Let the Papercuts Begin!

Well, folks, it’s March! You might think I’d know this because of some sort of sign from a lion/lamb/groundhog, but in the yearly life cycle of 5HE, I know this because it’s the beginning of the busiest grant writing season of the year. To everyone who has been waiting for an email or phone response from me: my sincerest apologies. I’m getting there.

So what does this all mean, and why does it belong in my weekly inspiration blog post? To some the idea of creating a large series of proposals for support might be daunting, and the piles of paperwork visible on my (invisible) desk may send all but the most intestinally fortified CPAs packing. That said, I actually find this time of year to be the period of time in which some of our best ideas come into focus.

To be clear, we’re not creating new work for the purpose of fitting what we do (square peg) into a funding opportunity that wouldn’t otherwise be a good match (round hole). It’s simply an opportunity for us to form meaningful partnerships with organizations that are interested in supporting the kinds of projects we’re passionate about here at 5HE. Making the right match happens most successfully through a series of conversations well in advance of doing the actual paperwork involved, so in that way grant writing┬áis something of a misnomer. By the time you get to the writing part, most of the hard work is actually done.

What is great, though, is that we begin to see these ideas come into focus on paper, and therefore become real. In answering questions from potential funding partners, we are challenged to think about who it is that we’re really serving, in what way our work makes a significant difference, and how we’ll effectively measure our successes. If you’re in the business of creating art, sometimes those answers are less than clear on first glance, but it’s my responsibility to make them so, in 1000 characters or less. Often, this process becomes an inspiration for us to dig deep and really clarify what we plan to do and why, which results in a tighter product at the end.

We have been so fortunate to have built some fantastic relationships with the organizations that have put their faith and resources behind 5HE over the past few years. For more information on these, please visit the Support section of our website and click the links contained therein. These are organizations that make the work of artists like us possible, not only by providing essential support, but also through the resources, networking opportunities, and insight they provide through their long history of funding groups like ours, and we owe them a huge debt of thanks.

And now, to do my favorite thing in the world: click send.

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