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Entries Tagged as 'Grants'

When All Else Fails, Use Common Sense In Writing Proposals and Developing Budgets

February 15th, 2015 · No Comments

As we’ve written before, it’s important to carefully follow RFP directions when writing any proposal. Still, many RFPs are poorly written, repetitive, and often contradictory. If one finds a significant issue in the RFP, the only recourse is to contact the Program Officer listed in the RFP and ask for clarification in writing. If you [...]

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Tags: Budgets · Clients · Grants

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 · 4 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

The Department of Education’s Student Support Services (SSS) is Here, and We’ve Already Written the Post

December 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

A month ago we published “Department of Education Grants Are All About Going to College and Completing A Four-Year Degree,” and last week the Department of Education obliged by publishing the Student Support Services (SSS) RFP. This is one of the TRIO programs, which we’ve also written about before. These programs are explicitly about getting [...]

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Tags: Education · Grants · Programs

The Department of Labor’s “American Apprenticeship Initiative” (AAI) Shows Some Forward Thinking by the Feds

December 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments

We’re interested in the Department of Labor’s “American Apprenticeship Initiative” (AAI) because it uses a word that rarely appears in the education media, federal grants, or foundation priorities: “apprenticeship.” Apprenticeship has the ring of an out-of-circulation word, like “aesthete” or “monocle.”* Apprenticeships were common until the 20th Century, when either formal education or industrial blue-collar [...]

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Tags: Education · Foundations · Government · Grants

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