I already do most of what you suggest but with your gift challenge specifically in mind, am doing the following: - Being kinder and gentler during my commute – allowing cars in more readily and letting of aggressive drivers; - using pretty stationary for routine, business correspondence; - buying lottery tickets and putting them in random co-workers mailboxes; - being a reviewer of proposals for a non-profit using volunteer grant writers with no experience before they go to the funder; - sharing your book with these volunteer grant writers.
Hi Kat, What great ideas. I especially appreciate ‘being kinder on the commute’ because it makes me grateful that I don’t have a long one. Thanks so much for letting me know – warms the cockles of my heart, Jana
Jana, The book has something for everyone! All are expert and their perspectives, and the circumstances in which they were successful were varied. I’ve passed it on to clients that have excellent programs but don’t really “get” the grants game or the process behind it. It’s not just about the proposal, the writing or the project…there is an underlying ground of being, a stand the organization is that must come through as well. Many of my clients are looking for the silver bullet – the “first do this, then do that…”, when so many groups have done something else first and been successful. Starting where you are, and taking the next step is always the right thing to do, and your book illustrates many ways to succeed. Thank you and I’ll keep passing it foreword!
I love the concept of “paying it forward” and was happy to take on a new one-year volunteer commitment in response to your challenge. My step-daughter and I will be working with dogs at our local humane society. It’s a great opportunity to bond with my step-daughter, comfort some stressed animals, and perhaps help the shelter with its fundraising if called upon. And what grantwriter is not called upon for fundraising help when volunteering no-matter-where?
Thanks so much for doing that Maryll. Sounds comforting in all directions. I have a black lab who keeps my feet warm while I work, makes me get outside each day for a walk, and always reminds me when its 6pm – just in case I was likely to forget dinner time. I hope you and your step-daughter have a lot of fun together.
I’m ‘paying it forward’ by volunteering at our local no-kill humane society, helping them raise funds to support medical costs for treatable animals that may otherwise have been euthanized at traditional shelters simply because the treatment is too expensive. I’m also helping an international conservation organization apply for grants that will enable them to continue supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts. Time is valuable, but the work these organizations do is priceless!
I donated two hours of grants consulting to a small journalism startup that wanted to apply for grant funding. They offered to pay me, but I reviewed their proposal, made suggestions and gave them a list of foundations they might approach…. for free. They were very appreciative. Thanks for encouraging the kindness!
Jana, thank you so much for your great book! I am sure it will help us to raise money and use them for our programs. International Talent Academy is a performing arts school for children and parents in Carmel, Indiana. As a gift to the community, we are giving scholarships to children in need to attend our summer camps or any other classes we have during the year (music, theater, dance, Etiquette lessons ,etc). We also do piano Recitals for the Retirement homes and festivals around the City. Thank you for inspiring people!
Jana – In the spirit of your fantastic gift, I promised myself that I would do more for struggling nonprofits that can’t afford to pay a grant professional. So far, I have donated some hours per week of search and notification time for a community organization of visual artists and also to a nonprofit whose mission and passion is providing affordable housing to LMI families who are off the radar of the other “housing help” queues. I also pledged to help novice grant writers to get started – I have posted on some “please help me get started” LinkedIn pleas and worked to connect aspiring grant writers with little experience with actual paying jobs. You are an inspiration – I was doing these things before, but your example gives me the motivation to try harder…! Regards – and peace to our world in 2013, Rich
Jana, I had the opportunity this week to help a community member get a tree for the holidays. She and her 3 year old moved to Ithaca last year, and he desperately wanted a tree to decorate. I was able to pick her up at work, load up a donated tree into my vehicle and unload it for her at her apartment. Thanks for the inspiration!
A group of colleagues gather once a month to make quilts for the local domestic women’s shelter. I make a pillowcase to go with each quilt. I scout thrift stores for appropriate fabric, and the non-for-profits really appreciate them. It’s my little way of adding color to someone’s world.
I thought off and on about what I wanted to give back. I don’t want to “count” something I would do anyway. I settled on a instigating a birthday celebration for a 88 yr old man with no biological family in the area. He is a friend of a friend and I would not normally instigate an activity with him but would attend if invited. So, I turned that around and got 5 people together for dinner and cake to celebrate the happy occasion.
