Get A Guide

Get A Guide
Finding an Insider to Guide You

Getting Inside
The term "inside Information" is fraught with ethical overtones, but the fact remains that any information you can get from an insider, from someone who is "in the know" and willing to share, is better than anything else you might learn. If you have explored the grantor's background and public information and been able to find someone willing to help you, you will be miles ahead when it comes to writing your proposal.

Characteristics of a Good Guide
As you learn more about the grantor's organization you should be on the lookout for a potential guide. This should be a person with the following characteristics:

Developing Your Guide
Finding a potential guide is only half the job. Most people who might serve as guides will not be perfect for the job. So you may have to work with the person some in order to develop them a guide. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you don't want them to do your job. YOU are the grant writer and it's your job to sell the grantor. All you want from your guide is for him or her to point you in the right direction. You don't want him or her to go there with you.

Think of your guide as someone who can fill in the gaps for you. If you haven't clearly identified the financial, technical, or operational influences in the grantor's organization, or if you have not been able to answer all of the critical questions, your guide should be someone who can help you do that. But in no instance should the guide be doing any of the research or legwork necessary to gather that data.

The best way to approach the potential guide is to simply ask for advice. Explain, perhaps, that you're seeing clarification of the guidelines or that you want to articulate your thoughts on an idea you have to make sure you're thinking properly. Appeal to his or her expertise and make sure he or she sees the value TO HIM OR HER of providing you with guidance. In fact, you should feel free to use the word "guide" in your conversations. It grants the person the necessary respect and casts them in the appropriate role.

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