Collaboration Counts!

Our Science Department is writing a grant. The Request for Proposals requires proof of cross-departmental participation in the writing process even though the funds go directly to Science classrooms. Needless to say, there’s some resistance from the other departments. Why would a grantor make this requirement?

Many of today’s grant sponsors are placing a heavy emphasis on systemic change through team building. This often means that they want proof that the programs they fund will be supported by all staff, even those who may not initially see direct benefits from the funding. Why? Schools where collaboration and team-building are the norm tend to be more effective overall than schools where this is not the case. Increased communication means that staff is more likely to cross departmental and grade level lines to develop proposals that will impact more than a small group of students, leveraging funds for maximum success. And, when it comes time to sustain a program locally, schools where the staff sees themselves as stakeholders in the total program are more likely to redirect funds to support programs that have made a difference, even when it means changing budget priorities.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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