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Meet Andrew Brown, Grants Management Assistant at Meyer Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Q. How did you get into grants management?
I started at the Meyer Foundation in 2010 as a temporary worker, managing the front desk and the Foundation’s conference space. While getting to know the grantees using our conference space, I became interested in our grantmaking processes and within three months, I was hired to assist the grants manager.
Q. What’s your background (education and work)?
Before I joined the Meyer Foundation, I was a recent college graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. During my college years, I waited on tables and helped manage an upscale sushi restaurant in Richmond, VA.
Q. What’s your favorite part of the grants management job?
The never ending surprises! From database issues to unannounced changes with grantees to paper requests delivered by hand (even though we haven’t accepted paper requests for years). There’s always something that comes up unexpectedly. I like it. It keeps me on my toes.
Q. What frustrates you about your job?
There comes a time for people in the grants management field when they will have to choose which grants database they’ll want to work with going into the future. There also comes a time when you get one and it doesn’t do all of the things you thought it could do…
Q. What do you wish your colleagues and coworkers knew about what you do?
That grants management is multifaceted, not one dimensional. While most of the staff is focusing on a single grant round at any given time, those in grants management are typically looking at two or more grant cycles because of reporting, multi-year awards, etc.
Q. What do you wish every grants manager knew about their job?
I wish EVERY grants manager knew how important they are to their organization. The grants manager has a very behind-the-scenes role which sometimes makes it easy to overlook by others. YOUR JOB IS VERY IMPORTANT! If it weren’t for you, can you imagine how the grants process would go from start to finish?