My name is Jana Hexter. I’m the author of Grant Writing Revealed: 25 Experts Share Their Art, Science, and Secrets and since 1997, I’ve written 100’s of grants and raised over $60 million for a wide spectrum of nonprofit organizations.
Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of non-profit staff and volunteers who found themselves often saying, "I don't know how to say this in a way that will make them fund it." Or "How on earth can I get a proposal submitted on time with everything else that I have to do?" Or "My grants never get funded" Or "I just don’t know grants language" even if they’d been in the field for years.
They come to me with their funding dwindling. They'd be worried about budget cuts and they really needed to diversify their funding base. Or their boss asked them to start writing proposals but they were daunted because they’d heard others talking about how difficult it is.
Or they’d already written a couple of small proposals that were either unsuccessful or it was such a horrendous process they don’t want to do it again. Or they were successful with small a grant or two but wanted to learn how to do it more efficiently.
Sometimes, they are looking for a new job and know that grant writing skills are resume booster. Or, they're great at their job but less comfortable writing grant proposals but know they need to do it as part of the job.
They come to me because while they love their work and are deeply committed to it, they are tired. They long for a better way to raise money to keep it all afloat.
And some people are dedicated to building a non-profit and yet don’t know how the grant systems work. Or, they see other organizations getting grants and want to know how they do it or are worried that money is passing them by.
And so, between 2009-13 I carefully developed a course to help grantseekers be more effective in their jobs: to get more money for their organizations with less work.
Let me start by saying that there’s a part of me that really wishes this course didn’t exist.
In my ideal world, good-hearted hard-working people wouldn’t have to spend hours writing grant proposals to compete for limited money from the government and foundations for programs that provide basic, food, shelter, education and art to people who need them or to protect the planet from wanton destruction and depletion of its resources by corporations. I believe that we’ve been freely gifted a bountiful world for us to enjoy and there must be a kinder and gentler ways for us to distribute the bounty so that everyone thrives. But, for now, the world is what it is and the best that I can do with my time and talents is to empower you and other generous, caring people to create the infrastructure for a more beautiful world.
Given that my ideal world isn’t here - yet - I created this course for a few reasons.
First, I kept seeing good people in the nonprofit field stress out and burn out – and I’ve been challenged by it myself. I would see someone in one of my grant writing lectures and then a few years later they wouldn’t be in the field anymore. It seemed like a sad waste of human passion and energy that we so desperately need right now to make our world a better place for everyone, not just some.
Second, I love grant writing and have done it very successfully for a couple of decades and I’m at the stage in my career where I want to pass along the mastery that I’ve developed with others so that you can use it to make a difference on fundamental issues like economic and social justice, global peace, the arts, environmental protection and climate change.
And third, I’ve been exploring spirituality and our intuitive capacity for many years and wanted to integrate both sides of my life. Grantwriting involves our two biggest stressors - time and money - add in grades and facing failure and its a powder keg of modern day stress - and to top it all off most people do it on top of their real job. People are often left depleted and thirsty for connection with themselves and their families after writing a grant proposal. What if I could create a really good course that was even more effective at teaching people grant writing skills and helped people deal with the stress of the grants arena so they are left feeling nourished and full?