Nonprofit life goes up, down, and sideways 🍾 💩 🍺 😠💰🥃

The nonprofit world is full of ups, downs, and sideways — often in the same day. The past week has been a great example.

It started out with a rejection letter 😠 from a national funder for a grant application we are confident was very competitive. And would have brought much-needed geographically diversity to the funder. The rejection letter was followed very quickly a shitty brush-off 💩 to our request for feedback on the application. We recruited several partners join us in a coalition for this project. Not only will it suck to tell them our effort was rejected, it will be embarrassing to share with them the shitty response from the funder we tried to bring to the table.

Next up was an unexpected award letter 💰 for a grant that we thought was a long shot. We applied so long ago that we forgot all about it and had to dig up the application to remember what we applied for.

Then we spent the last few days working overtime to write our biggest ever grant request to one of our biggest funders. It’s a bold ask for an ambitious project that would dramatically advance a large portion of our mission and organization. 🤞

During all off this I am negotiating a lease for a new and larger office. We outgrew the current place soon after we moved in, so more space is desperately needed for our rapidly growing programs. However, it’s a big financial commitment that goes beyond the term of our current stable funding. I have champagne 🍾 ready for the staff to celebrate signing the lease, and have restocked the secret CEO Scotch 🥃 for when I actually wield the pen.

Finally, as we were preparing some hard-earned office beers 🍺 at the end of the grant writing day, an email came in from one of the very first small family foundations to invest in our organization. This foundation’s first grant to us was a big deal because family foundations in Kansas City are incredibly conservative and risk-averse. They are very reluctant to support new nonprofits or programs outside the traditional arts and social services ares.

A member of the family is presenting examples of good and bad grant applications at an upcoming conference. She was asking if it would be OK to use our grant as an example of a PERFECT grant application! 🍸🍸🍸🍸
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