Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 

Gettin' Training, Gettin' Money

So what do TCASK, the Humane Society, the Minority Supplier Development Council, and the Community Foundation have in common? Apparently, a program to provide scholarships for the children of death row inmates with a work study component working with unsocialized animals and including a endowment to maintain the program into the future.

At least that's what we came up with during one of the many exercises at the Center for Non-profit Management's Basic Grant Writing Seminar, which I was lucky enough to take part in yesterday. The exercise involved grouping organizations together to brainstorm collaborative projects for a (sadly) fictitious $250,000 grant. Now three groups, children, elders, and education, shook at fairly easily, but that left a group of five of us, representing the previously mentioned four agencies sitting around a table trying to find some common ground between us. After pitching our idea, though, we got an ovation from the workshop participants.

I admit, it was interesting to see what a number of organizations could come up with when asked to collaborate. But there was a lot more to the workshop. For me, an organizer and not a grant writer, it was a great introduction to the process of researching and writing grant proposals. I came back with two books and a lot of terrific ideas about the process. I would love to take their Advanced Grant Writing Workshop, but unfortunately it is only being offered once for the rest of the year - during the one week that I was planning on taking a vacation and getting home to New York.

Still, I had a terrific time and learned quite a bit. Continue to develop our skills, even as we work toward abolition, is important for us. It keeps us motivated and intellectually engaged with our work and additionally makes us better at what we do. Who knows, maybe next week I'll write TCASK a grant proposal that brings in some money!
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