What Saturday Night Live can teach you about grant writing strategy

I tend to watch politics pretty closely.  And lately there's been a lot to watch. It's astonishing. It's disturbing. It's mesmerizing.

And it's FULL of strategery.

No, not strategy. Strategery.

It's a term coined on SNL during the 2000 election between George W Bush and Al Gore. (Yet another despicable GOP presidential candidate, but I bet there's a lot of nostalgia for that brand of ineptitude right now)

So what's the difference between strategy and strategery? There was a great little article in Forbes a few years ago that described it.

A strategy is a plan of action designed to meet a big goal. Strategery, on the other hand, is more like a series of poorly thought out or rushed plans disguised as strategy. 

Like, for example, building a border wall. Or not prepping for a televised debate because it'll make you seem "childish."

So what do strategy and strategery have to do with grant writing? Here are some examples:

Strategy: Taking a look at your funding and project needs and drawing up a grant writing plan for competitions over the next 12 months.

Strategery: Finding a grant competition with a deadline in the next three weeks and quickly designing a project that uses the maximum allowable budget.

Strategy: Blocking out writing time in advance and giving collaborators and supporters plenty of notice to write their sections or letters.

Strategery: Writing flat-out for three weeks and asking people you've never worked with before to write letters of support because they'll look good on the application.

We've all used strategery instead of strategy at some point. But I'm telling you: strategery gets you in trouble. It gives you the illusion of a plan when one doesn't exist. It makes you reactive instead of proactive.

Which leads to a sh*t ton of stress.

Or a full-blown, internationally televised epic meltdown.

The consequences of strategery in your case won't be as dire as they are for The Donald, but it's worth paying attention to where you might be using strategery instead of strategy.

I used grant writing as an example, but this concept applies just as well to any other writing you might do.


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    So tell me in the comments: where do you use strategery in your writing instead of strategy? What could you do differently?