• Welcome

    11 Guiding Questions

    for Conscious Grant Writing

  • What are the 11 Guiding Questions

    for Conscious Grant Writing?

      When we undertake grant writing from old fear-based paradigms such as separation, competition, and scarcity it constricts and depletes it. When we root ourselves in love, generosity, sufficiency, collaboration and wholeness as we do grant writing, the proposals are more beautiful and successful and we are left nourished by the process.

    Grant writing doesnt have to be stressful

    I recorded a one hour webinar outlining the 11 Guiding Questions. I encourage you to listen to it.

     

    Below, you'll find a daily reflection on each of the guiding questions that you can use to reflect upon your work and how you can adjust it to be more deeply aligned with your life.

    What's the grant process really about?

    The grants process looks like it’s just moving money from one place to another. But, I think it’s really about more than that. I see it as a divine transaction. Let’s start from the premise that there is something beautiful that wants to be born into the world - the creative muse that all artist’s express. The funder feels it as a deep yearning in their hearts that their resources be used to create a more beautiful, just, and sustainable planet. There is also a pull for something beautiful to be manifested in a community, through organizations, and by grant writers.

     

    When a grant writer does an excellent job of articulating what is possible and couples that with a solid plan for its accomplishment, then something that only existed in the ethereal realm can be manifested in the physical world. Money exchanges bank accounts but it is really the birthing of a more beautiful world through the collaboration between grantor and grantee with the community they serve that would not happen otherwise.

     

    We are midwives for a new life and societal structures to emerge.

  • What is the grants process really about?

  • Day 1

    1. How can I put love more fully into my grant writing?

  • Day 1: How can I put love more fully into

    my grant writing?

    Whether we own them or not, we bring to our work conscious and subconscious beliefs, attitudes, suppositions and feelings that impact our writing, the people we work with, and the outcome. The energy with which we plan a project and write proposals shines through in the document whether we acknowledge it or not. Love, beauty, and grace are the intangible threads that make our world glisten. They are present in every work of art, act of kindness or courageous stand for justice.

     

    When we develop grant proposals within a context of love and beauty, they are embedded with a grace that speaks to the heart of natural allies who resonate with your heart’s yearnings for the world. We can consciously pay attention to who we are being and what energy we generate as we develop a project so that the proposal is imbued with our most loving selves. When you love what you’re doing it shines through in your writing - and vice versa. If you can feel yourself becoming exhausted and losing passion - you must slow down and replenish yourself.

    Action/Guiding Question

    What is my favorite way to replenish yourself and get present to love?

    Some examples include:

    • time in nature or by water
    • exercise such as skiing, running or horseback riding
    • time with children
    • painting, knitting, cooking or sewing
    • gardening
    • petting an animal
    • really great lovemaking :)
    • organizing my space
  • Day 2

    How can I use my time wisely in service to the greater good?

  • Day 2: How can I use my time wisely in service to the greater good?

    Time is your most precious resource and so it’s vital that you use it well.

     

    The first step is knowing which projects are worth putting time into and which are best left alone.

     

    The second step, is learning to manage yourself well so that you’re productive. The default in our culture is to push ourselves to work harder and longer. We can learn to wisely choose what to focus on, set nourishing boundaries, and then nurture ourselves with rewards and encouragement rather than threats and punishment to work optimally and achieve our deadlines with ease.

    Action/Guiding Question

    What is one thing that you know isn’t a good use of your time that you can drop now? Or, what can I start doing that would be a good use of my time?

    Some examples include:

    • prioritizing grant applications and focussing on just 1 or 2 top prospects
    • Making a phone call to a funder each day
    • rationalize your inbox so it's less crowded
    • tell a client or co-worker why it doesn't make sense to pursue an opportunity
  • Day 3

    In what ways can I generate a context of sufficiency for myself, my organization and my community?

  • Day 3: In what ways can I generate a context of sufficiency for myself, my organization and my community?

    Our culture is defined by scarcity and most of us accept three operating assumptions about our world that Lynne Twist in The Soul of Money argues are toxic myths.

