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Entries Tagged as 'Stories'

The Pestiferous Stink of Politics in Grant Writing: ORR’s “Residential Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UAC) Program

July 17th, 2014 · No Comments

As we’ve said before, politicians at every level usually like it when nonprofits in their districts get grants. They like it so much that they’re happy to take credit for a nonprofit’s grant writing effort, which they usually have nothing to do with. That being said, politics usually have little to do with grant writing, [...]

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Tags: Government · Grants · Stories

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

Seven Years Later, We’re Number One in the Grant Blogosphere

April 25th, 2014 · 2 Comments

By at least one metric, we’re now #1. Seliger + Associates started Grant Writing Confidential over seven years ago: Our first post was “About Us,” which both of us wrote. The first substantive post I wrote was “Zombie Funding,” and Isaac’s first substantive post was “They Say a Fella Never Forgets His First Grant Proposal.” [...]

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Tags: Blogging · Stories

My First Bidders Conference, Or, How I Learned What I Already Knew

March 14th, 2014 · No Comments

In January I went to and got kicked out of my first bidders conference. For those of you not familiar with the practice, bidders conferences are largely pointless schmooz-fests for potential grant applicants. Aside from being there to show the flag to program officers and to preen in front of potential competitors, bidders conferences are [...]

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Tags: RFPs · Stories

Sometimes Technology Makes Things Harder: Foundation Proposal Submission Edition

February 21st, 2014 · 4 Comments

In ye olden days when dragons flew the sky and grain was still milled with water wheels, most foundations only accepted paper submissions. Most also had relatively straightforward instructions that were reasonably simple; since the submissions were done through paper, applicants could create an attractive, well-formatted submission document. Today things are different. Amazon delivery drones [...]

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Tags: Advice · Foundations · Stories

Fallible FedEx and Federal Deadlines

February 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Some things just can’t happen unless the time is right. When we dreamt up Seliger + Associates about 21 years ago, all grant proposal submittals were paper-based, usually involving an original with wet signatures and multiple copies—sometimes as many as ten, despite the Federal Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. In the early stages of Seliger [...]

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Tags: Clients · Deadlines · Government · Stories

Cold Wave Means More Clients and More Grant Needs for Nonprofits in Wintry States and the Sunbelt

January 5th, 2014 · No Comments

I woke early this morning, as I’m wrestling with an NIH proposal with a very short deadline. A peek at Facebook revealed a post by a friend making fun of the hysterical news stories about cold in the Midwest and Great Plains in January. They’re just more man-does-not-bite-dog story. But news outlets always like to [...]

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Tags: Grants · Stories

The Unsolvable Standardized Data Problem and the Needs Assessment Monster

December 30th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Needs assessments tend to come in two flavors: one basically instructs the applicant to “Describe the target area and its needs,” and the applicant chooses whatever data it can come up with. For most applicants that’ll be some combination of Census data, local Consolidated Plan, data gathered by the applicant in the course of providing [...]

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Tags: Advice · Grants · How-to · Stories · Writing

Reflections of a Grant Writer on the 50th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination

November 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

Like all Americans who were alive at the time, I clearly remember the moment I learned of President Kennedy’s assassination. Fifty years ago I was a 12 year old in 7th grade social studies at the now-closed Carl Sandburg Junior High* in Golden Valley, Minnesota. The terrible news came over the loudspeaker. The girls immediately [...]

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Tags: Stories

Lessons from the ObamaCare Rollout Fiasco for Grant Writers

November 17th, 2013 · No Comments

Regardless of one’s politics or policy preferences, it’s painful to watch the ongoing Affordable Care Act rollout fiasco.* Developing healthcare.gov is obviously a complex undertaking. One thing lost in the cacophony over the botched rollout is that many large scale IT projects fail to launch successfully, with www.heathcare.gov being the most widely publicized example this [...]

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Tags: Advice · Government · Stories