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Entries Tagged as 'Advice'

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

Talking About Progressive Ideals in Proposals: Money, Time, and Poverty in Grant Writing

June 15th, 2014 · 1 Comment

“No Money, No Time” helps set the cultural tone for the proposal world. In the proposal world—which does sometimes overlap with the real world—poor people spend time where richer people might spend money. Rich people are rich in many ways, but one is simple: their lives aren’t as organized around other people’s bureaucracies.* A nonprofit [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Grants · Media · Questions · Research · RFPs

The Challenges of Seeking Grants for a New Facility

May 27th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Facility grants are among the most difficult grants for a nonprofit to secure and almost impossible for a new organization with no track record. Last week, a guy in Atlanta called about grants for a transitional living facility for pregnant teens. I immediately asked the caller if his organization had received its IRS Letter of [...]

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Tags: Advice · Clients · Nonprofits · Stories

Collaboration is Often Inefficient: The Camille Paglia, Mark Zuckerberg, and Chris Christie examples

May 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Almost all RFPs include requirements for “collaboration” with local entities. Yet I recently read this from Camille Paglia: After endless quarrels with authority, prankish disruptiveness, and impatience with management and procedure, I now see that hierarchical as both beautiful and necessary. Efficiency liberates; egalitarianism tangles, delays, blocks, deadens. (Emphasis added.) Furthermore, in the fascinating article [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government

Someone in the Federal Government REALLY Wants School Kids Counseled, as the “School Climate Transformation Grant Program” Shows

May 11th, 2014 · No Comments

This week’s e-mail grant newsletter included this long-winded program title: “Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE): School Climate Transformation Grant Program: Local Educational Agency Grants.” The program’s purpose is to offer yet more school counseling, although the RFP uses 50 words where five will due; it says the purpose is to “develop, enhance, or [...]

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Tags: Advice · Education · Government · Grants · Programs

Speech Codes, Microagression and Grant Writing: Words that Shouldn’t (and Should) be Used in Proposals

May 8th, 2014 · 4 Comments

One of the most unfortunate changes in the academic world since I left the warm bosom of the University of Minnesota in the Great Frozen North over 40 years ago is the rise of so-called “hate speech codes.” These Orwellean codes purport to regulate speech to prevent “hate speech,” as defined by the local campus [...]

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Tags: Advice · Writing

Seliger’s Quick Guide to Setting Up a Nonprofit Corporation and Getting a 501(c)(3) letter (I Hope You’re Not in a Hurry)

May 1st, 2014 · 2 Comments

We get a couple of calls a week from folks saying, “I’m in the process of setting up a nonprofit to help _______.” We always say the same thing: “Do you have your IRS 501(c)(3) letter of determination of tax-exempt status, and, if not, have you applied to the IRS?” Too often the response is [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Nonprofits

Volunteers: Nonprofits Really Want Their Money, Not Their Bodies

April 20th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Today’s New York Times has a rarely expressed view (and, almost as rarely, a view that we share): that volunteering is largely a waste of time. In it, Aaron Hurst quotes an anonymous nonprofit executive director saying that “If I get another volunteer I am going to go out of business.” It’s a common misconception [...]

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Tags: Advice · Nonprofits