Victoria Atkinson White: When does a grant help an institution? | 10/15/2019 | Staff
catcrazy24 (Posted by) Level 4
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Having grown up in Texas, I am accustomed to parched land. When the weather radar gets colorful, I recognize the conditions that cause flash flooding. And now that I live in North Carolina, every year I expect a hurricane or two to dump inches of rain hundreds of miles inland, causing massive flooding and sinkholes and toppling trees older than I am.

When the ground is dry, you might think that a lot of rain would be a blessing. But the opposite can also be true.

Half - Inch - Time - Earth - Rain

The first half an inch or so might have time to soak into the dry earth, but when the rain falls faster than the land can absorb it, the water begins to accumulate, and gravity quickly pulls it to the lowest available spots. This process creates mudslides and erosion, robbing the land of its healthy topsoil; it overwhelms storm drains, floods buildings and stalls cars in swamped roads.

It is logical to think that water will fix or bring health to dry land. But the conditions of the water and the land determine whether it will bring nourishment or ruin.

Grants - Institutions

The same is true for grants and institutions.

When an institution is operating in a scarcity mindset, it is logical to think that a windfall of money will bring immediate health, creating the conditions for growth and sustainability.

Robert - C - Saler - Director - Center

But Robert C. Saler, the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary, which administers Lilly Endowment’s Clergy Renewal Programs, notes the importance of giving “the right grant to the right institution at the right time.” These three markers are helpful in determining when and whether the conditions are present for a grant to promote health within an institution.

The right grant. Many funders have specific criteria -- usually outlined clearly in their RFP (Request for Proposals) documents --...
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