Community-Based Learning

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Grantwriting with Alan Bloomgarden

Dec 12, 2012 by Lauren Quirici

       Throughout the semester, CBL fellows attend workshops to learn practical skills for future careers.  The last workshop of the semester was an introduction to grantwriting taught by CBL coordinator Alan Bloomgarden.  Alan spent twelve years as a professional grantwriter, and knows the ins and outs of the process.  
     The workshop was filled with valuable inside tips and tricks.  For example, Alan informed the students that charitable organizations are actually required to give out a certain amount of money each year.  “If you know that it’s their job to give out money,” Alan advises, “you can actually turn around the dynamic in the discussion from “Please give me your money,” to “I can help you give out your money.”  He points out that the confidence resulting from being informed about how the organizations work can make a big difference in how effective a grant proposal will be.
      Alan had no qualms about explaining that in certain situations, it helps to know the right people.  “That stuff happens.  That’s just the way life works,” he says candidly.  Although the workshop covered many different aspects of grantwriting, a lot of emphasis was placed on research and critical thought about the purpose of the grant.  One of the most important things to remember is to “do your homework, and think creatively” about how to make a convincing proposal.  The workshop series will begin again with the spring semester, when everybody comes back from the winter break rejuvenated and ready to go!


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