Tag Archives: L.A.

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.

Why Did the City of Los Angeles Really Lose Out on Stimulus Money?

I find it grimly hilarious, in a Catch-22 way, the City of Los Angeles’ City Controller, Wendy Greuel, realized that a “lack of oversight” cost the City an estimated $125,000,000 in stimulus money because the City failed to pursue all the funding it was eligible to receive.

This isn’t a surprise to Seliger + Associates, as we’re on the pre-approved grant writing vendor list for the City and didn’t receive any calls or RFPs from the City inquiring if we had the capacity to prepare one or more grant applications, as we have in the past. And if we had, this is the daunting gantlet we would have faced before writing a single word in the grant proposal:

  • the City has separate pre-approved lists for almost every City department;
  • apparently none are in a database easily accessed by departments that need grant writing assistance;
  • just because you have been approved by one department of the City, does not mean that you will not have to prepare and submit, almost, if not exactly the same paperwork for each and every department you want to work for.

If you bill by the hour, you could go out of business just preparing paperwork.

Then, if you’re chosen to bid on the specific job, you have to again fill out the same/similar paperwork again to turn in with your bid documents.
These problems, combined with the incompetence or laziness cited in the article, are the real reason the City lost out on more than $125,000,000 in stimulus funds. The City hasn’t realized that every check has a cost.

Nonprofits, however, can learn something important from this: pursue every opportunity you can. Be nimble, like a small business, instead of sclerotic, like the City of Los Angeles.