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Entries Tagged as 'Advice'

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 · No 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 · 4 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

Grant Writing Confidential Goes to the Movies Part 3: Ghostbusters (Who Ya Gonna Call? Program Officers!)

October 19th, 2014 · No Comments

Ghostbusters was Jake’s favorite movie when he was a child. He watched the video at least a hundred times and it remains a classic of its type.* As Ray Parker put it in his incredibly catchy, eponymous Ghostbusters theme song, “When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!” There’s a Koanic [...]

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Tags: Advice

Collaboration Again: A Story From the Trenches

September 20th, 2014 · No Comments

We’re working on a project for a client who needs two things: a lot of data that isn’t easily publicly available and the dreaded letters of collaboration from other local providers (which we’ve written about in the context of Susan G. Komen, Mark Zuckerberg, and Community-Based Job Training). We have to be vague on the [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Government

In Forming a Nonprofit Board, Think “Goldilocks”

September 7th, 2014 · 1 Comment

When forming a new nonprofit, one of the first issues confronting the sponsor as they apply for a state charter and draft articles of incorporation and bylaws is: How many board members should the new organization have? As with most things relating to nonprofits and grant writing, while there’s no definitive right answer, there are [...]

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Tags: Advice · Nonprofits · Questions