Last week my friend Cecilia Peredo told a few of us grant colleagues she submitted her first infographic grant application. Needless to say, we all had lots of questions.
Turns out, a funder asked for a one-page infographic explaining your proposed project. This served as the preapplication and determined if your organization would be invited to submit a full grant proposal.
All the Skills of a Grant Professional
It got me thinking about the myriad of skills required by grant professionals. At a minimum, we must be able to read, write, and follow directions. (And we know that last one can really trip up a person.)
Most grant applications include an online portal and attachments. That means we need to be tech savvy and able to save files with the required extension and file size. And portals are never created equally, so we must figure out how to get logged in, how to respond to all the questions in the limited space provided, and get everything uploaded and submitted by the deadline.
Then there are the funders who use platforms like Excel as their grant application. (Ask me how I know.) Or they require you to upload your application to SharePoint. Or they use Survey Monkey or Google Forms as their application. Some portals do not allow you to save your work, so if you don’t complete everything in one sitting you must start from scratch.
And how about the funders who want you to submit a video application. Suddenly, grant professionals are trying to wrangle staff and clients for interviews, all while learning how to edit said videos into one cohesive message that tells your need, goals, and program all within five minutes or less.
Or the funder wants all applicants to launch a massive social media campaign to get the most “votes” for your project. And we spend hours upon hours figuring out how to reach our community via Facebook, Instagram, and more.
If the new trend is infographics, we need to brush up on our artistic skills. If you have a marketing or PR department at your agency, you may be able to lean on that team to put together an infographic proposal. If you do not, this will be one more skill a grant professional can add to their “other duties as assigned” list.
The Beauty of Infographics
I do think infographics are a great way to portray useful information in an easy to understand and meaningful way. Even if you don’t have an infographic application on your “to write” list of grant proposals, consider ways such a document can make a great addition to your application, especially for that online portal that includes an “attach anything else you want to share” button as part of the application.
If an infographic application is in your future, and you are looking for examples, check out this great set of data shared by the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation. They created a series focused on rural health and barriers to care, as 80% of rural America is medically underserved. Take a peak HERE.
Grant Pros are More Than Grant Writers
The next time you start to think that you are “just” a grant writer, please remind yourself that you are also an IT expert, marketing guru, portal whisperer, video editor, and more.
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