Quiz – What Kind of Grants Manager Are You?

    There are many different types of grants managers in the world, and we have worked with them all. Take this quick quiz to find out what type you are!

1. Which photograph looks like your workspace?

Photograph by Jeffrey Beall

Photograph by Jeffrey Beall

















2. When it comes to technology….


  1. My telegraph and I are very happy. And it doesn’t need constant updating!
  2. I let my colleagues handle that part. We each have our strengths!
  3. I can’t get enough – by the way, have you seen my new gadget?!
  4. It helps me do my job, but it doesn’t consume me.
  5. I didn’t get your email. I think I was off that week.
  6. I love my computer but hate my phone.

3. How do you like to communicate?


  1. I’m too busy thinking to communicate.
  2. I want to make sure everyone is involved in the conversation.
  3. Constantly, and with 140 characters or less.
  4. Let’s get coffee and catch up!
  5. Sorry, did you say something?
  6. I’ll email you.

4. Working with other people….


  1. Would require me to explain too much. And when would I ever find time to organize my papers so I could hand them off to someone else?
  2. Is how you get things done. Nobody has time to do it all on her own!
  3. Is great… on Skype!
  4. Helps me sanity check and make sure I’m moving in the right direction .
  5. Oh, was there a meeting?
  6. Do I have to? I’d really rather not.

5. Who is your favorite Sherlock Holmes character?

Sherlock Holmes Portrait Paget

  1. Lestrade
  2. The Baker Street Irregulars
  3. Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch edition, of course)
  4. Dr. Watson
  5. Irene Adler
  6. Moriarty

6. When faced with a deadline….


  1. Did I just miss a deadline? I’m sure I wrote that down somewhere…
  2. We’ll all be working on it until the last minute.
  3. I have reminders programmed on my phone and computer.
  4. I try to get most things done early, but always seem to have a few things to finish at the last minute.
  5. I’ll surely be on vacation that day…
  6. I lock myself in my office to finish – I’ll still be there at 11:59 p.m.

7. Are you financially savvy?


  1. Where did I leave my wallet?
  2. We have a collective 45 years of financial management experience.
  3. My Quickbooks records are linked to my Mint account, which is linked to my Apple Watch. I can email you a report.
  4. My organization has a series of checks and balances in place and we try to make responsible decisions.
  5. I know I spent the money, but don’t remember on what…probably travel…
  6. I balance my checkbook every month. Can you please stop interrupting me with questions?

8. When it comes to completing a project, which best describes you?


  1. I don’t think I’ve ever COMPLETED a project, but I’ve got lots underway! Speaking of which, I’m late for my ten o’clock!
  2. We weren’t sure who was responsible for submitting the final paperwork. I think someone on our committee was supposed to call you about that last month…
  3. I have a detailed digital record of every project I’ve completed – and you can check my Instagram account for pics!
  4. If it’s gotta get done, it’s gonna get done.
  5. Was there something I was supposed to do?
  6. I’ll be tying up all the loose ends by myself – as usual. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to close the door so I can get some work done…

If the majority of your answers were 1, you are the Absent-Minded Grants Manager!


    • You are very intellectual — great at research and analysis!
    • You are capable of thinking up grand projects and new ideas.
    • Your “Eureka!” moments dazzle coworkers.


    • You are more comfortable relying on yourself than on a team.
    • You are usually focused on the process more than the finished product.
    • You can be distracted by competing priorities.

Tips for success:

    • Consider using calendars, auto-reminders, and to-do lists to help keep track of your grant projects and keep them all moving forward.
    • Enlist a colleague’s help to check on your progress, review drafts, and provide feedback. Sometimes if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you need to find someone with a flashlight!
    • Touch base often with your project monitors at awarding agencies to make sure you’re dotting all your i’s and crossing all your t’s. Remember – your project monitor is there to help!

If the majority of your answers were 2, you are a Grants-Manager-by-Committee!


    • Lots of expertise sits around your committee table, and everyone is committed to the project.
    • You can distribute the workload so nobody has to take on too much – you know how busy everyone is!
    • Everyone is welcome to participate, and you love getting new volunteers!


    • It’s easy to have a miscommunication or to lose track of who’s doing what. Sometimes things fall through the cracks.
    • There is such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen, and conflict within the team can easily derail a project.
    • Working as a group can be very time-consuming.

Tips for success:

    • Every boat needs a captain. Make one person clearly responsible for overseeing the entire project. This also creates a single point of contact for your grant monitors from awarding agencies, which they LOVE!
    • Draw up a list of assignments and deadlines for each team member, and ask for status reports.
    • When submitting applications and reports, make sure that you have a single editor so that your materials have a cohesive voice and make sense for the outside reader.

