When Do you Say No?

Our technology coordinator has an opportunity to bring a large grant to my site, but the proposal is really her personal project and she doesn't have the staff's support. Should I encourage her to proceed and hope for the best?

It's difficult to turn down a funding opportunity, particularly in bad financial times. However, a large one-person project will probably be sustained only as long as that one person is involved.

As the schools' leader, you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Is this a project that can truly benefit students if it has such limited support? What would happen if the coordinator left your site before the funding period ended? Why isn't the staff supportive?

Before encouraging her to proceed, you need to hammer out the answers to these questions and others that will probably arise in your conversations with her. If she cannot develop a support base for the project, it may be best to walk away from this grant and find another opportunity that is a better match for your school.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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