Archive for Writing

First of all, I hope you have a great July 4th weekend. As a European, I’m still awestruck by the vast tracks of wilderness available for us to use in this country on holidays like this. Growing up in the U.K., we would drop into a sea if we drove more than 5 hours in most directions and yet my son is now driving across country to Yellowstone Park after a  5-day drive. Incredible.  And fills me with gratitude for the freedom to enjoy the beauty in safety with my family.

And, if you spend the weekend working…..keep your eyes posted for my next blog called “Whatever happened to the weekend?” and an upcoming class on creating work/life balance and reigniting your passion.

Now….today’s article….

I recently completed a $3.2 million, 300 page (LOTS of appendices) grant for a client. The client was a partnership of two institutions and so five primary people were involved in developing the concept and getting it done. So, I decided to try using Google Docs for sharing and editing for the first time.

It worked really well in some ways and not in others so I thought I’d let you know about my experience and maybe it can help you in the future. Read More→

I often get asked about grants for businesses and for-profit ventures. It’s not in area that I have ventured into so when I met Micki Vandeloo and she told me this is her area of expertize, I asked her to write an article for you. If you’re a social entrepreneur or corporation, take a look and see if there might be opportunities for your organization to explore. Here’s Micki’s article…I hope it’s helpful to you. Read More→

Last Thanksgiving a drunk driver slammed into my mailbox, knocked it off its post, and left it pummeled and dented on the ground. My neighbor’s box was knocked off its post too. Of course, I was ticked off and took a moment to vent….and then I ordered a new mailbox.

The thought of installing it was a bit daunting because I’m not that handy. But, the instructions said it was easy so I figured I’d give it a shot. I waited for a mild winter’s day and set out there with my new mailbox and a few tools.

As I was working my neighbor came out and asked if I could help her with her mailbox. She soon realized that I was as clueless as her. But she ran back in her house and bought out her heavy duty drill. Pretty soon we were having loads of fun figuring out just how the heck mailboxes were affixed to posts and getting to know each other.

My neighbor runs a bed and breakfast and is an aesthete. While I was tackling the screws she said, “You know, I’ve got some hangers in my basement, we could hang them off the posts for packages” and off she ran back into her house to get them. Then we realized that they would make great plant hangers and so we hung a couple off the nearby utility pole.

An hour after we started, we had two resurrected mailboxes, a new friendship, and a place for some pretty flowers come springtime.

Beauty Realized

As I walked back into the house, I was buoyed up and thought about what this had to teach me about grant writing (as I am wont to do J). Read More→

I live in the small village of Trumansburg, NY – population 1,800. I’m just five minutes away from a beautiful lake and stunning state park, 15 minutes away from 4 other state parks, and 45 minutes brings me to a nice ski resort. It really doesn’t get much better. Except right now…..’cos once a year we welcome 20,000 visitors for the Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance. Its 4 days of non-stop music and dance just a couple of blocks from my house.

I love to dance. So, this morning I went for a swim and then worked on a big federal grant (CMS) and then enjoyed some great music (Kevin Kinsella and Driftwood were highlights).

So, instead of finishing off the article that I started for you, I’m gonna give myself a bit of a break and share with you a section of my book that I never published. The topic is writing succinctly. …I’ll polish off the article about what to do when a funding agency makes a mistake and jeopardizes your application next week.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one. Read More→

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Photo: Gift of Jack Leishman

“Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.”

Kahlil Gibran

One of the questions that I asked the top grant writers I interviewed for my book was “Where is the art of grant writing? What makes you masterful?” They gave me a wide array of responses and I’ll share a couple here. Read More→