The Hell Raiser's Blog

Getting Grants Without Losing Your Sanity (Thoughts on WTF?! Applications) 

This is my dog, Ramona. And this is her WTF?!-Face, which she gets when she has to put up with nonsense. 

For Ramona, those WTF?! moments happen almost every day at about 2:30 in the afternoon, when the same guy comes up to the house and roots around in the box out there, then tramps across the lawn to do the same thing next door.

I too have my WTF?! moments. Just last week, I had one, which inspired this, the first installment in a series of examples about WTF?! (worth the frustration?!) grant-getting situations and what to do about them. So here goes:

WTF?! (Example #1): The grant application that requires $5000 worth of the applicant nonprofit's resources (in time and talent) for a $2500 grant.

How does a person get caught in this trap? One way to do it is by completing the application's narrative section before determining what attachments the grantor requires: You've invested many hours in completing the application before looking at the list of required attachments, at which point you discover that the funder wants to know both your board's composition (income, gender, race, age, hometown, and favorite dessert) for the last five years and your organization's projected income (by revenue source) for the next five. And most of these documents don't exist.

 Next time: Remember to read the entire application (including the list of required attachments) before you start to work on it.

Check back soon for Post #2 ("We Don't Do General Operating"), in which I complain about grants that require specific and extensive record keeping of grantees, but do not fund the very activity they require.

Oh, and I talk about how to handle this situation.