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Entries from June 2008

Project NUTRIA: A Study in Project Concept Development

June 30th, 2008 · 9 Comments

Grant writers are often called on to develop project concepts with little or no input from clients or program specialists. In other words, we often invent the project concept as we write, within the confines of those pesky RFPs. We do it by taking one or more problems and applying standard implementation approaches to produce [...]

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Tags: Grants · How-to

Why Can’t I Find a Grant Writer? How to Identify and Seize that Illusive Beast

June 22nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

(Editor’s note: this post deals primarily with employees. We’ve also written a post on the subject of grant writing consultants to complement this one.) Last week’s post deals with the tools grant writers should have, and although it focuses on grant writing, it’s really about equipping almost any intellectual worker, or, in Richard Florida’s atrocious [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Tools of the Trade—What a Grant Writer Should Have

June 15th, 2008 · 7 Comments

A budding grant writer who is enrolled in a Nonprofit Management Masters program recently e-mailed me to ask if she should spend $4,000 on grant writing classes. Regular readers know how little I think of grant writing training, so I advised her to take some undergrad courses in English composition/journalism and spend her $4k on [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Grants · Questions

Links for 6-11-08

June 11th, 2008 · No Comments

* The Wall Street Journal ran “What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart? Finland’s teens score extraordinarily high on an international test. American educators are trying to figure out why” (the article is accessible for subscribers only). Part of the answer may include a culture that values reading, but the article also says: Finnish high-school senior [...]

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Tags: Grants · Links

Deconstructing the Question: How to Parse a Confused RFP

June 8th, 2008 · 4 Comments

The breathless SAMHSA RFP, “Targeted Capacity Expansion Program for Substance Abuse Treatment and HIV/AIDS Services (Short Title: TCE/HIV)” (.pdf link to the RFP) has already been mentioned and also features one of my favorite proposal verbal quirks: the automatic success assumption. The last bullet in Section C (page 26) says: Demonstrate success in referring, and [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Stories

Blue Highways: Reflections of a Grant Writer Retracing His Steps 35 Years Later

June 1st, 2008 · 2 Comments

One of my favorite books is William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways, an ode to the spiritual healing powers of exploring America and one’s self by driving the roads literally less traveled. From my first road trip at age 16 with my buddy Tom in his ’53 Chevy from Minneapolis north towards the Iron Range, I’ve [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Stories