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Don’t Let Partnerships Put Your Neck Out of Alignment

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Endorsement. Promotion. Alignment. These are all words that you embody when you partner with another organization professionally and personally. In my work in the grant writing field, I see partnerships between one company and one foundation work beautifully all the time-that is, unless they don’t. For example, if you are seeking grant funding this winter, are you fully ready to embrace the good and the bad of taking the Grant Funding Organization’s (GFO’s) money? Let me explain what I mean.

Everyone has woken up to a neck in a crook. It’s a bad feeling to be out of alignment. That’s what is might feel like down the road if your goals and views don’t mesh with the GFO’s. Resolving this issue is my very first priority for grant applicants. When you consider a GFO for funding, understand what that organization standards for in the world.  Do you know how they were founded and on what principals? Do you know their political leanings and are those similar enough to yours that you can honestly say you’ll endorse this program publicly with your participation? Even though it’s your project, it’s their money and they see you as advancing their mission in the world or they would not have made the award. Are you supportive or squeamish?

Take the occasion to know the company you keep. I doubt you’ll have the opportunity to meet the political appointee who sits at the head of a government agency-but you might-how would you feel if he or she gave a stump speech at your place of business? Politics can quickly change at the federal level, but do so more slowly in corporate and foundation programs. In this world, pay special attention to other awardees. Would you want to network with these people at a conference? Do your philosophies align or are they so varying that being involved with the GFO is a serious determent to your company image? These are the biggie items to consider this month. But, it’s not just grants that can get you trip to the chiropractor-any partnership in business has the potential to pay dividends or or go sideways depending on points of view. Consider aligning your organization very carefully and stay tuned for next month’s post about selecting good partnerships and project teams!

The following blog content is excerpted in part from Find Grant Funding Now! The Five Step Prosperity Process for Entrepreneurs and Business by Sarah Beth Aubrey and is used with permission by the author. The book was released on December 31, 2013 by Wiley.

Sarah Beth Aubrey finds funding for communities and business! She has won over 400 grants in 35 states and Puerto Rico; funding has yielded $55 million. Recently named to the Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40,” this National Speakers Association (NSA) member brings a serial entrepreneur’s take on keynoting and presents practical, encouraging messages. As the owner of Prosperity Consulting, LLC, a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), she hosts grant training courses four times each year.

 

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