Tag Archives: Carol M. White PEP

March links: Carol M White PEP is out, Unmarried Moms, Emulate Carmelo Anthony, BTOP Money Wasted, Screwed UP FHA Rules and More

* An old grant friend returns: The Carol M. White Physical Education Proposal has been released, with 95 grants available up to $750,000.

* Carmelo Anthony Is a Hero of Philanthropy More Athletes Should Emulate.

* “The New Unmarried Moms: We’ve reduced teen pregnancy, but now childbearing outside wedlock is exploding among 20-somethings,” which is interesting but ignores some of the really powerful social factors at work.

* Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) money wasted in West Virginia; Cisco conspires to steal money, succeeds. The Hacker News discussion is also worth reading, especially the top comment.

* “How short-sighted FHA rules enforced housing segregation and inequality: How Good Principles Can Make Bad Rules.”

* “Michigan is going to take over Detroit.” Oddly enough, we’ve never had a client in Detroit. Who wants to be the first? We’ll provide a 25% Detroit-Economic-Collapse Discount to the first Detroit nonprofit that calls, assuming there are any left.

* “Nurses dodge bullets to provide care.” (Maybe.)

* Here’s a hilariously bad sentence from the Department of Transportation’s Small Business Transportation Resource Center Program RFP:

OSDBU will enter into Cooperative Agreements with these organizations to provide outreach to the small business community in their designated region and provide financial and technical assistance, business training programs, business assessment, management training, counseling, marketing and outreach, and the dissemination of information, to encourage and assist small businesses to become better prepared to compete for, obtain, and manage DOT funded transportation-related contracts and subcontracts at the federal, state and local levels.

I’m exhausted by reading all the clauses; it’s like trying to read 19th Century German philosophy. I tried to increase the sentence’s resemblance to native English for newsletter subscribers: “Grants to provide outreach to small business community, along with financial / technical assistance, business training programs, business assessment, management training, counseling, marketing, and outreach, so small businesses are prepared for DOT-funded, transportation-related contracts.” Those of you who do not think I was somewhat successful are welcome to undertake this exercise on your own.

* From the Department of Confusion Department, or, rather, the Strategies Targeting Characteristics Common to Female Ex-Offenders program: “Services to be funded will be targeted to female ex-offenders, but must also be open to eligible male ex-offenders.” This contradicts the title of the program and the purpose of the project and is fairly par for the RFP course.

* Don’t subsidize parking. This should be obvious.

* Has L.A. fallen behind? (Hat tip Marginal Revolution). To me, the car-centric culture and traffic are the worst parts, and I don’t see those improving without some combination of removing or raising urban height limits.

* The ten-year hoodie on Kickstarter; I “backed” the Flint and Tinder underwear project and though the outcome was okay, it was not exceptional.

* The case for a true Mac Pro successor. We were dedicated tower users until alternatives became fast and the Mac Pro became a terrible value.

* How New York Could [and should] Get More Affordable Housing. The way to affordable housing is simple, direct, obvious, and widely ignored, chiefly by people who do not appear to understand supply and demand or basic economics.

* “One in three counties are dying,” because their original reason for existing—chiefly farming—has gone away.

When It’s Good For At-Risk Youth to Hang Out At McDonald’s: Searching for Connectivity in All the Wrong Places

The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald’s” describes a role reversal: in the usual proposal universe, McDonald’s is the enemy—a purveyor of simple sugars and nutritionally bankrupt edible food-like substances that help drive obesity and disease. Internet service providers (ISPs), however, are supposed purveyors of knowledge and connections vital to linking the modern world. But many American ISPs have effectively no competition, and they charge accordingly—which means that many low-income families can’t afford Internet access*

As a result, “Access to the Web has expanded [in recent years . . . ] but roughly a third of households with income of less than $30,000 a year and teens living at home still don’t have broadband access there, according to the Pew Research Center.” So McDonald’s, which offers free WiFi in most of its restaurants (using the term loosely), is the unexpected corporate hero in this article. Astute grant writers should pay attention, because future projects dealing with food and nutrition also need to address the digital divide.

In the next Carol M. White Physical Education Proposals we write, for example, we’ll stress WiFi access points at the project delivery sites and libraries, which offer an alternative to McDonald’s, with its allure of Big Macs and McNuggets.

But in proposals that deal with connectivity—like the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program—we’ll mention that McDonald’s, Starbucks, and other large corporations offer free Internet access, and, as a result, participants may be tempted buy their non-nutritious food to get the WiFi. So those participants need the alternatives that the project will provide—along with nutritional counseling. Our hypothetical proposal will point out that nutritional counseling might seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes well-supported yet counter-intuitive arguments seem stronger.


