Monday, March 19, 2012

Tips for the Specific Writing Mechanics When Writing A Grant Proposal

Be Succinct In Your Grant Writing

That Program, Project, or Item: Writing In Your Proposal About What You Need the Grant For

Use Logic In Grant Proposal Content - Yes, Logic...

...and for more instructive grant proposal crafting posts, click on "Grant Writing" and "How To" under 'Labels' on the lower right side of this web page.

Grants for Public, Private, or Charter High Schools' Student Retention Programs

From The Foundation Center...

[If you are interested in this grant opportunity, click "Link to Complete RFP" at the end of this post for more information].

Deadline: April 18, 2012 (Pre-Qualification Survey - see below for information)

AT&T Aspire Local High School Impact Initiative Offers Funding for Student Retention Programs

AT&T Aspire, a $100 million philanthropic program created by AT&T to help strengthen student success and workforce readiness, is offering funding through the Local High School Impact Initiative to high school success and college and career readiness programs that are helping to reduce dropout rates in their communities.
The 2012 Local Impact Request for Proposals features an increased focus on metrics, with a preference for programs showing results for those served vs. peer groups, as well as a stronger emphasis on under-served populations. AT&T is most interested in funding local programs that have strong evidence-based practices grounded in the "What Works Clearinghouse Dropout Prevention: A Practice Guide" and data-driven outcomes.

AT&T will give special consideration to organizations that incorporate social innovation in their programs. Organizations might use new concepts, ideas, and strategies to achieve success for students who are at risk of dropping out of school; collaborate with school districts, foundations, nonprofits, government entities, and/or businesses to maximize positive impact on students' success; or employ technological innovations to support student success. AT&T will give additional consideration to organizations that focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines in their programs for students who are at risk of dropping out of school.

The 2012 Local Impact RFP will provide project support for currently operating high school retention programs. The support should be used to expand the program to serve additional students, or to add components to strengthen the program. Project support is intended for organizations that are ready and capable of operating by the first semester of the 2012/13 school year.

Funding ranging from $100,000 to $300,000 over two years (2012-14) is available.

The program encourages the following types of entities to respond to the pre-qualification survey: school districts, campuses, and school district foundations with 501(c)(3) public charity status; charter school foundations and private school foundations with 501(c)(3) public charity status; 501(c)(3) public charities that work on-site with public and private education institutions; and 501(c)(3) public charities that work with public and private education institutions on a project basis. Private foundations without 501(c)(3) status are not eligible.

All prospective applicants are required to complete a pre-qualification survey as part of the RFP process.

Based on an evaluation of the pre-qualification response, prospective applicants will be asked to submit a full length RFP response to AT&T using an online, invitation-only application process.

Visit the AT&T Web site for program information, the complete RFP, and the pre-qualification survey.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recently There Are Concerns By and About the IRS and Its Oversight of Political Organizations In This Election Year

With American politics (sadly) as polarizing as ever, the 2012 election is heating up amid new concerns from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that political organizations wanting 501(c)(4) charity status from the IRS truly fit that type of organization's legal/operations description (in contrast to 527 entities which are political organizations, or, for your information, say, the more common 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides services or items pertaining to a cause or issue)).

I do not typically write about 501(c)(4)'s but the times being what they are I thought it was not just pertinent current event discussion, but a good example of how the IRS attempts to oversee nonprofit organizations (of each and all kinds).  The IRS' concern is not to insert government's hand, (as you will read, below, has been suggested) but rather to conduct its tasked oversight (as has been required by law, over all charities) to be certain that the American people are receiving welfare from the organizations that Americans (through the IRS) have given charitable status (which allows them to legally collect tax free contributions).  If these organizations seeking charitable status are not providing welfare to the community, that is fine, but they then will be categorized as the appropriate entity and not allowed to raise tax free dollars.  This is not new.  This has been the rule and law for tens and tens of years.

Many political organizations wishing to acquire or retain their 501(c)(4) charitable status also collect donations without reporting from whom or where the donations came and how much those donations were.  The IRS is not saying whether it is investigating any organizations for this reason.  501(c)(4)'s are being tight lipped, too.  Conversely, watchdogs are crying 'foul' over the IRS's historic reservation to get too critical of 501(c)(4)'s and the requirement that these specific organizations be providing welfare to the community at large (or even just be able to describe what charitable welfare activity, service, or product they provide).  Watchdogs claim that the right these political organizations have to raise tax free dollars without having to provide any true charitable service is not just unfair, but leading to a lack of real welfare programs in a wake of many dollars being raised tax free.  The IRS historically has not been interested in getting involved in overseeing political organizations too terribly much as it is a tricky rope to walk (being the federal government - both the entity politics shapes, but too, the organization responsible for overseeing filing, organizational reporting, accounting, etc.).

Below, the following articles demonstrate what is going on, right now, amid these issues, concerns, and responsibilities:

IRS Getting Sleeves Dirty With 501(c)(4)'s

A Democracy Deficit At Americans Elect? (an example of an organization recently changing to the 501(c)(4) status and the fallout)

Politics, Money and Taxes (a look back at how this issue was shaping up, already, in 2011 for three specific organizations)

IRS May Make Political Groups Pay Dearly for Keeping Donors Secret -- And Out Them

Strategies for Creating and Operating 501(c)(3)'s, 501(c)(4)'s, and PACs

Grants for U.S. Wildlife Conservation Nonprofits Anticipating & Responding to Climate Change

From The Foundation Center...

[If you are interested in this grant opportunity, click "Link to Complete RFP" at the end of this blog post for more information].

Deadline: March 30, 2012 (Pre-proposal applications)

Wildlife Conservation Society Seeks Proposals for Climate Adaption Fund

The Wildlife Conservation Society's North America Program (WCS) has announced the next round of grantmaking through the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, a program to support projects that demonstrate effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change in the United States and its territories.

With funding provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Climate Adaptation Fund will provide up to $3.1 million in competitive grants in 2012. Awards will be made to nonprofit conservation organizations for applied, on-the-ground projects focused on implementing priority conservation actions for climate adaptation at a landscape scale.

The program seeks to support actions that anticipate and respond to potential climate change impacts and maximize long-term conservation goals. To achieve these ends, the program prioritizes projects that manage for dynamic ecological processes, landscape functionality, and species assemblages, rather than those aimed at maintaining historic conditions or individual species.

The fund will support projects that demonstrate land management techniques at a landscape level to assist wildlife adaption to climate change; projects to create new protected areas, expand core habitat areas, or alter land use designations to secure large expanses of intact habitat; and projects that assure connectivity for fish and wildlife among core habitat areas.

Grants are available to U.S.-based conservation organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Grants can be awarded for projects only within the fifty U.S. states and six U.S. territories. The fund is unable to make grants to for-profit corporations, individuals, universities, public agencies, municipalities, or other types of governments. Public agencies, tribal governments, and universities may partner on proposals submitted by an eligible nonprofit conservation organization or work as paid contractors on funded projects.

Funding will range from $50,000 to $250,000 per project for periods of twelve to twenty-four months.

A grant informational webinar will be held on March 6, 2012.

Visit the WCS North America Program Web site for the complete Request for Proposals, application materials, and webinar details.