Who loves a challenge?
I do.

Not really a dare, which is usually reckless, but a challenge to make myself grow and stretch just a little bit.  Like the time I challenged myself to make it down the river in a canoe with my husband.  Did that, but won’t be doing it again. Ever!

As grant writers, we have to accept challenges all the time.  Challenges like how to spin a project to capture the interest of a potential funder.  Or where to find the data we need to support our needs statement.  Maybe its how to explain to a client that they aren’t ready to apply for a grant.

My biggest challenge was when I wrote a proposal for a client and then found out they weren’t really grant ready or grant worthy.  (Lesson learned-do your due diligence before accepting a new client.)

Well, they got the grant and then for a year I was challenged with sending in reports for the grant they never should have received.

This month, I’m participating in a “Stretch Yourself Challenge” with Kelly McCausey.  It really has nothing to do with grant writing, but the challenges I’ve accepted to work on will help me grow.

The challenges I’ve chosen to work on are to re-energize my Jump Start Your Grant Writing Career Facebook group to make it more helpful for the members, and to reach out to make meaningful connections with individuals who are respected in the grant writing field.  I’ll later ask these new connections to allow me to interview them for my Grant Box subscription program.

Do you love a challenge?  If so, maybe you’d like to take a look at the “Stretch Yourself Challenge” I’m participating in.  You might find a challenge you’d like to try.

Go challenge yourself to stretch and do something that makes you a little uncomfortable.  I promise that when you complete the challenge, whatever it is, you’ll be proud of yourself and you’ll be ready to take on another challenge.


25 replies
  1. Teresa Miller
    Teresa Miller says:

    I came here to post a comment for your challenge post, but really am interested in your website. You have captured my attention! Oh and definitely – good luck with the challenge, too. I know you’re going to do great!

  2. Anita Hampl
    Anita Hampl says:

    Ooh, great post and vulnerability. I’m not in the grant writing arena (It’s not just writing, it’s followup? Yuck!) but you brought to mind how time-consuming and ultimately unprofitable it is to work with the wrong client/wrong time.

    Best wishes with your Facebook group!

  3. Kristin Lohmeyer
    Kristin Lohmeyer says:

    You nailed it when you said, no matter what challenge you complete, you’ll be proud of yourself and ready for the next one!! That is so true – there is something wonderful about completing a challenge, especially when it pushes you outside your comfort zone! It just fires you up and makes you feel unstoppable! LOL Great post Jo!

  4. Meredith Eisenberg
    Meredith Eisenberg says:

    Yes, I know what it is like to have a client that really isn’t ready for you. Hard all around. Thank you for your post about challenges – as a fellow Stretch Yourself, challenger, I found it to be really helpful 🙂 Good luck this month!

  5. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Just think about all the budding or struggling grant writers you will inspire and equip as you STRETCH! I love that you’re so devoted to helping others find success.

  6. Tara
    Tara says:

    I absolutely love what you’re doing with your business when it comes to the challenge. Both are great ways to build your visibility while bringing quality content to your clients. I’m excited that you’re pursuing both of these projects during the Stretch Yourself Challenge!

  7. Stephanie Watson
    Stephanie Watson says:

    I used to be a grant writer back in the late ’80s and very early ’90s. It’s true that you have to really think outside the box sometimes to help your clients get the funds they are hoping to get. Having someone help guide the way would have been fabulous back then. So glad you’re doing that and helping others start a career doing that. It’s very satisfying and even fun sometimes even if it can be super difficult. Participating in this challenge is a great way to knock down roadblocks we all put in our own way. Great job and so great to see that you are in this challenge!

  8. Maureen Oliver
    Maureen Oliver says:

    Love the distinction you make between a challenge and being reckless! I took a dare once to go white water rafting…definitely reckless and I won’t be doing it again either, not ever!

  9. Benecia Pondee
    Benecia Pondee says:

    In my grant writing days, I have a ver similar experience of having a client who wasn’t grant ready. I wrote a successful grant propo sa al and they were awarded a $1M grant, but didn’t do the prep work I recommended and they weren’t able to keep it. I definitely learned the lesson of doing due diligence.

    I love the challenges you’ve selected. I’m looking forward to seeing your end results!

  10. Joyce Dias
    Joyce Dias says:

    When we accept a dare, we may have something to lose. When we accept a Challenge, we have everything to gain! May your efforts yield great results! Your wish will be “grant”ed!

  11. Jennifer Burke
    Jennifer Burke says:

    Such excellent points Jo about the challenges we can face in our businesses, including with clients who maybe shouldn’t be clients or if we all did enough due diligence. It’s such a worthy challenge to stretch and promote your much-needed services to the grant-writing community. I’m glad I’ve found your work as my nonprofit marketing clients could benefit from your expertise.

  12. Melissa Brown
    Melissa Brown says:

    Jo, I never even thought about the difference between a challenge and a dare–we seem to use them interchangeably on the internet these days.
    I hear you about the canoe trip and how you made it through and not again. I feel the same way about white water rafting with my husband and like you, never again. One and done no matter how much anyone might dare me or challenge me!!
    Thank you for your post.

  13. Brook Packard
    Brook Packard says:

    Yes, I do love a challenge, Jo, and am happy to be in this supportive community cultivated by Kelly McCausey.
    I usually choose 3 or 4 challenges throughout the year so I can grow. What’s great about 30 days is you can look at it like an experiment: I’m going to give this a try and see where it leads. And naturally participating in a challenge will lead to something better than not participating!

  14. Loretta
    Loretta says:

    Thank you for sharing the journey. It’s been really interesting to see what everyone is doing with the Stretch Yourself Challenge, the different creative directions people are taking things and the projects that are being started by everyone to push for big finishes. So much creativity and inspiration 🙂

  15. Rena Tucker
    Rena Tucker says:

    What a cool post, Jo. I love that you shared an actual challenge you faced in your business. It takes courage to keep going in a situation like that, and also to make it down a river in a canoe with one’s husband!

  16. Lynn Leusch
    Lynn Leusch says:

    I liked how you reminded us that sometimes our everyday business life brings us daily challenges, but sometimes we are faced with those day to day challenges that stretch us far beyond what we expected and we just need to take action.

  17. Julie Van De Wyngaerde
    Julie Van De Wyngaerde says:

    Grant writing? Awesome! I remember my days in the Junior League when I could have learned grant writing, but never did and now I’m onto other things. I got the lesson in your post that we must be careful what we wish for. 😉

    Yes, I too love a challenge and Kelly’s is the perfect opportunity for us to STRETCH ourselves. Here’s to us being BIG finishers!

  18. Renee Cohn Jones
    Renee Cohn Jones says:

    I love how you mentioned that the challenge isn’t directly related to grant writing but that you are going to use it to stretch! I hope your facebook group is super successful and that you get some great testimonials!


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