* A brief example: when I lived in Tucson, Arizona, Comcast offered 12 Mbs down for $60 a month. Qwest, the only “competition,” offered . . . 1.5 Mbs down. Max. In 1998, that would have been incredible. Today, it’s a joke. Comcast was (and is) a de facto monopoly and charged accordingly.

By contrast, now I’m living in Manhattan, where Verizon, RCN, Time Warner, and others offer Internet connections; I’m buying 25 Mbs down for $30 a month from RCN. Of course, I can still wander over to Starbucks for their “free” WiFi, but at $4 a cup for a wet cap no fat, the free access access gets pretty pricy pretty fast. I can’t bring myself to enter the McDonald’s’ den of food inequity.

What Budget Cuts? The RFPs Continue to Pour Out: Educational Opportunities Centers, Carol M. White PEP, HUD Section 202 & 811, Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control, and California’s Proposition 84

Faithful readers will have noticed a paucity of recent blog posts. There’s a reason: we’re fantastically busy. Despite all of the media gnashing of teeth regarding the Republican–Democratic tussles over the FY ’11 Continuing Resolutions (which was resolved a week or two ago) not much actually happened. A list of final ’11 CR reductions might total $39 billion—or is it $300 million?

Basically, nobody knows, but in the finest Washington tradition both sides can claim victory while getting back to the serious business of raising money for the 2012 campaign, as well as fulminating about the 2012 election (didn’t we just have an election?). In the meantime, federal and state agencies have opened the RFP floodgates, so as to not get caught with non-obligated funds when the next fiscal year rolls around. Quelle Horreur!!*

Here’s a tiny sample of the avalanche of grant funds that are currently up for grabs:

  • Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC): It took months, but our friends at the Department of Education finally got this one one out of the door with $47,000,000 available and a May 23 deadline. EOC grants provide academic enrichment to prepare secondary school students for college. Even better, the DOE promises to issue the RFP for the much larger companion TRIO program, Upward Bound in September or so. If your organization has trouble funding its basic mission and it is vaguely plausible at providing academic support, pursue EOC or Upward Bound. Given the dismal student academic outcomes in America, getting young people prepared for college is sure to be a growth industry in the coming years.
  • Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP): Another old DOE friend, PEP grants fund physical education and wellness services for K–12 students. There is about $37,000,000 available, with grants to $750,000 and a deadline of May 23.
  • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly: HUD has $371,000,000 to build Section 202 affordable housing for seniors. The deadline is June 1.
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities: Another HUD warhorse, Section 811 has $114,000,000 to build affordable housing for persons with disabilities, and the deadline is June 23.
  • Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control (LBPHC) Program: LBPHC, another HUD favorite, usually has around $100,000,000 available, although HUD is keeping the total dollar amount a secret in this year’s NOFA. LBPHC grants are used to rehab affordable housing units to remove lead hazards, with grants to $3,500,000, and the deadline is June 9.
  • California Nature Education Facilities Program: To keep things interesting, I thought I would throw in a CA RFP. This nugget is funded by the $5,700,000,000 “Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006.” I know you think California is broke, but this particular budget pocket is stuffed with $93,000,000 for park and related “nature education” facilities. The deadline is July 1.

Now you know why we’re busy writing proposals and not writing as many blog posts as we usually do. There are many other RFPs on the street and lots more will be issued in the next two to three months. As I’ve blogged about many times in the last year or two, smart nonprofits and public agencies will go after the huge amount of available grant funds, instead of sitting in sack cloth and ashes and watching the Kabuki budget shenanigans going on in Washington or their state capitals.

Two years ago, when the barely remembered Stimulus Bill was in full stimulation mode, we were incredibly busy. While we are always involved in endless grant writing, we now find ourselves about as busy during a time of dire talk of budget cuts and deficits. I’m reminded of the wonderful 1960 film, Elmer Gantry.

Our eponymous anti-hero is discussing why people go to church with the cynical reporter Jim and says people come to a place like a revivalist church meeting, because “they got no money or too much money.” In our business, clients come to us because they think the government’s got too much money or not enough. Regardless of the reasoning, there are incredible grant opportunities available and applicant odds are better because so many agencies are paralyzed. Simply put, the fewer technically correct applications, the better your odds are of scoring.


*This is a nod to Jake, who is taking a French Translation grad school class and needs all the help he can get.