Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Charity seeks grants to fund more grant-writing

Metro’s largest charity has come with a new, ground-breaking grant proposal for some of the largest giving foundations in the US. The Metro Hospital Foundation is asking for a grant to fund  more grant-writing.

“We used to write grants for new pieces of equipment, expansion of the cancer center or new parking spaces for doctors, but we were never that successful,” said Foundation CEO Denzel Snidely. “Plus, it was expensive and time-consuming. Grant writing was a real pain in the neck.”

Snidely says they got the idea for the proposal to get more funding for proposals after wondering how much they were spending on grant writing. It turns out that almost 80 per cent of the grants they were writing proposals for never went anywhere. Snidely said they were seriously thinking about getting rid of grant-writing all together when it hit them that there might be a source of funds to keep the function.

“We thought that if all these foundations make us do so much hard work about writing grant proposals that maybe they should help pay for it,” recalls Snidely. “We wrote a new proposal for $5,000 so we could have the resources to write more proposals. It was brilliant.”

Initially, the ten giving foundations they sent the proposal to were confused. The Sid and Ethel Moneybags Fund called a month later to say that the Foundation had not used the proper form when writing the proposal and to ask if they had made a mistake in asking for grant to write more grants.

“They couldn’t seem to get it. Writing their proposals is like trying to juggle while having pins shoved into your eyes. We’re not going to do their dirty work for them for free. They will have to pay for it,” said Snidely.

So far, there have been no other responses, but Snidely is optimistic.

“You know, this is the face of grant writing today. We need a grant to write more of these proposals. It’s just the way of the world,” he said. “These big giving foundations need to know that if they don’t support us, pretty soon no one is going to be writing them proposals. And then where will they be. They won’t be able to spend their money.”

A spokesperson for the League of Big American Giving Foundations would not comment on the story, but denied that writing grant proposals was onerous and unnecessarily complicated.

“I’m sure these charities can just write one of these things in an afternoon,” said League spokesperson Dibble Brewer. “You know, they’re ridiculously easy. We even get children writing them. And though we don’t read half of the proposals we receive, we really don’t think we’re asking too much when we ask for it to be double-spaced in a 10-point font in a PDF that is under 250K and that has the same ten categories to cover and all the detail, references and prices in just 2,000 words.”

“Do that in my sleep, I could.”

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