No One Works Alone
William H. Whyte, Jr., in The Organization Man (University
of Pennsylvania Press, 2002), said that the ideal affiliation limits
total involvement in any organization to the minimum necessary for
performance of essential functions. The grantseeker must strike
the right degree of compromise between the freedom to work on one’s
own and the demands placed on one by other individuals and institutions.
This compromise may be exemplified in part by the clash between
the purity of one’s own ideas versus the possible meddling influence
of the funder's own requirements, which eventually may diverge from
your own. When the concept of affiliation is initially introduced
to the grantseeker, it can be quite frightening. You may immediately
conjure up visions of being swallowed up by vast organizational
structures and of someone else stealing or taking credit for your
ideas. Yet, as an individual grantseeker, it is important that you
learn not to view yourself as a victim of current trends in grantmaking.
Affiliation with a sponsor need not stifle one’s work but should
serve as an adjunct to your attempt to seek funding.
David Riesman, in The Lonely Crowd, Revised edition: A Study
of the Changing American Character (Yale University Press, 2001),
asserted that an individual's real work the field
into which he or she would like to throw all emotional and creative
energies based on his or her own gifts and character cannot
coincide in this day and age with what one gets paid for doing.
A response to this assertion is why not? The individual can
stem the tide of collective work by viewing institutional affiliation
in the proper circumstances as a positive, rather than a negative,
component of grantsmanship.