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Entries from January 2008

RFP Absurdity and Responding to Narrative Questions

January 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I’ve written about stylistically bad language from government RFPs, but more common than the outright bad is the silly, the coy, the euphemistic, and the ridiculous. Now comes a fine example: section 1.d. on page 30 of the California 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) – Elementary & Middle Schools narrative: Explain how all organizations [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Foundations and the Future: How Funder Incentives Affect Nonprofits, Grants, and Grant Writing

January 23rd, 2008 · 9 Comments

New Voices Of Philanthropy is running an occasional series in which they invite bloggers involved in the nonprofit world to contribute a post to a group comment. I’m tardy to this month’s question: Will the Foundation of the Future only fund programs that benefit puppies and children? Will it be run by people that have [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Phoenix Programs

January 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

I noted earlier in Zombie Funding that programs can dwindle from a huge amount of available money to virtually nothing, but they can also rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. Isaac also commented on this phenomenon in Zombie Funding – Six Tana Leaves for Life, Nine for Motion. Now I’ve seen a more recent [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Links

The Goal of Writing Objectives is to Achieve Positive Outcomes (Say What?)

January 18th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Writing the goals and objectives section of a grant proposal is usually a daunting task for the novice grant writer. Compounding the challenge is that almost every government or foundation Request for Proposal (RFP) requires some statement of goals and objectives, and if not required, should be included in most cases. So, here is a [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

The Perils of Perfectionism

January 16th, 2008 · 4 Comments

In The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Alex Ross says: “Studio heads were confident that Stravinsky’s name would prove a box office draw; Louis B. Mayer reportedly agreed to give the composer a whooping $100,000, which would be well over a million dollars in today’s money. In a review of the composer’s [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Bad Government English

January 11th, 2008 · No Comments

I realize that I could collect examples of bad English from the Federal Register all day long and that doing so is as challenging as picking a fight with six-year-olds, but this sentence from the Department of Education’s Charter School Program stands out: The purpose of the CSP is to increase national understanding of the [...]

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Tags: Grants · Stories

Self-Esteem—What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing

January 8th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Roberta Stevens commented on my recent post, Writing Needs Assessments: How to Make it Seem Like the End of the World, by saying she was “having trouble finding statistics on low self esteem in girls ages 12-19.” This got me thinking about the pointlessness of “self-esteem” as a metric in grant proposals. A simple Google [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Stories

More on Charities

January 4th, 2008 · 1 Comment

A previous post linked to a Wall Street Journal post on charities; now the paper released a full article (may not be accessible to non-subscribers) on the subject of how donors evaluate the usefulness of a program, arguing that donors are becoming more engaged in measurement. One thing missing: statistics showing this is actually part [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Links

More on Drugs

January 2nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

Drug use, like healthcare and a number of other modern political background noises, offer endless fodder for debate and study, especially when mixed with teenagers. Now the New York Times has an article about teenagers, risky behaviors, and why some programs aimed at teens are likely to fail: For example, a study by researchers at [...]

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Tags: Grants · Links