How to find money for your project: PART 1 – Dream Big!

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Jim Hegarty, P.E.

This is the first post of a five-part blog series by Jim Hegarty, P.E., Prein&Newhof’s Grants and Financing Specialist.

When I was a young engineer, one of my mentors told me this: “There’s no such thing as a money problem, only idea problems.”

In other words…“Good ideas attract money.”

I like to ask my public-sector clients what they would do if money were no object. To start, I have them make a wish list. Write everything down. Everything they want to accomplish for their community.

Why? It is easier to find money on purpose than to rely on luck. It surprises me how many communities react to, rather than plan for, funding opportunities or announcements. A few years ago,The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 produced a piranha-like feeding frenzy, and the eventual winners were largely those whose projects were shovel-ready.

Planned. Designed. Ready to go.

Defeatists don’t win grants. Visualize the things you want to happen, so when opportunity knocks, your projects are planned, designed, and ready to go.

CHALLENGE:

Gather your staff and community leaders and start dreaming. What would you do if you had the money to do it? Write it down. Everything you can think of. In my next posts, I will suggest some ideas to help you bring your dreams to reality.

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