I have been helping families who I work with to research their genealogy. They are always amazed at how much we can discover – sometimes we locate ancestors as far back as the Civil war or even the Revolutionary War.
Hi Jana! Had a little time to read a few chapters and skim through what you had to say. I’m organizing a community garden that will be part of Honeybee Research Institute and Nature Center Inc. here in St. David, Maine. We have 10 acres of plowed land. I’m needing grant money for tools, seeds and materials to get me started. I came across your book when looking for grants. I do believe, as you do, in giving back. I will definately pay it forward as I have committees to form, our community to empower and volunteering to do at this garden. Thank you for what you do. The world could use many more of you and these kind people that have posted comments. Sarah
I have not had a chance to read the book, but look forward to doing so soon (I am a one-person shop at a college). One project I worked on as a thank you to you branched out into two locations. In Novemember, I started a gratitude project at my daughter’s dance studio. I traced and cut out leaves, had the girls write down what they were thankful for and we put them on a wall for all to see. By thanksgiving, the wall was full. The girls are age 2+ so the responses were really fun to read. I decided to expand the project to my office building and we did a similar exercise in the breakroom. I think it brought positive energy to both locations.
Thanks for the book! I am just getting started as a grant writer for a community-based nonprofit, and your tips have given me so much to work on! As a thank you, I am working with a pastor who I would not usually connect with to help write the history of his congregation as they seek funds to clear out a bad mortgage.
I had the unexepcted opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ the afternoon I recieved your book. Driving home on a very fast-paced semi rural freeway, where traffic rarely drops below 75 mph, I flew past a stranded car without really noticing it. It took a few seconds to register that there was a young man standing next to the car with jumper cables in his hand. I stopped, and had to back up at least a quarter mile. After we got his car started again, I noticed two women in the car, who were probably his mother and grandmother. They said they had beed sitting there for hours, waiting for some help. They promised to pay it forward too.
What a heart-warming story. Thanks so much for doing that. One unexpected bonus for me is that when I go to take the dog for a walk with my daughter she now asks me about the pay-it-forward stories. She is really learning about the flow of things and the kindness of people from that. I’ll enjoy telling her this one. And as someone not qualified to manipulate jumper cables, its good to know that people do stop to save us non-practical folks from electrocution.
I am paying it forward by providing assistance with setting up a board, nonprofit status, budgeting and fundraising ideas to a start-up organization working with children and teens in a challenging area in a nearby city. It has been such a pleasure to help them when they had no idea where to begin and I’m sure I will continue to benefit from this experience by watching this new organization grow and benefit so many kids that otherwise may not have a positive direction in their lives.
Jana, this whole thing (the idea of it is awesome). I have read the other comments and feel so unworthy. I am the director of a medium size non-profit. Our focus is women and children, with a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter and program and women’s boutique. I try to pay it forward everyday with someone, staff or resident/client/community member. We are a member of the United Way and I have shared your book with entire Board of 29 other agencies. I hope that means good things will be happening all over the city soon, if not already. Great going, I applaud you.
Hey, no belittling ourselves around here By just putting on your clothes each morning and turning up to work you’re paying it forward in a myriad ways that make a big difference in individual women’s lives. But you don’t need me to remind you of that, eh. And thank you for sharing the book with the UW board and taking the time to share your gift story, here. Applause back atcha.
I was so grateful to be able to get this book for free. I passed it on to one of my colleagues who helps me with grants, as well as my notes from the book onto my boss and others in our organization. I am just starting to write a few more grants after the book and hope that we will be able to see an increased return. Thanks again for making the book available!
I hope you see an increased return too since that would make my work on the book worthwhile. You’ve crossed one of the biggest hurdles which is simply getting a proposal out of the door. Don’t get discouraged if you get turned down, be persistent and keep learning about what works and what doesn’t. Like much else in life if you and your organization do good work, enjoy what you do, and don’t give up you’ll be successful. And thanks for taking the time to share your story.
Thanks for sending along your book. I’ve been giving back in a small way lately when I visit my mom at her long-term care facility. I find myself being much more solicitous of the residents, and when I leave, I am more aware of seniors on the street who might need a hand. I also make a point of thanking the care givers at the facility frequently. They really appreciate the acknowledgement. I’ve been a fundraiser for a number of years but this is really putting the charitable spirit into action. Like all charitable acts, it’s a win-win: someone else feels better and so do you.
