On Wednesday, March 30, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the Bernstein Institute for Human Rights co-hosted a talk on grant-writing strategies for human rights practitioners and people working in the field of public interest more broadly, as part of its skills-building series for Law students. The series was organized through the academic year 2016-2017 in response to requests from NYU law students focused on public interest law and human rights for more opportunities to develop practical skills to improve their competitiveness in their fields of interest following graduation.
The workshop was led by Andrea Lynch, a Program Officer at the Foundation for a Just Society with 15 years of experience working in private and public foundations, non-profit organizations, and international agencies, both in the US and in the Global South.
Lynch coached the students in a small-group setting that allowed for an interactive and experience-based approach to the issue of grant-writing. The workshop covered the best strategies to identify potential funders, ways to assess whether there is a fit between a call and a project, and the ins and outs of actual grant writing. Lynch explained the organizational make-up of foundations, how to best interact with them as a grant-seeker, and stressed the importance of having a deep understanding both of one’s own priorities and position in the organizational landscape, as well as of those of the funders. Based on her long experience as a grant-maker, Lynch also provided workshop participants with hands-on tips for writing strong requests and engaged students in a practical writing exercises that allowed them to apply the insights of the workshop to a real-life situation. The dynamic Q&A afterward underlined the importance of paying more systematic attention in student curricula to this important component of working in the domain of public interest.