The Development Source
In this week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy (May 3, 2012), there was an interesting article about howUniversity of Virginia employees in fundraising organized a group to address specific job challenges and frustrations. Many of steps they took could be productively applied to grant proposal teams within nonprofit organizations.
Organizations should encourage proposal professionals to form informal groups to learn from each other and work on shared problems. This is good for proposal professionals and good for their organizations, but it can only work if they are encouraged, respected, and supported, and most importantly, if the results of their deliberations are seriously considered.
Here are the steps you can take to develop collective knowledge from small working groups:
Small, informal working groups addressing common problems are likely to arrive at imaginative and uncommon solutions. If senior management is not supportive, I would not form these groups because their deliberations will become an exercise in frustration and disappointment.
However, if senior management is committed to fostering them and seriously considering the reports they issue, small working groups can become very practical and productive informal mini-organizations within a organization. They can benefit individual employees while help organizations develop more effective responses to grant opportunities.