I just love your generosity with your book and your “seeds” of motivation to give back! I come from a huge family (yep-my parents had12 kids:) and have three siblings with special needs, including my youngest brother who has Down Syndrome. I am excited to share that I am traveling to Raleigh-Durham, NC to do a pro-bono session on securing grant funding at the National Inclusion Conference. My wish is that programs serving youth with disabilities are able to better access and secure funding.
My brother-in-law left his job as an NPO Executive Director and called to say he’s interested in grant consulting (coming from previously giving grants) so I forwarded the book to him! Thanks for the gift and thanks for participating in our GPA Chapter book discussion in Massachusetts, too!
Jana I thank you for this gift. Since reading its content, I was blessed by the collective wisdom shared in its pages. I’ve begun building relationships to support the foundation and government funding that my entity requires to build its capacity. To pay this gift forward I’ve recently accepted the role as head of the board for an entity serving the disabled and passed it on to the executive director. It seems that here in NY there are severe challenges that will affect how we care for this delicate population. I will keep you updated on all of these efforts, but I want you to know that there will be many helped by your gift!
I am already active in my community and do volunteer work that includes most of what you list, but would like to focus on smiling at every stranger I meet or giving out free hugs. I plan to use what I learn in grantwriting to mentor others who work with the Alternatives to Violence Project. I’d like to write grants in partnership with community organizations so we can weave what we do more deeply into the community.
I was able to pass the book along to a budding grant writer. I have not read the book myself, but I thought it would be a nice gift to someone who is just starting out. Thanks for the resource and good luck with all the giving you’re doing!
The web site is for my place of employment and my heart lies there, but also with the many non-profits and church groups that are trying to do good on a shoe string. It is often disheartening to see that individuals have to lose jobs, go without the care or services they need, forgo the small portion of encouragement that helps them through another day or just live without hope because we are not sharing our gifts, knowledge and supporting each other. Competition is a way of life in our world, but compassion and courage in the face of obstacles would carry us so much further. I hope that the book you provide will help me to assist small programs within our corporation that may soon be cut and revitalize those that had already been eliminated to help the most vulnerable in our communities. My church congregation also is in need of finding more ways to meet the needs we see so vividly each day. With a very small congregation, we always find creative ways to help others because of our belief in being of service to those in need and being a light to those in darkness, without judgement. It is my hope and my prayer that both mission and ministry will broaden with a little help and sharing. I will always pay it forward because I have been blessed to have someone do the same for me at every milestone or crisis point in my life. Be blessed and keep believing in the good that is in the hearts of others. Thank you.
I was asked to put on a Grant Seeking Basics workshop for emergency food providers that are members of the agency where I work. I’ve written grants for years but never presented on the topic. I mustered my courage and put together a presentation to help beginning grant writers learn the basics, or at least learn from my mistakes and successes over the years. The workshop was Friday and people gave great feedback, so hopefully I honored you and the spirit of your work by sharing what I could with others!
Thank you Jana for all that you have given… and keep giving.
I am in the center of a transitional phase at the moment and unfortunately haven’t had the time to read the book yet. But I have shared my experience and the book with two other people who are writing grants at the moment. I hope to use it myself in the near future. On a daily basis , I have alwasy been open about my values- always ready to share knowledge and open to debate the change in behaviors needed for the betterment of our larger community. Over time this has lead to small positive changes among friends and family that have become part of their values too (in their own way). These are very very tiny contributions in comparison to what most of you are doing and I know I still have a long way to go in what I aim to accomplish. But on my journey I remember a quote by Mahatma Gandhi – “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
I passed the book along to my colleague in development who is currently taking a grant writing course. It is my hope that the book will be helpful to her as she learns the basics. In addition, I ran the 2nd half of the Los Angeles Marathon on March 17th in order to raise funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer research. It was a wonderful experience, and it was so fulfilling to help bring people together for a great cause.
Good morning and God bless you for the gift! I have passed the gift along to a friend in California, and another in North Carolina. Both people are excited about reading the book and providing services to churches in their communities. Also, I’m using the information to work with a local non-profit in Rochester, NY. I desire to work with youth about healthy eating and fitness. I have had some health challenges over the past few years, and I learned how vitally important to eating well to live well. Now, I pass that jewel to many people young and older to encourage them make the necessary adjustments.
