see how I can use those numbers to strengthen my sustainability section."
If you're entirely new to grant writing, you can certainly use the information in this book, but it won't tell you the basics that you need to know about grants. You should also read at least one of the books listed in Chapter Fifteen, "Grant Writing Resources," and look at the list in the beginning section of Chapter Two, "Honing Your Professional Skills."
About the In the Trenches Series
As part of the CharityChannel Press In the Trenches series, Strategic Grantsmanship is written in a fun, upbeat style. But don't be fooled by its down-to-earth approach and ample use of sidebars. In the Trenches books are authoritative and cover what a beginner should know to get started and progress rapidly and what a more experienced nonprofit-sector practitioner needs to move forward in the subject.