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I was a good student. It gave me many advantages in life – scholarships for travel and more education, and a now unnecessary understanding of trigonometry. But once out of school, my good grades may have been a hindrance.

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Aww, bummer! They have announced the recipients of the funds from the foundation to whom you applied and your organization didn’t make the cut. It’s a disappointing scenario that I’ve been part of many times.

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Hooray! You got the grant. Let’s do a happy dance and throw those dollar bills up in the air!

Now here are a few things you need to know before you start spending.

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Today’s article is part of our series on grant writing, one area in which Tiny Frog Strategies works with organizations to get from where they are to where they want to be.

When people find out that one of the things I do is grant writing, their face lights up and they grin broadly – and I know exactly what they are thinking and that I am going to disappoint them right away.

There seems to be this widespread belief that grant writing is like withdrawing money at an ATM, and that the grant writer knows the PIN. If I just answer a few questions and punch in the correct password, wads of cash will be theirs for the taking.

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“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Mark Twain

We know you are probably on board with planned giving, or legacy giving, as we like to call it around here. Who wouldn’t want to fundraise at the lowest cost per dollar raised? Who wouldn’t want a sustainable source of revenue for the future? And who wouldn’t want to engage more with their donors, building a deeper connection and working with them to connect on what’s next for the future of your organization?

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Ahhh, January – that season of palm trees and swimming in clear blue water.

“Wait, what’s going on Julia?” you might be thinking. “I thought you lived in Canada, on the west coast of British Columbia, where there is the occasional palm tree in someone’s back yarn, but it always looks kind of sad and lonely and occasionally is dusted with snow.”

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The second year I was away from home working, my first real job after university, I had a moment.

I remember exactly where I was when it happened – I was sitting on the floor of my tiny apartment – the one I was so proud of because it was affordable and all mine – and I’d been tidying up, probably in preparation to go home for Christmas, but maybe because that’s how I seem to live my life – all my stuff explores all over the place and periodically I have to go stuff it back in place, reigning it in to some kind of livability.

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Today’s article is part of our series on grant writing, one area in which Tiny Frog Strategies works with organizations to get from where they are to where they want to be.

Just last week I had a past client call me out of the blue.

“Julia,” she said, “We need your help – I found this great grant, we’re a really good fit for what they want to fund, and we have a relationship with the funder – they already know about us and the work we do. The only problem is that it’s due in a week.”

“That’s tight,” I said, “But great, we’ve worked together before, so I know we can make it work.”

I spent some time gathering up the details of the application and assessing what they would need for a successful application. As I worked, I got more and more worried. There was a lot to be done, but they could still make it work. It did seem like a great opportunity, but…

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Maybe it’s DNA left over from Viking ancestors, maybe it’s grown out of an appreciation of all kinds of food, but I love learning about different people and places. So a highlight for me at the 2018 CAGP Conference was hearing Bobbi Sahni speak about diversity. Read more

I was 9 when my mother and I last worked for the same boss. I was a paperboy for the Winona Daily News and my mother wrote a weekly column called “Whimsey.” She shared observations on life in a small town, being the wife of a pastor and mother of 6 children. Her quips then included thoughts on the topics of marriage, work and school. Read more