Asking for Help and Getting It!

Asking for Help

Asking for Help and Getting It

By Kim Tso, GPC of Velocity Ink, LLC

Right now, I’m in over my head. Too many clients and too many commitments squeezed into too little time. It’s just too much. I need to recalibrate.

Sometimes, it’s the opposite. I’ve had periods of not enough work, not enough stimulation, where loneliness and boredom reign.

Grant writing work is cyclical, but all of the cycles are independent of each other. To create that ever-elusive “work-life balance,” they need to sync together more like gears in a finely-tuned machine. And to make sure the whole contraption doesn’t come to a grinding halt, we need some good grease – the ability to ask for help and receive it.

I am guest hosting the Twitter #Grantchat on Asking for Help and Getting it. We will be sharing tips and strategies for identifying when we need help, where to find it, and how to ask for it. By help, I mean it in broad terms – with our writing, project management, the kids, our health, careers, you name it. I hope you’ll join me in the conversation on Twitter or in my Blab live interview immediately afterwards.

In case you can’t make it, I’ll give away the recipe to my secret sauce now. I’ve been an independent grant writer for twelve years, and I’ve had to learn about when I need help and how to ask for it through trial and error. I’ve found it’s best to assume the following:

  • People want to help you. I’ve always found that people are more generous than I expect them to be – even strangers.


  • Asking for help is not imposing on others; it’s delegating shared responsibilities. Often, especially when it comes to my family, I hate asking for help with housework or errands because my family is busy and stressed-out, too. But then I remember (usually because I’m reminded by my partner) that taking care of our household is a shared responsibility, not mine alone. And my family would rather know that they need to take on more than have me break down in a sobbing heap trying to do it all by myself.


  • When we don’t have the help we need, then life is inviting us to widen our circle of community. Our networks may be extensive, but there is always room for growth. It’s not that I don’t have someone who can help; I just haven’t met them yet, and it’s time to reach out.

So what do you do when you need help? What are your best tips and strategies? Share them with me in the comments or join us on #Grantchat and #AllThingsGrants


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Kimberly Tso, GPC

President and Owner at Velocity Ink
As the president/owner at Velocity Ink, LLC, Kim Tso provides grant writing and strategic planning services to progressive nonprofit organizations. Her grant writing services have garnered more than $157 million in cash resources for her clients since 2004. Kim empowers others with the tools, skills and information they need to write successful grants. She is the author of Fix It and Get Funded: 10 Do-It-Yourself Repairs for Grant Proposals. She serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy where she teaches grant writing classes. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

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