Ijeoma Idika-Chima

2014 Fellowship Alumna, Nigeria

Course Reflection on “Intermediate to Advanced Grant Writing, Managing, and Reporting: Approaches to Becoming More Successful”

How do you tell a story about what you want to do?  How do you want to do it?  And how you plan to measure your success?

A woman stands on a television set with the words "Teenz Global Show" on a screen behind her.
Ijeoma anchors the Teenz Global Show in September 2020.

Grant writing is storytelling where you identify a need, present a solution, and show how you plan to do it.  Imagine how many grassroots organizations could benefit from a step-down youth grant writing training if Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni and 2021 Selected Finalists and Alternates are equipped and empowered with the information, knowledge and resources found in the Intermediate to Advanced Grant Writing, Managing and Reporting course on the Fellowship Portal.

Earlier in my work, I developed skills in local resource mobilization and partnerships which have sustained me in the last 9 years, yet there are still many innovative ideas that can bring sustainable solutions which getting grants would support.  This was the main reason I took the course.

First, I learned how to distinguish between outputs and outcomes.  Second, I gained more knowledge about a project budget.  Third, I now understand the meaning of readiness for a grant project and the importance of relationship-building in grant writing.  Your goals and objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) and the evaluation plan should be clear with outcomes that define the success of the project.  Be concise, be compelling, and do not self-edit your proposals.

A woman stands at the head of a long table, filled with people
Ijeoma conducts a training for youth.

I highly recommended course for every young leader having funding challenges or seeking new ways to improve their writing skills.  Since I took the course, I have submitted two grant proposals that were enhanced with the lessons learned.  I have also recorded a short infographic video about the 3Cs of Effective Grant Writing and shared across 5 WhatsApp groups through my organization, Teenz Global Foundation, which reached over 200 youths.

In Africa, grant writing is perceived as a difficult or tough task to achieve.  Well, after you take this course, you will understand principles that will improve the structure of your grant writing so START NOW!

Written by Ijeoma Idika-Chima, 2014 Fellowship Alumna from Nigeria. Edited by Chris McKeown and Meredith Lopez.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.  The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Government.

Fellowship Alumni and selected candidates for 2021 who are interested in learning more about this topic are encouraged to take the “Intermediate to Advanced Grant Writing, Managing, and Reporting: Approaches to Becoming More Successful” course through the Fellowship Portal.  Learn more about the course.

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