Dr. A's Trickbag

Grant Trick-Bag #3: Nobody wants to give you a computer.

Let's say you need a truck. (I'll get back to the computer.) So you find somebody with trucks and ask for one. Simple. Well,there's a problem. There is nobody out there, not even DOD, who just has a bunch trucks that they want to give away. People with money and things to give away want to sposor achievements that support their values. Note that: Their Values, not Your Needs. You must make the case that what you are trying to accomplish meets their values. Only then can you talk about how much more you could accomplish if you had that truck.This seems obvious, but a lot of grant requests and asks go down in flames because the writer speaks in terms of "our needs" and "our values" rather than showing clearly how the request will fulfill the values of the granting agency, organization, or individual donor.

If you think that way, it also turns out that you can ask several people for a truck. After all, you are not asking for a truck. You are asking for what the truck can do, One source may want to help feed children, and your truck will carry food to after-school programs. Another source may want to sponsor neighborhood volunteer activities. Your truck will help you do that. Another may want to see growth in effective non-profit organizations in your city . Your truck will help you grow. Etc etc.etc.

Oh, the computer? Well, if you are starting a neighborhood computer center or giving computers to survivors of domestic violence, you might have a chance. (See above.) If you are asking for a computer for your own internal use....that is probably the hardest ask there is these days. Sorry to say this, but I have learned the hard way that most folks expect you to have your own computer as a sort of fundamental thing. They want more their money to accomplish more than that. But you could still have a shot at the truck.

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