Funding Transformation: An Interview with Diane Silver

Diane Silver will be teaching her class, Funding Transformation: Grant Writing for Storytellers, Writers, Artists, Educators, & Activists beginning February 21st. Here is a short interview with Diane about her upcoming class:

TLA Network(TLA): How did you discover, learn about and experience the topic that you’ll be teaching?

Diane Silver (DS) My sojourn into the world of philanthropy occurred quite by accident more than 20 years ago. My spouse died of cancer, and I suddenly had to raise our 7-year-old son on nothing more than a freelance writer’s income. With my son’s security at stake, I sought a job, any job, and found myself taking a position at a $1 billion foundation. Through the next 13 years I learned far more than I ever imagined about how fundraising works. At times I felt like a spy—not many writers get to hobnob with millionaires and philanthropists. I learned how they think, and what they seek. After my son graduated and launched himself into life, I went back to freelance writing, only now I included grant writing in my toolbox.

TLA: What can students in this class expect?

DS: My mission in this class is to enable every student to find a grant to apply for and to complete (or come close to completing) the first draft of a grant proposal.I also hope you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t when it comes to writing a proposal. I’ll provide you with resources to help you find the right grant for you, and to understand the grant writing process and how to best write a successful proposal. Students will do a few very brief exercises to help them get a sense of where they’re going, and then they will work through writing their own proposals. We’ll post our work on class forums and provide support and feedback to each other. I’ll guide and also provide feedback. By the way, if you’ve already got a grant in mind that you want to seek, that’s fantastic! You can work on that proposal for the class.

TLA: Why might this class be important at this time in the world?

DS: The world needs to hear our voices, yet we can’t put the time into doing our work unless we have the funding we need to support our work. We all need to eat, right? My fervent hope is that this class will provide students with the foundation they need to launch themselves into a more secure financial future.

TLA: Is there anything else about the class you would like share?

DS: Writing a grant proposal can be downright scary. It can feel like we’re sending ourselves out into the world naked to be judged. That’s why one of my top priorities for this class is for all of us to be gentle as well as honest in our feedback and interactions with each other. We are here to enable each other to succeed. We are NOT competing. There is more than enough money out there for all of us.

About the Teacher

A poet, journalist, and political activist, Diane Silver often pays her mortgage by working as a grant-writer and in fundraising (known as “development” to fundraising insiders). In her career, Diane has helped two universities raise hundreds of millions of dollars and written proposals that have won funding for a variety of clients. Her online course, Grant Writing and Fundraising Communications, and her fundraising writing win high praise.

“Diane Silver is the most talented development writer I’ve known in more than 20 years of work,” says Geni Holmes Greiner, executive director of university events for Wake Forest University, and formerly with The Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Diane’s most recent creative work is a four-volume series of poetry called Your Daily Shot of Hope. (Meditations for an Age of Despair, published in January 2017; Meditations for Awakening, coming July 2017; Meditations for Transformation, September 2017; Meditations for Joy, November 2017.)

Sign up for Diane’s class here

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