Over the past 5 months I have been working on developing and rolling out a three year funding cycle for a local funding agency. All the ground work was laid for me, it was really a matter of writing an RFP, creating a training plan for staff, potential applicants, and volunteers. This process was AMAZING! If you are a grant writer and ever want to challenge your skills in writing, help design the entire process. What I have learned: I love writing grants! (slightly more than this process, but it confirmed that I love what I do!). I also learned that I have a greater respect for my future responses to an RFP. As grant writers, we often put our heart and soul into the proposal we are writing, but as an RFP writer blood, sweat and tears went into this process! So, I have a greater understanding about this process. And then all the trainings! I knew I loved to teach others how to be successful in our field, but what was amazing in the part was I got to teach volunteers and staff who don’t really know much about the full circle of the funding process. What a blast that was! After being called in nerd in the staff meeting as I trained on how to review a proposal, I walked away with a greater understanding of how to articulate the importance of a well written proposal. And then I went back and wrote down what I said so I wouldn’t forget! (That should come in handy as I develop more proposals).
If you ever get a chance to be on the other side, take it! It strengthens your ability to write and it gives you a greater understanding of the process behind the RFP.