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Entries Tagged as 'Advice'

Standard At-Risk Youth or Ex-Offender Empowerment Program: Improve Lives Through “X!”

February 22nd, 2015 · 2 Comments

A standard pitch for at-risk youth empowerment grant proposals is simple: We’ll give youth access to X, and through their love of or learning about X they’ll become better students / scholars / workers / people. “X” can be any number of things: To name a few of the projects we’ve worked on over the [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Programs

Shorter Deadlines Are Sometimes Better for Organizations and Grant Writers

February 8th, 2015 · 1 Comment

It seems intuitive that having more time to complete a task would result in a better final product. But in grant writing—and other fields—that’s sometimes not the case. The reason is simple: more time sometimes allows organizations to edit their proposals into oblivion or let everyone contribute their “ideas,” no matter poorly conceived or how [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Grants · Writing

On the Importance of Internal Consistency in Grant Proposals

February 1st, 2015 · 1 Comment

As we’ve written about before, grant writing, like most artistic pursuits, is essentially a solitary endeavor. No matter how many preliminary group-think planning meetings or discussions occur, eventually one person will face a blank monitor and contemplate an often cryptic, convoluted RFP.* As a consequence of being written by a single person, most proposal first [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Writing

The Curse of Knowledge in the Proposal World

January 19th, 2015 · No Comments

Being too knowledgeable can actually hurt your proposal. At first glance that seems wrong: Isn’t knowing more better than knowing less? Does anyone want to hire a web developer who says he doesn’t know how databases work? In most situations these questions have obvious answers, but in writing knowing too much can be a hindrance [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Writing

Trying to Give Away Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) or Early Head Start (EHS)

January 11th, 2015 · 3 Comments

We worked on a bunch of New York City Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) and federal Early Head Start (EHS) proposals last year, so we read with interest Katie Taylor’s NYT story “In First Year of Pre-K Expansion, a Rush to Beat the School Bell.” New York is apparently having a tough time giving away valuable free [...]

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Tags: Advice · Education · Grants · Media

Don’t Piss Off Local Gatekeepers Who Stand Between You and Federal Grants

January 5th, 2015 · No Comments

While most federal grant proposals are submitted directly to the federal agency funding source, some require the blessing of a local gatekeeper. It pays to play nice with such gatekeepers. We’ve seen a number of local gatekeepers evolve over the years: Continuum of Care (CoC): As we’ve written before, CoCs are the gatekeepers to most [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Grants

We Might Start Seeing RFPs Again, Now That the Latest Spending Bill Passed the House

December 12th, 2014 · No Comments

Sharp-eyed readers of our email grant newsletter know that the last few months have seen few juicy federal RFPs appear. That’s not because we’re not looking for them—we are—but because Congress’s deadlock has meant that few federal agencies have been eager to put on RFP processes for programs that until funding for this fiscal year [...]

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Tags: Advice · Budgets · Government

Cultural Sensitivity, Cultural Insensitivity, and the “Big Bootie” Problem in Grant Writing

December 1st, 2014 · 2 Comments

This post is going to start in an incredibly boring fashion and then twist: Virtually every human and social service proposal, regardless of the target population, should at least nod to cultural sensitivity and related matters. Many RFPs specifically require applicants to address how project staff will be trained in cultural sensitivity and diversity to [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · Writing

Grant Writing Confidential Goes to the Movies 4: Titanic Edition and Sink-the-Ship mistakes

November 24th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Titanic is not actually one of my favorite movies, but I’m going to use it to illustrate a critical aspect of grant writing: you’ve got to know when you’re about to commit a sink the ship mistake. We’ve written about aspects of this before (see here, here, or here), but the issue is worth emphasizing [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants

Department of Education Grants Are All About Going to College and Completing A Four-Year Degree

November 16th, 2014 · 3 Comments

Certain things about grant writing can only be learned by reading between the lines: that requires reading individual RFPs carefully, reading many RFPs, interacting with various organizations, interacting with program officers, and the like. This is a post about reading Department of Education (DOE)* RFPs, which means reading “between the lines;” whatever else a particular [...]

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Tags: Advice · Education · Government