Sometimes grant writers are consumed by their work, becoming too close to their subject matter. When this happens, they stop looking at it critically. It’s helpful to have fresh eyes on your work, whether that means hiring outside help or somehow refreshing your own skills and knowledge. You can take a fresh look at your grant writing by becoming a grant reviewer.
Learn to see the weaknesses
Reviewing grants and discussing their merits with other experts can bring to light areas you might improve in your own writing. Sure, the grant makes sense to someone within the organization, whose mind automatically fills in the gaps, but to someone who is unfamiliar with the work, it’s all new, and they need a great grant writer to connect all the dots. Becoming a grant reviewer can bring these issues to light.
Some grant reviewer gigs even involve getting paid, so that’s an added bonus, but volunteering works, too. You might serve on the board of a local foundation. Or apply to review federal grants on a peer review panel. Think about your own expertise and background, and then check out relevant branches of the government. Branches like the Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation are always looking to bring on more reviewers for their next granting process.
Stay current in your field
Becoming a grant reviewer can also help you stay current with the work of other organizations in a particular field. You’ll learn a great deal about how other nonprofits (and even for-profits, depending on the grant) address today’s most pressing issues. You’ll get an intimate view of how they operate, and how they structure their organization. You will also learn a great deal about the inner workings of a range of other nonprofits.
Interested in learning more about our grant writing services? Contact us.