If the majority of your answers were 3, you are a Virtual Grants Manager!


    • You can easily navigate online grant applications, troubleshoot tech glitches, and create electronic paper trails.
    • You always have the most up-to-date hardware, software, and gadgets, and know how to use them. Everything is always at your fingertips!
    • You can easily create beautiful, professional-looking graphics, reports, and virtual resources.


    • You tend to prefer virtual collaboration to actual meetings.
    • You can be distracted by technology, or you can forget that not everyone else has the same instant access to technology as you do.
    • You might lose track of paper documents – including important documents from your grant monitor that will require your ACTUAL signature!

Tips for success:

    • Remember that while everyone loves visually beautiful documents, your grant monitors in the fields of history and historic preservation value good writing, strong content, and well-documented sources.
    • Not everyone is as tech-savvy as you are – some of us still voluntarily keep, or are required to keep, paper files. If you prefer to receive documents electronically, let your grant monitors know – we might not always be able to comply, but we’re happy to go paperless when we can!
    • Be sure to keep track of receipts and other paper documentation (scanning them is great!) so that you have them available at the end of your project.

If the majority of your answers were 4, you are a Middle-of-the-Road Grants Manager!


    • You can get yourself organized and motivated – your applications and reports are timely and solid.
    • You know where to find the expertise you need when you need it, and you generally have a good network of contacts.
    • You are great at multitasking!


    • You have a lot of irons in the fire, and you aren’t sure what will happen if ALL those grant applications you wrote get funded at once.
    • You have a hard time saying “no” even when you are already stretched too thin!
    • Everyone around you relies on your capability and expertise, so they tend to stay well out of your way, assuming you can handle things without your help.

Tips for success:

    • Discuss with your grant monitors from your awarding agencies how best to prioritize your work. Strategize and reduce stress!
    • Figure out what YOU do best and find ways to delegate the rest. Figure out how you can use technological AND human resources to make your life easier.
    • Do your research and look for partnerships and synergies – don’t duplicate the efforts of others.

If the majority of your answers were 5, you are an Absentee Grants Manager!


    • You have lots of time…. For things other than grants.
    • You have lots of energy …. For things other than grants.
    • You can always be counted on… to be away for key deadlines.


    • Your project monitor has a very high stress level… because you haven’t called or e-mailed in so long.
    • Your mail, e-mail, and voice mail inboxes are always full … because you haven’t checked them recently.
    • You’re always excited about your next project … but it’s uncertain whether you’ll finish the one you’re already working on.

Tips for success:

    • Successfully finish one grant before applying for another. Funders like to know that you have a good track record!
    • When you need to be away, make sure your project monitor knows who to contact in your absence, and make sure that person has the authority to make decisions, sign documents, etc. Don’t leave your project – and the project monitor from your funding agency – high and dry!
    • Strategize about how to get your project done and be realistic when requesting grant extensions. If it just doesn’t fit into your schedule, maybe it makes sense to turn down a grant and apply again later – there is no shame in that!

If the majority of your answers were 6, you are a Lone Grants Manager!


    • You never say “no”.
    • You are the unquestioned master and commander of your project. You have every detail in your head.
    • You are capable of getting a lot of work done – particularly if everyone leaves you to your own devices.


    • You never say “no”.
    • You don’t feel that you can rely on anyone else.
    • Conditions have to be ideal for you to do your best work – and when are they ever ideal?

Tips for Success:

    • Make sure you take a breather from your stuffy office every once in a while. Attending a grant workshop would be a great way to get out! If you stay in your office, you might not realize that the rules for the program changed since last year, or the rules for various programs at the same agency are, in fact, quite different!
    • Asking for help is not an admission of failure! Start by working with a core group of people that you trust and enjoy working with. The only thing better than ONE person with a passion is a GROUP of people who share a passion!
    • Don’t be afraid to reach out to ask questions or just run a sanity check. Pick up the phone. Your project monitor would love to hear from you!
    • See also Tip #2 for the Absentee Grants Manager.

Now that you have taken this highly scientific study and know what type of grant manager you are, perhaps you can use our typology to do a little matchmaking. Lone Ranger? Perhaps you need to meet Miss Committee…

One thought on “Quiz – What Kind of Grants Manager Are You?

  1. thanks for this summary – it’s fun to see our own characteristics witnesses and to think about how we can attract people with the other senses to our next grant project

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