Just Keep Swimming:
What Finding Nemo and Grantwriting Do (or Don’t!)
Have in Common

with Brittany Kirk, Brittany Kirk Nonprofit Consulting

Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

Sound familiar?

Chances are that if you are grantwriter, the refrain of Finding Nemo’s beloved Dory, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” really hits home.

With the pressures of deadlines and revenue goals always looming, sometimes we fall into a just-keep-swimming approach to grants: Copy the language. Count the characters. Submit the form. Copy the language. Count the characters. Submit the form. Just keep swimming.

But hey – all you Dorys out there: there might be a better way.

Dory’s obstacles were sharks, swarms of jellyfish, and giant whales. In grantwriting, our obstacles may be long tedious application forms, repeat denials, or invite-only funders that seem to be inaccessible. In the face of these obstacles, a just-keep-swimming approach may actually not be the best way to end up at your goal.

Grant proposals are most successful when we intentionally pause to think about what we are doing. In fundraising-speak, we sometimes call this being proactive instead of reactive.

In this workshop, we will talk about how to make time for proactive grantseeking, even when an organization is under-resourced, volunteer-run, short-staffed, or new to fundraising. We will cover specific, action-oriented steps that leaders can take now to help them feel more calm, intentional, and resilient as they pursue grant funding this year.

Presentation Handout:

Just Keep Swimming – Note Taking Sheet

Just Keep Swimming – Slides