For 2018: Reflect, Assess, Plan, Win

The process of reflection and goal setting that rings in the New Year is a great opportunity for grant professionals. “Assessing what’s worked well and what hasn’t helps us set realistic goals and lay out a plan of action,” said Barbara Floersch, executive director of The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “Reflection and goal-setting help us work more strategically,” she said.

    As grant professionals look forward to the balance of 2018, Floersch suggested reflecting on these questions:

  • What were your successes in 2017? Were there common threads that contributed to those highlights that you can replicate and enhance?
  • What were your disappointments in 2017? What did they have in common? What lessons did each teach you? How can you avoid similar situations in the future?
  • How can you be more proactive and less reactive in every element of your work?

The best New Year strategy of all is developing a 2018 proposal submission plan. It will enable you to begin work well in advance of deadlines and will mitigate some of the stress that comes with the job. Examine the deadlines and requirements of private and corporate foundations that are a good fit for your work, factor in organizational priorities, and then lay out a calendar for submitting proposals.

Study funding opportunities, forecasts, and trends at the government level, then set up a proposal calendar for known deadlines and begin tracking competitions that may open. With a proposal submission plan, you can start accumulating research and data, putting partnerships into place, communicating with evaluation experts, and pulling together teams for the various projects that will be coming up.

The day-to-day work of a grants professional is a blizzard of demands, meetings, and proposal deadlines. Taking time for reflection and goal-setting is a great way to refocus your energy, build on past successes and disappointments, and move forward with confidence. © Copyright 2017 The Grantsmanship Center.