Again, thanks for the gift and I will keep you posted about our forward movement!
Jana, Grant Writing Revealed is a wonderful compilation of thoughts, ideas and strategies for working with potential donors. In fact much of this material is useful in any sales situation, if you think of selling your organization to another person and hope for a successful sales pitch.
We plan on doing our homework by reading the book before putting pen to paper for our future grant proposals! We’ve put it into the hands of other Blues Foundations as well as the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, where we also work with non-profit organizations on the South Side of Chicago.
I am involved with two volunteer organizations. I am the county director for a conflict resolution organization, working with about a dozen volunteer mediators. Part of my “paying it forward” with them involves my meeting with them informally over food (or drink) to discuss our work, and how it matters to our lives. They’ve told me they appreciate the personal touch, and the opportunity to connect with the other volunteers! I’ve also forwarded the book to another county director: we both need to think about whether it makes sense to take our limited time to write for small grants. This book will be very helpful in making that decision.
Before I got this job, I volunteered as a grant developer for a film festival. I’ve forwarded the book to them–I hope it will be able to help them think the way you do, and be as successful!
Thank you again, and good luck with your ongoing journey.
Hi Jennifer, Thanks so much for sharing and spreading the book around your network. Its heartwarming to know that its reaching people who can use it. I’m a big fan for conflict resolution organizations for the crucial role you play in our communities and I know how tricky it can be to keep them funded. I wish you all the best. jana
I read the book in big gulps, and now will go back and be more thoughtful. But I got so excited! I sent the portion on the strategic plan to my ED for use in an upcoming board retreat. I copied Winston Churchill’s and Mother Teresa’s quotes for my wall above my desk to inspire me. I sent the whole gosh-darn book to one of my favorite program officers at a local Foundation. And I have new things to consider putting into practice for my own grant writing.
In my day-to-day life, I try to really listen when people speak to me. That means turning away from the computer, looking people in the eye, and shutting out other distractions. It’s not the most efficient way to work, but it’s the best way to work. I often forget, and need to be nudged back on the path of active listening. Your book was such a nudge.
Many how-to books leave me cold. Yours did not. I believe its underpinning of a gift economy, the abundance of wisdom and experience honestly shared, and enthusiasm make it compelling.
I give a gift everyday. Today was a reference for a friend who is applying for a new job. I also had a phone call with a friend who is going through a similar medical situation I did several years ago. I just spent a little time with her going through what to expect and calming her nerves. Have a blessed evening!
I often take a few friends grocery shopping with me who don’t have regular access to a car, but recently one friend was having a particularly busy day and didn’t think that she would be able to take the time to go to the grocery store that week. I offered to take her list and personal shop for her for those few items she needed… and she was able to get everything else done that she needed to accomplish! I felt like I was giving the gift of time, and of un-considered possibilities.
Thank you so much for your valuable book. I am a former professional grant developer, currently a stay-at-home mom ready to get back into the workforce and the field. I have taken on two new nonprofit clients in our community on a volunteer basis that both have little grants experience: a social service organization serving people with disabilities, and a natural foods co-op that is working to expand into more activities that improve access to healthy food for low-income families and connect small local farmers with customers.
I came across this book in the process of studying for the GPC exam. After 14 years of grants consulting, I stayed home for a little over a year and was ready to resume work, but wanted to take the exam first. Before seeking work, I wanted to start by giving back and volunteered to co-chair the Southwest GPA Conference. My daughters and I also volunteer for several charities through National Charity League. As I prepare to launch a job/client search, I plan to resume probono services in the spirit of “paying it forward”. In particular, I want to express that this book was heartwarming for me in the process of studying for the GPC exam. As I was studying the “What’s and How’s” of grantsmanship, coming across a book about the “Why” we do this work was a source of great inspiration. It left me both inspired and proud to be associated with a profession that is comprised of good people striving to solve significant issues by doing things for the right reasons.
