SHOW ME THE GRANT MONEY!
Retool your gray matter with JONATHAN O'BRIEN and win more grant money!
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01/19/09
Grants for Libraries: Thinking Outside the Bookshelves - Part 1
Filed under: PROGRAM DESIGN, GRANT WRITING
Posted by: Jon @ 10:14 pm

After completing an interview for an article for the upcoming American Library Association Mid-Winter meeting this month in Denver, I thought the content would be appropriate to anyone with a good heart and a good cause.

Q. What can you offer attendees beyond what the ALA Website offers, which has an entire section devoted to “Grants and Fellowships.”?

A. The ALA site, and others like it, do a great job of offering a comprehensive list of traditional grant resources. And most applicants think that their primary task is to solve the mystery of where the grant money is and follow the guidelines, fill out the application and roll the dice. Unfortunately, “most” applicants don’t win. That’s because they don’t get it right before they write. The critical factor is not to find out where the money is. Instead, it’s coming up with a program and proposal that’s compelling, competitive and creative enough to stand out from others and matches the vision of the person or place that’s giving out the grant money. All this should occur before any actual writing begins.

Q. Writing – the W-word – not all of us are professional writers or technical writers, so how can we compete with professional grant writers?

A. You don’t have to be a professional grant writer. You don’t have to be able to afford to hire a professional grant writer. You just have to THINK like a grant writer. And that’s what my new book is about, demystifying the whole grant research and writing process so anyone with a good heart and a good cause can tap into some of the $500 billion dollars in grant funds that’s out there each year. The book revolves around a topic we all love and are experts in – movies. I incorporate my background as a professional screenwriter and teacher to show how the FUNdamental principles of storytelling and screenwriting can be applied to the process of telling the story of your grant proposal. It’s all about the concept and strategizing – work that should take place before any writing begins.

More about this in the next Blog and in my new book: RIGHT BEFORE YOU WRITE: The Groundbreaking Process Used To Win More Than $385 In Competitive Grant Awards.