I’m not going to lie. I’m competitive. One year in my 20s, my New Year’s resolution was to be a better loser. I’ve grown a lot since then.

Recently I had an inspiring chat with–Tara Gohr President and CEO of the Grant Plant. As more clients and community members have begun to ask me for projections and trends, I’m connecting with funders, consultants, and other service providers to compare notes on the state of our nonprofit sector.

Tara and I discussed grant seeking and grant making in the time of Covid. Our conversation ranged from broad trends locally and nationally, to challenges facing New Mexico organizations seeking funding (see my blog on future’s thinking).

Yes, we BOTH run grant writing shops. Mine is small (3 team members); hers is medium sized (13 team members). We both serve nonprofits and for profits in New Mexico through grant writing. We have different specialties, interests, and expertise. Our service offerings are not the same however, they DO overlap.

We agreed that grant seeking and grant making during COVID seems to be characterized by more collaboration and less competition.
More organizations are reducing duplication, partnering, and strengthening their community ties. More funders are creating funds together and streamlining their processes. In general, there’s a high community feel to grants these days!

The Grant Plant is technically a competitor of mine. That doesn’t mean that we can’t, or don’t communicate. I’ve referred clients to them. I’ve attended their events. I have the highest respect for the founders and the work they are doing to attract funding to New Mexico. 

Guess what? Tara extended the offer to me to call her if we got stuck in unwieldy portals or if our smaller firm ended up in a pothole that they’ve successfully navigated out of.

But wait? Wouldn’t they want us to FAIL so that they could grab our clients and GROW. That’s not the mindset here. The mindset is: There is enough for everyone. We can both grow. We can choose to focus on our similar missions: to attract funding to New Mexico. WE can both serve our community through helping grow revenue streams. There’s room to collaborate with your “competition” too. That’s allowed. It’s a mindset. 

What would collaboration with your competition look like?




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