Is this where I’m supposed to share my story? Thought there would be a separate area, sorry. Since it says to make as long or as short as you like, I’m going to make this very long. I must confess firstly, that I haven’t even finished reading the book. I was surprised to be asked so soon, just received on 11/19/15. My next confession is a little more difficult, especially after reading some of these other stories. I was being very selfish when I requested a copy of the book. I have not worked at all for the last 3 years or so because have been on disability – was legally blind because of huge cataracts and had no insurance or money to cover the surgeries. The five years before I found out about the blindness, I had been working part time as a cashier at Taco Bell while completing the course work for an associates degree in Paralegal Studies. I already had a BA from 1991 in Women’s Studies, which I found wasn’t all that marketable except in some kinds of organizations and agencies. I had moved because of family situations and found myself in positions where I needed to find a job right away to help with bills, and hence the Taco Bell. Again moving to help family, I tried to get a more “real job” if you will, but found out I needed to have a current driver’s license from this state, SC, and was unable to pass the eye exam to get one. So, I got a job (again right away) at Popeyes to get enough money to get an eye exam and new glasses (which is all I thought I needed). After the surgeries, I started doing the job search thing again, and then realized that I hadn’t worked in an office in over 10 years. I didn’t think employers would even look at my resumes. So, I found out about a program through the Social Security Administration called Ticket to Work that helps you with finding and maintaining a job while on SS Disability. So, I activated my ticket with the hopes of being able to get a computer up date class, at the very least, and help with how to make a resume attractive to employers with most of my relevant education & experience being more than 10 years ago at the most. I ended up working with vocational rehabilitation for over a year and going through a lot of programs, but they seemed to be more aimed at unskilled workers or people who had never worked before. Bottom line, I had to get a job, any job, within a year. So, at the beginning of September I started working as a breakfast cook at Burger King. I had applied for a cashier position, but cook is what they needed and hey, you can learn anything, right. I had been working there for a couple of months, and not sure I was doing very well with it, because I seemed to not be able to keep up during rushes and then the cashiers and/or manager would yell at me and I would get more flustered and get further behind. I talked with the manager who had hired me and asked if she thought I should quit. I said, “If people are walking out and asking for refunds, I’m not doing you any good. And I know you won’t fire me because BK doesn’t want to pay unemployment.” Also in September SSA started doing a continuing medical review on my case. I know that once they realize I am no longer legally blind, they will cut off my disability income. Anyway, sorry going on too much about that. I had a stroke a couple of weeks ago 11/12/15 while at work at BK and have since quit. In the meantime, I have been volunteering at the county library here for about three months now, in hopes of being able to get a paid position when one comes up. I have come to realize that may not be very realistic because everyone who works there likes working there. They are not going to quit. Then my thought was to get a grant or grants to pay me so that I wouldn’t have to keep doing the job search thing. I am 56 years old, and have worked more than 40 years, have all kinds of experience. I have worked for nonprofit organizations, and I have assisted with writing grants. I have never done one on my own. But, I was optimistic, I got some books from the library and started doing some research online. That was when I first found your book. I didn’t finish reading it before taking back to library because I had found I could get a copy through your gifting program. I then went to your website and requested a copy. In the meantime, I am trying to take it easy so won’t have another stroke, but also working more at the library, and yes doing the job search thing. After all, I expect to have that disability income discontinued at any time. I have a room mate, and even though he is my son, we still live as room mates, sharing the bills and buying food & necessaries separately. If I were to lose my income without having something else to take its place (or at least part of it), he would be stuck having to pay everything. So, admittedly I got into this with very selfish intentions. However, having started doing research online following the advice in the first section of the book on research and how it may be time consuming, but also saves time in the long run, I’ve realized the futility of my original intentions. I do want to reacquire those skills, and build upon them to the grants development skills, and help the library if it is something that they need and would like me to help them with. But, I have given up on the idea of getting a grant to pay me for volunteering. I like volunteering, and I like being in that environment surrounded by books, it grounds me. And, if I didn’t need an income I would be happy leaving it at that. As for paying it forward, I’m going to have to give it more thought. I will suggest the book to others. And even though I haven’t finished reading it, I will. I’ve been inspired, not only through the book, but also from reading the other stories. And I hope people do not think too badly of me when they read my story. I feel I’ve been having a continuing drama that I can’t seem to resolve. With my bachelor’s degree, I worked in statewide organizations, counseling organizations for battered women, and a shelter for battered women years ago. Maybe I can find something along those lines now. But I am just so tired of having to work for minimum wage just to have a job, any job. Sorry, this was supposed to be an uplifting story and I don’t feel that it has been. But, it is mine. Thank you for the book and the gift and the whole gifting idea. It’s wonderful, and I wish I could do more.
