Means to an End vs. Fraud?

I. As a grant writer I am regularly called upon to invent programs, initiatives, modules, etc to fit the requirements and interests of various funders and RFPs. Our org has a fairly broad scope of work made broader by the pandemic. I have been in my job for over a year now, and in that time I have needed to build subject area expertise in a LOT of different matters. As a former teacher, researcher, and curriculum designer I like this aspect of the work. I also like the workaday writing challenge of picking up and conjoining two often very unlike objects: funders' very specific manias vs. the org's majestically blundering imposture. Between the two is me–finding kernels of shared value to knit the two together, trying to subtly educate/make each better, shaking glitter over the union to make it sparkle.

But: I wonder how many others in this line of work are essentially doing 2 jobs–researching opportunities, organizing and writing proposals and all the rest + researching and developing programs??

II. The pandemic was rough on NPs in our sector. When I started, almost everyone had been fired or quit. Program managers etc were lacking, and the org still has high employee turnover. For awhile I was more or less OK with exaggerating our scope and effectiveness as a means to reassembling the team and keeping us afloat/there to serve folks when we "come roaring back". I helped double the budget in part using talents described above. I care about the people we try to help, and have really tried to do my part to improve program offerings.

But now: we aren't doing the work proposed / awarded in several grants, totaling probably .5mm. I know bc I wrote/designed those, and they were new for the org. They included some hires, and lots of staff trainings, none of which have taken place. Also: it seems like we describe 2 different lines of programming, get funded for those, and then 1 set is actually deployed. We have definitely grown from a staff of 12 or so to 30…but there are chronically vacant positions, very high staff turnover, yet the budget balance is zero come year-end. Finally: our programs are not structured in the way I was told they were. Whereas an organized system of discrete purpose-specific programs/Buckets was described to me by leadership–and subsequently polished up and sold by me to funders–I now see the org's program funds as more akin to an open barrel of beer slops from which penny beers are dipped ad hoc. I sort of trust our ceo/ED, and don't think fraud is happening. There are some very ambitious expansion and capital plans, it seems likely that money is being siphoned out of said "barrel" into those. Meanwhile: blase and underattended programming, low staff morale, and un-launched programs and initiatives continue…

My question is: how normal is this?? Is this a "me" thing–too uptight? In retrospect: I overestimated the power of the Contract to compel improvements and nudge staff towards implementing some of the Innovation we claim to be intuitively manifesting daily. I'm kind of shocked by the lack of follow-up / accountability to a lot of the funders. In previous jobs we mostly just did what we said we'd do–albeit less effectively/making less of a splash than either anticipated or reported. Current org is at a whole new level though, and I'm wondering if my next research project shouldn't be into protecting oneself from fraud allegations (??).

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