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Entries Tagged as 'Advice'

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 · 1 Comment

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 · 1 Comment

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

Grant Writer as Ghost Writer: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Conundrum

August 1st, 2014 · 5 Comments

At our most basic level, we grant writers are nothing more than ghost writers. Ghost writing is sometimes referred to as the world’s second oldest profession, and there’s probably some truth to that. While ghost writers haunt (sorry about that) every strain of writing, ghost writing is largely veiled from the real world. Andrew Crofts’s [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Stories

Issues Facing Old-Line Nonprofits Differ from Those Facing New Nonprofits: Think Bambi Meets Godzilla

June 29th, 2014 · No Comments

We’ve written various posts on the challenges of starting a new nonprofit (like this one), mostly because we get lots of calls from fairly new nonprofits or folks trying to get one off the ground. Last week, however, I got a call from an agency in a large east coast city that’s been operating for [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Grants · Nonprofits

Until you get a call from your congressman and sign a contract, grant notifications don’t count

June 21st, 2014 · 2 Comments

Last week, a client got a federal funding notification e-mail for a proposal we wrote a few months ago, and and the client started celebrating… until an hour later, when the Federal department sent a second e-mail, recalling the first and saying our client hadn’t really been funded. That hurts, but it’s also not the [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Nonprofits