Read the Directions

Hello, September!

Is anyone else Christmas shopping yet?! I am! You may already know this by now, but I am a planner! I always feel better if I start things well in advance. Plus, I like to spread the fun out in things as much as possible. If you aren’t Christmas shopping yet though, it’s okay. You have plenty of time!

I am fortunate to have many teachers in my family. It’s a time-honored occupation and has helped me throughout my life in many ways – particularly in proofreading and in making my writing stronger in general. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

One teacher in my family gave the same test to her students at the start of every year.

She handed it out at the end of the day and told them they needed to complete it in pen and turn it in the next morning.

Inevitably, every year the next morning she would get dozens of papers filled with answers to questions about the capitals of states, the names of different animals, properly solved math problems and more.   

Everyone had failed.

Because they didn’t read the directions.

At the top of the page, the directions read: “Read all the directions first. Then write your name and the date at the top of this form in pen. Turn it in to me in the morning.”

Directions are important. Especially in the world of grants. If you glaze over or skip through directions, assuming you know what is being asked, you may very well miss something important.

The next time you get ready to write something in pen, make sure you read the directions first. Don’t fail the assignment because of a simple mistake.  


Hello September

Hispanic Heritage Month (grants for Hispanic community issues).

September 8 – International Literacy Day (grants for libraries and schools).

September 23 – National Public Lands Day (grants for the environment).

September 23 – International Day of Sign Languages (grants for individuals with disabilities).


It is critical for a grant writer to have strong ethics and integrity. Funders as well as your clients will want to be confident that they can trust you to do the right thing and to do it consistently.


Don’t start by choosing a topic that is too large. Start small and stay focused.


Always avoid writing in the past tense and ensure you use action verbs in your proposal.


We haven’t spent much time talking about Federal grants but there are *many* Federal and State opportunities available for all kinds of projects and programs!

Head Start/Early Head Start Grantee — Communities in the state of Nebraska
Funding Number: HHS 2021 ACF OHS CH R07 1878 
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families – OHS 
Category: Income Security and Social Services 

That is all for now! Stay hopeful and passionate! 

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