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Entries from February 2008

What Does a Grant Proposal Look Like Exactly? 13 Easy Steps to Formatting a Winning Proposal

February 25th, 2008 · 8 Comments

I was having dinner with some friends who are consultants for a multinational company, and they wanted to know who handles the “graphics” in our proposals. They are used to preparing elaborate business presentations and were startled to learn that the proposals we prepare are usually simple text documents. That got me thinking about how [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Why Do People Give to Nonprofits and Charities? And Other Unanswerable Questions

February 20th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This month’s Giving Carnival—discussed here previously—asks why people give and what motivates giving. I have no idea and suspect no one else does, either, but that’s not reason not to speculate. I assume that some combination of altruism, kindness, self-interest, pride, and noblesse oblige motives giving. Slate talks about the “immeasurable value of philanthropy” here: [...]

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Tags: Grants · Links

Agricultural Cooperatives Live

February 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Reporters have been writing about the death of small family farm since at least the Great Depression, and governmental efforts have been underway to save it for almost as long if not longer. Combine that with perennial grant programs—which we’ve written about before (and here too)—and you’ll find many odd patterns. Recently I found the [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Links

Grant Writing Credentials Redux

February 13th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Two comments on Credentials for Grant Writers—If I Only Had A Brain caught my attention: one is an elegantly written response challenging some aspects of my argument and the other a screechy attack. In the first response, Marcia Ford agrees with my statements about “bogus credentials,” but defends the credential offered by the American Association [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Grants · Questions

Another Example of the Wonderful Past

February 12th, 2008 · No Comments

Last night I was reading Madame Bovary and found another example of the cultural phenomenon I described in The Wonderful Past, which is the tendency to compare the present to superior days: “[Canivet] belonged to that great surgical school created Bichat – that generation, now vanished, of philosopher-practitioners, who cherished their art with fanatical love [...]

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Tags: Grants · Stories

Evoke The Wonderful Past in Your Needs Assessment

February 10th, 2008 · No Comments

In Umberto Eco’s fabulous The Name of the Rose, Adso of Melk says that “In the past men were handsome and great (now they are children and dwarfs), but this is merely one of the many facts that demonstrate the disaster of an aging world. The young no longer want to study anything, learning is [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Stories

Déjà vu All Over Again—Vacant Houses and What Not to Do About Them

February 7th, 2008 · 3 Comments

The Wall Street Journal ran “As Houses Empty, Cities Seek Ways, To Fill the Void” (link goes to a blog that copied the article—see the original here) by Michael Corkery and Ruth Simon on February 6, 2008. They document the large number of vacant and abandoned houses in many American cities and attempts by public [...]

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Tags: Advice · Links · Stories

Know Your Charettes! Especially Near the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program

February 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

It’s not unusual for an RFP to ask how community feedback was incorporated into the design of a project, and a good answer is to have some form of group activity feedback meeting. Notice the last four words: “group activity feedback meeting.” What a vile phrase, even by proposal standards. Don’t use such a phrase—call [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Credentials for Grant Writers from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute—If I Only Had A Brain

February 1st, 2008 · 37 Comments

A manager at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, an agency we sometimes work for, recently sent me a link to the Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI), an organization that offers “credentials” for would-be grant writers. He wanted my reaction to the idea of grant writing credentials, which I gave him [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Questions