This is a little book with a big heart and a lot of common sense.
In the fast-paced, high-stress world of securing competitive funding, it can be easy to chase opportunities and lose sight of what matters most—the people and communities who rely on the success of your work. While chasing the dollars is often driven by the organizational imperative to survive, it is an ineffective and uninspired strategy to engage grantmakers.
As my career has moved from grantseeker to grantmaker, Barbara Floersch has identified critical themes and strategies that I continue to look for when evaluating proposals. Don’t assume a grantmaker knows who you are and what you do; but do assume that most grantmakers will be deeply grounded in the fields, populations, and issues that your organization addresses.
A critical part of your organization’s work is to demonstrate competency, document a solid grounding in data trends from national to local levels, promising and best practices, identify who else does similar work, and how your organization collaborates with others to produce efficient and impactful outcomes. These are just a few of the critical lessons Floersch has shared with thousands of grantseekers around the US and internationally. I credit Floersch’s teaching and mentorship over the years with my success in securing millions of public and private dollars and these lessons continues to inform my work as a grantmaker.
A real strength of Floersch’s new book is her engaging and authentic communications style. She practices what she preaches, and I’m so pleased she continues to share her knowledge with a genuine interest in your organization’s success in addressing critical and compelling social issues and needs.
You Have a Hammer: Building Grant Proposals for Social Change by Barbara Floersch, Rootstock Publishing, January 2021.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Wiberg lives in Vermont and is the Philanthropic Advisor for Community Engagement at The Vermont Community Foundation.