Creating a Grants Office from Scratch (Part 4): Evaluating Culture

In previous posts of this series, we assessed the need for a grants office, established next steps, and talked strategy. In order to establish a strong grants office, guiding leadership and grant directors must also look to evaluating culture—the focus of this article.

I hope for everyone reading this and looking to establish a grants office encounters few if any obstacles. That’s not always possible, so this post is intended to provide you with some pointers to determine early how your road is paved:

  1. Meet with program leaders to discuss current funding, funding needs, and processes they have followed in pursuing funds in the past. This will give you a sense of where they have been, where they are, and where they need to go.
  2. Determine the climate of the organization. The tone of the conversations will give you the understory. If you find resistance, determine what the pain points are.
  3. Determine who the proponents of the grants office are. Are there people in the organization that are opposed to the grants office?

Work to understand the reasons why those that do not support the office hold their position. Many times, there needs to be more communication about the purpose and scope of the office. Clarity can help your cause.

In my final posts on this topic, I will address more details on establishing grant goals and launching your grants office. Stay tuned!

Originally published on the eCivis Blog August 4, 2014

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