    Myth 1: There’s Not Enough

    Myth 2: More is Better

    Myth 3: That’s Just the Way It Is

     

    Lynne defines “Sufficiency is a context we bring forth from within that reminds us that if we look around and within ourselves, we will find what we need. There is always enough.” It is looking at the situation and the resources available within it both internal and external and knowing that there is sufficient to respond in THE PRESENT MOMENT.

     

    When we believe resources are scarce we feel small and constricted. Most of us breeze past the point of enough without stopping to notice. When we see a context of sufficiency we can see our role as stewards of money to keep it in a healthy flowing state like water.

    Action/Guiding Question

    Name 3 ways in which you or your community are resource-rich right now in this moment (this may include inner qualities such as determination, clarity or passion)?

    Some examples include:

    • we have a vision we believe in
    • we have strong local community support
    • we have a relationship with a well-connected person who has offered to support us in making introductions
    • we have a great community space 
    • I am well educated in my field
    • I have a really creative idea for a program
  • Day 4

    How can I become more present to gratitude on a daily basis?

  • Day 4: How can I become more present to gratitude on a daily basis?

    One easy way to replenish ourselves is to remember gratefulness. Identifying each person’s, organizations’, and community’s strengths strengthens us in the grant development process, improves our writing, and leaves us with a greater sense of fulfilment.

     

    A couple of great resources -

    Action/Guiding Question

    What simple gratitude practice could you put in place for yourself?

    Some examples include:

    • write a letter to a co-worker expressing appreciation and gratitude each week
    • keep a daily gratitude journal to write down three things each day that you ar grateful for - or use the happier app to do that
    • walk around your office and pay attention to the source of everything in it - who made them? where did they come from in the natural environment? who invented them? And then express gratitude for all of the people and natural elements that make your daily work possible. 
    • take a walk in a park or in nature and really pay attention to the intricacies in nature - those things that inspire 'awe.' Bring that back to the office and apply it to your co-workers, office plants, and clients.  
    • review your organization's last year and generate a list of things that you are grateful for - and maybe even some of the things that were challenging and helped you grow as a professional and as a person. 
  • Day 5

    How can I give myself more spaciousness during the grant writing process?

  • Day 5: How can I give myself more spaciousness during the grant writing process?

    Grant development can be a linear and high pressure business. We are all about getting from point A to point Z progressing through predictable steps along the way.

     

    But the world isn’t a linear place.

     

    Just look at a maple tree or a stream or a crocus. There’s very little that is linear and uniform about them. There is power in slowing down, taking the dog for a walk in the midst of the mayhem, going around in circles a few times and seeing what emerges.

     

    By letting go of our inner perfecti-demon we can allow the creative thoughts and ideas to arise. Not working is as productive as working and we can give ourselves permission to let ideas percolate rather than beat ourselves up for procrastinating.

    Action/Guiding Question

    What do you love to do or where do you love to be that opens up creative ideas for you?

     

    What is draining you psychologically that you could clean up and create space in your life?

    Some examples include:

    • cleaning up your desk, inbox, mail etc
    • doing 5 small unfinished tasks that are draining every time you think of them
    • all the suggestions for question 1 - spending time in nature, with friends, family, doing something artistic, exercising etc
    • when you're stuck on something, before you go to sleep ask for insight to come to you overnight and then let it go - you'll often wake up in the morning with a new idea or approach.
  • Day 6

    What is my dream for the world that I want to bring to reality through grant development?

  • Day 6: What is my dream for the world that I want to bring to reality through grant development?

    Power lies in envisioning the world in a new way and then creating that vision in the waking world. Charles Eisenstein beautifully encapsulates this as ‘creating the more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible.’ With clarity of vision we can take actions that align with that to make it real.

    Action/Guiding Question

    Share with someone your dream for the world.

  • Day 7

    What bold actions can I take now that are in alignment with my vision?

  • Day 7: What bold actions can I take now that are in alignment with my vision?

    Grant development is often the first tangible action step between taking ideas and conversations and turning them into reality in the world. Without action everything is just a dream. Or, as Arnold Glasgow said,

     

    Ideas not coupled with action never become bigger

    than the brain cells they occupied.”

