During a period of unemployment, Gannon volunteered to write a grant for a local school district. She had no experience in grant writing, so she took a class at a local library to learn the basics. Her unpaid efforts helped land a $68,000 grant. A second successful volunteer effort was for a grant seven times larger. Gannon, who now works as a hospital foundation executive, didn't see those efforts as charity but rather as an opportunity to learn new skills "at someone else's risk," she says.