Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words.
Malin L. Bergman is a grant writer for ACE Programs for the Homeless, Inc. in New York.
Here is her typical day:
Before 8:00 am: Yoga. Breakfast. Walk the dog.
8:00 am – 10:00 am: Every morning, I grab a Citi Bike from the dock across the street from my apartment and ride to work! Conveniently, there is a dock right outside our offices as well! I usually start my day at 9 am.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: The first thing I do is make some instant coffee and open my (color-coded and meticulously detailed) grants calendar to see what I have to do next.
I am the only grant writer for our organization and also write the copy for all our print collateral. If I have to write a newsletter, appeal letter or anything else that starts with a blank page (as opposed to grant proposals, where I can usually recycle at least some existing copy for new requests), I do it in the morning, which is when I tend to be more focused and creative.
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: I have lunch at my desk every day around 12 pm. While eating, I read fundraising blogs and check out new RFPs. Lunch takes about 20-30 minutes, then I resume whatever I was doing before my break.
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Writing, writing, writing and editing. Just the way I like it!
I have meetings scheduled with my supervisor (our Development Director) every Thursday morning, as well as bi-weekly development team meetings and general staff meetings every other Wednesday or Thursday, but our office culture is pretty relaxed and you can usually just walk over to whoever you need to speak without setting up a meeting. If possible, I like to have these small-talk sessions in the afternoon.
After 4:00 pm: Around 4 pm, I’m usually pretty tired. This is when I place phone calls to foundations and/or corporations to discuss possible funding opportunities, receive feedback on proposals that were rejected, and other miscellaneous stuff. About 2-3 days/week, depending on how busy I’ve been with grant writing (submissions, feedback, any other progress), I write a brief summary of today’s grant calendar changes and email it to the Development Director and our Executive Director before I leave for the day at 5 pm-ish.
I don’t mind working from home, but try to avoid it if I can. If I absolutely have to, I prefer to work at home on a Saturday or Sunday, rather than a weekday night. My productivity on a Sunday afternoon after yoga and/or a walk in the sun is a lot higher than on a weekday night following nine hours in the office!
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.