Looking back on your career as a grantwriter / grant professional - What is the best advice you've received?
The best advice I received is to make friends with people who are professionally a little further ahead of me. People I can learn from and ask questions. We all have questions when we get started. I've learned over the years that the only stupid question is one that is not asked.
To write clearly and concisely. I tend to be wordy. I am a word nerd, so I love flowery vocabulary, and I tend to restate the same point 10 different ways if I don't monitor myself LOL! It's easy to slip into industry jargon, too. I was advised to write grant proposals so that someone with no knowledge of my organization or industry could easily understand.
Focus on relationships with funders! Most nonprofits employ the full fundraising cycle when working with individual donors, but don't use the same intentionality to developing relationships with foundations and corporate giving offices. Funders are not ATMs and do not wish to be treated as such. Ask questions and listen. Truly take the time to understand the impact they want to have on the community and how they measure success. Become a partner that they turn to when they want information from the frontlines. Find ways to develop authentic relationships, built upon your shared commitment to the greater good.