    Action/Guiding Question

    Take one SMALL action today that aligns with ‘the more beautiful world that your heart knows is possible’

    Some examples include:

    • picking up the phone and making a call to a funder that you've been putting off
    • reaching out to start forming a relationship with a potential collaborator
    • focussing on some legal/financial paperwork that needs to be completed
    • creating a job description for an intern/volunteer/board member/new staff person so that you can begin recruitment
    • set a timer for 20 minutes and brain/heartstorm a list of actions you can take to bring your vision into reality
  • Day 8

    How can I communicate truthfully with my peers and funders even when it feels scary to do so?

  • Day 8: How can I communicate truthfully with my peers and funders even when it feels scary to do so?

    It takes courage to:

    • tell the truth to a funder when your project isn’t working out as you’d hoped; 
    • to admit that you really don’t have time to fit one more thing in your schedule;
    • that you don’t know how to do something; 
    • remind folks at the table that we’re all working for the best of the community when they start squabbling over territory or the budget. 

    At the heart of grant development is the capacity to take a deep breath, stand tall, and speak with compassion for the highest good even when you may be the small fry at the table - and make it safe for others to do so as well.

    Action/Guiding Questions

    1. In what way could you communicate more clearly with someone about your grant writing work? 
    2. Where do you tend to stay silent where you could have more courage to speak up in the future? 
    3. Where are you not telling the truth to yourself, your organization or your funders?
  • Day 9

    How can I bring full-hearted courageousness to my work?

  • Day 9: How can I bring full-hearted courageousness to my work?

    Taking bold action in the face or your own or others’ doubts can bring up fears. For example, picking up the phone to make a cold call to a funder, offering a deserved apology to a non-profit peer when there has been a misunderstanding; or actually finishing the proposal that you’ve been procrastinating on and submitting it and face rejection can all be daunting.

     

    We are often told to “act even in the face of fear.” I find that exhausting and depleting. I believe that when we get present to our lives as a precious and freely given gift, embrace our imperfections, and connect with our deep purpose, we can take courageous action from a full-hearted not depleted place.

    Action/Guiding Questions

    What have you been putting off because it’s uncomfortable? Envision your dream for the world being realized and see how taking this action that you’ve been avoiding will have long-term benefit for the world. Ask within what you need in order to take this action with a full heart?

  • Day 10

    Who can I collaborate with to make my grant writing more effective?

  • Day 10: Who can I collaborate with to make my grant writing more effective?

    Grant writing is a team effort. Grants that win and lead to successful projects are never written and developed by one person - you need budget experts, program design experts, community members, visionaries, and board input.

     

    I can tell you from experience, that while one person can write a grant that wins in isolation, it is usually a disaster once it is implemented.

    Action/Guiding Questions

    Who else could I involve in my grant writing process and how could I do it in a way that would feel wonderful to both of us?

    Some examples include:

    • ask peer organizations in another location/county to create a larger scale/large impact project with you.
    • ask complimentary organizations in my community to partner to offer a wider array of services
    • reach out to a religious group or small community-based organization or a really big organization to partner with you and bring your complimentary strengths to the table
    • ask a volunteer or board member with writing, editing, strategic planning, research, or accounting expertize who could collaborate more deeply
  • Day 11

    How can I be in service to that which wants to born and allow my projects to flow and the miraculous to be present?

  • Day 11: How can I be in service to that which wants to born and allow my projects to flow and the miraculous to be present?

    An individual is not smart, according to our culture. An individual is merely lucky to be part of a system that has intelligence that happens to reside in them. In other words, be humble about this always. The real intelligence isn’t the property of an individual corporation – the real intelligence is the property of the universe itself.”

    John Mohawk

     

    Our job is to align ourselves to our deepest wisdom and stay as present as we can.

    Action/Guiding Questions

    What allows me to sink down into the depths of my being and allow the miraculous to emerge today?

    Some examples include:

    • Can I practice saying 'yes' to what unfolds today?
  • Love is a Place
     

    Love is a place
    & through this place of
    love move
    (with brightness of peace)
    all places

     

    Yes is a world
    & in this world of
    yes live
    (skillfully curled)
    all worlds

     

    e e cummings

  • Feel free to share your responses

    to these questions with Jana