I did some grant reporting last month. (It’s riveting first sentences like that which keep you reading, I know!) Reporting to foundations that fund general operating expenses is one of my favorite things to do. Here’s why:
The world is a busy place, and non-profits are formed to serve its needs. And the world has a lot of needs, and endless ideas for creative ways to address them. So it becomes easy to think that the work you are doing is not enough, because there is and always will be, more to do. Do you have that voice in your head? “I’m not doing enough, well enough, or fast enough. If all these needs still exist, it must be a sign of some deficiency.” It’s not a particularly healthy way to think, and unfortunately, it can be an easy voice to listen to.
So, you may ask, what is the antidote to this potentially panic inducing idea that you aren’t ever going to be able to do enough? The answer is easy – it’s grant reporting!
Sure, I’m being slightly ironic, but it is immensely healthy and satisfying to look back on a year, acknowledge challenges, and really articulate successes. And Clayworks has had many this past year. I’ll spare you the entire list of fun numbers and programs, but I will share with you my two favorite parts of the Maryland State Arts Council report that I just finished. One is where I got to write that from July 2018 – June 2019, Clayworks exhibited 606 works of art by 208 artists. The other part is the form that asks for addresses for locations of services. That part took a while because Clayworks is running a lot of programs in a lot of places throughout the City and county.
It’s August. Take a moment. Breathe. Reflect. Smile.
And get ready for what comes next.