My day job (National School Reform Faculty), my side job (Coltrain Group), and my volunteering (TEDxBloomington and the Lotus World Arts and Music Festival) all revolve around non-profits, so I was grateful for your book and the opportunity to pay-it-forward. This weekend I remembered that I still owed you a response, so I attended a play that allowed me to both support a local non-profit theater company and help support a local secondhand boutique that provides services to women in need (My Sister’s Closet). Thanks!
Well, I must admit your challenge wasn’t super difficult for me since I like to help folks when I can, but it made me reach out a little more and do some different things to PAY IT FORWARD since receiving the book gift. (Love the book by the way!) • I enrolled in a grants writing certification class at the local Cal State University and I shared your link and book gift idea to PAY IT FORWARD with my class. Some were very grateful to receive the info. I hope they partook. • Instead of selling some of my twins’ “almost new” clothing & Nike’s online (like my husband suggested), I gave them all to a co-worker who expressed to another co-worker she’d been having a hard time financially at home. It put a big smile on her face and a smile on mine when I later saw the pics of her little girl happily wearing/enjoying the items. Also, I made sure I did it discretely in the office, so no one really knew what we’re doing and she didn’t feel embarrassed. People can sense when you’re GENUINE and want to help or just doing something to GET PRAISE FROM OTHERS like they’re a charity case. • One early evening, I was in my car and I saw this guy walking by. His clothes looked tattered and dirty so he was probably homeless, but mostly I noticed he didn’t have any shoes on his feet. Inside I’m thinking of all the excuses to, “Just make your turn and get home. After all, I have the girls in the car with me, maybe it’s not safe. Plus, he’s on the other side now, how will you get to him without delaying traffic.” LOL. Anyway, well, I made my turn and pulled over to the side of the street as to not to totally hamper traffic then just slightly rolled down my window. I hollered, “Excuse me, sir!” He got up from the bus stop he had made his way to and ventured to my car. I leaned over and just said, “Here you go,” as I handed him a $20 bill. He reached in and grabbed it. Looking at it, he said in a simple voice, “Do you need change?” I chuckled a little bit but I could tell he had a bit of a mental health issue as he reminded me of my uncle who suffered from a mental health disorder. I just smiled and said, “No, it’s yours.” He smiled, waved it at me and said, “Thank you.” I drove off and what was so interesting and eerie at the same time is one of my 3-year old twins said, “Mommy, that’s my brother!” At first I thought “Silly, you don’t have any brothers,” (plus he wasn’t even our same ethnicity) but then I thought of maybe a more spiritual connection that my innocent-hearted daughter saw (and I felt a little) but didn’t totally see. Maybe he was our brother in God’s eyes and just needed a little help at the time. I was glad I didn’t ignore my feeling in my gut or spirit to do something different and just pull over and give him some money. If another car honks at me, SO WHAT, just plant a seed in his life. If he didn’t get shoes, hopefully he had a warm meal or two…from his SISTERS!!!
I love the idea you have for sharing your knowledge as a gift and as I have been reading the book, I wasn’t sure how I could pass the gift on myself. I work for an organization that serves children battling cancer and I recently moved from the programs and camp director into a grant writing position. I am still learning the ropes and your book has been extremely helpful. Last week, while getting my oil changed with my little five month old, a gentleman struck up a conversation with me asking if I stay at home with my daughter. I told him how I am able to work from home writing grants for our small nonprofit. He shared how he and his wife just started a new nonprofit that provides a summer camp experience for underprivileged children. I have three years experience running the camp at my nonprofit and so we immediately connected. He asked if I would mind helping out as needed and sharing my insight on grant writing and programs. I hadn’t thought about it until today but many of the things I learned from this book, I have been passing on to him. Thank you for helping me to help someone else. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return” Nelson Mandela
Hi Amanda, Thanks so much for sharing this and for your generosity. My guess is that it will benefit you too since as you share things it will deepen your understanding and learning. I hope that your camp utterly thrives. Jana
I recently joined a board for a non-profit that helps Nicaraguan refugees living in Costa Rica, and I am the only board member with significant grant writing experience. I have been able to immediately apply the lessons from the book to strengthen the organization. Somehow, volunteer grant writing – versus professional, paid work – is both more challenging and rewarding. True service is hard and requires a lot more out of me. I am looking forward to visit the community in a few weeks and meeting those in the community that we partner with.