Filed under: GENERAL
Posted by: Jon
@ 6:33 am
THE CASE OF THE MISSING PAGE
Project: A federally-funded mentoring grant for at-risk youth.
What Happened: We were finishing this one in the office of the client the day the grant needed to be postmarked. As soon as the grant was completed and assembled, I handed it over to a clerical assistant in charge of copying. I explained to her the number of copies I needed, etc. and made the assumption that, because she was in charge of copying for the office, she would be thorough: check all originals, check all copies, monitor all reproduction. With the clock ticking, I used the time to get the last few signatures needed on the document.
- I trusted someone else to copy the document, let it out of my sight and didn’t watch them do it to make sure each page came out.
- I checked the original for all pages going into the copy room, but not coming out.
- I assumed that someone would check the copies to make sure all the pages were there.
- I didn’t set aside enough time to check pages on all the copies and the original myself.
- We did not win the grant because there was a page missing from the original and all the copies that resulted in our score being knocked down to just below the cutoff line between those awarded and not awarded grants.
- About one month later, the original missing page was found behind the copy machine.
- A happy ending (aka we got lucky). Based on the program’s merit and the quality of the proposal, our proposal was the first alternate chosen when a winning program had to withdraw.
WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY
- Simple: trust no one else but me to do the copying.
- Assemble a team of trustworthy members of the writing team to go through and verify that each page of the grant is there.
- Make sure I save time to check them all once again thoroughly before they are sealed in the mailer.
More about this in my new book RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: THE GROUNDBREAKING PROCESS USED TO WIN MORE THAN $385 MILLION IN COMPETITIVE GRANT AWARDS. Available at www.SandyPointInk.com or Amazon.com.