The Race for Grants

The slow down strike at MSN Spaces appears to have resolved, and I’m grateful that we’re now back "up to speed." I don’t know if any of you ever had any exposure to writing a grant proposal, or tried to get funds from some charitable foundation for your organization. If you have, the following piece will resonate with you. Either way, here it is.
 

Grant Guidelines.

BY JERRY POLNER

– – – –

After considerable consultation with our attorneys, the Krause Foundation is now once again prepared to accept applications for funding. We are not making this announcement because we expect you to successfully apply for a grant. In all likelihood, you are one of the people who will get nothing. However, we do have an extraordinary amount of money, and, therefore, we expect you will pay attention to us.

We are making an announcement at this time because the philanthropy press has reported that all living members of the Krause family have sued the foundation to prevent the use of family assets for any further grant-making. Yes, this is objectively true. But it is a fleeting reality that we have now brushed off our table so that tea may be served.

While Meredith, Malachy, and Missy Krause do constitute a majority of the Krause Foundation’s board of trustees, our plan to get all three siblings dead drunk the night before the board meeting was both legal and successful, and, consequently, our charter as a grant-giving institution has been preserved.

Foundation staff are now firmly in control, and we are in a position to award a small portion of our current endowment income to worthy projects, notwithstanding the fact that for most of you, submitting a proposal would be truly pointless.

 

Mission Statement

What is the mission of the Krause Foundation? Our mission is not to award grants. We could stop awarding grants and nothing bad would happen to us. Our lives would go on just as they are. We don’t have some pathological need to award grants. A grant has to feel right to us, in a way that most of you will never understand.

So what, then, is our mission? At our staff retreat in Nepal last year, we confronted that very question. What is our mission? Why are we here? Should we have gone to a different hotel?

Instead of just reaching for easy answers, we committed ourselves to a process of re-examining who we are, where we want to go, and how we will get there. The more we can establish linkages and encourage other people to establish linkages, the more linkages we will have, and the better we will feel about ourselves (and our linkages). In other words, this is a journey. An awakening. We have embarked on a very exciting strategic-planning process, and we don’t want to question it too much, because if we do, it may fall apart.

 

Areas of Interest

What areas are we interested in funding? We had no time to deal with this at the retreat. But at our previous retreat, in Basel, we discussed a number of areas of interest to the staff—greenhouse gases, excessive body piercing, road rage, and cranky children. This does not mean that we are prepared to fund projects in these areas, only that they are of concern, or they were of concern during an earlier period, which may or may not have ended.

 

Things We Don’t Like

We believe in growth. We believe in development. We do not believe in conflict. Conflict simply leads to more conflict, and before you know it, people are tossing their drinks at each other. If you’re interested in raising your voice, please move on.

We are naturally suspicious of people we don’t know. However, we cannot meet with you before you apply. Also, we cannot meet with you after you apply. Using an acquaintance as a referral in order to get a meeting with us has a covert, social-climber quality to it that we find repugnant. It may work, but we will resent you for having the nerve to try it.

If we do meet, we may greet you warmly. But if we do greet you warmly, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

 

Proposal Guidelines

We suggest that your proposal be five pages long. Proposals that are longer than five pages often appear to us to be screaming out "I am important!" in a way that we find both shrill and grating.

Proposals that are shorter than five pages are usually written by the people who sat next to us during final exams and cracked their gum. Even then, we all knew that these were people who would never be funded.

Proposals that are exactly five pages are suspect, for obvious reasons. People who tailor their proposals to exactly meet our guidelines are people who simply don’t have a dream.

Use your proposal to tell your story. Tell your story in the same way you would tell it to a good friend, someone you could take a shower with and not get all embarrassed. Don’t tell us about your organization. Tell us about you. Tell us about what is special about you personally. But whatever you do, please don’t be self-indulgent. Always remember that we are the people who will make the decision on whether your project will go anywhere. And, to be honest, we are really accountable to no one.

And there you have it. This foundation is special. Special. We hope everyone understands that. But if you don’t, you don’t, you don’t deserve our attention. You’re not Special.

 

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15 Responses to The Race for Grants

  1. Audrey says:

    Wow…sounds a lot like an audition LOL.I agree with what you said. "turn as much of their attention outward as they do inward". That\’s excellent advice. I find that I do that consistently and it really helps my emotional range grow and it helps me to better empathize with whatever character I am portraying. I think that is often something a LOT of actors miss or just don\’t get.I have fun figuring people out and learning about them and finding what is unique about them. I\’ve noticed I\’ve become a better observer and listener since I started acting. (by the way I\’m learning Meisner, if you\’re familiar with it)

  2. Kathryn says:

    Lawd!My dad used to do grant writing at an alcohol and drug abuse agency……grant writing is someting I could never do…just couldn\’t.and, yes, I understand about no time vs no fear! *smiling!*

  3. Cheryl says:

    I write grants constantly. I get about 5 million a year and that is how much it takes to run our organization. I am now applying with foundations and I hate it. They are odd people and i would rather kiss the government\’s ass than a foundation ass. See with foundations you might get anywahere from $500 to $10,000. In my budget I would need to get 50 of those ass kissing grants a month. I\’m just no good at that. I am a good writer obviously since I have been able to pull in so much money. With the foundation people they expect you to wine and dine with them and play the game. I\’m just a smart country girl living in Houston with the Enron sharks. I actually have them on my board of directors. So I am finally going out after foundation money because they think my skills are transferrable. Foundations don\’t give a rat\’s ass about my ability to manage the best program in the state. They want the ass kissing part and that skill I never learned….so I will probably fail at my foundation deal and have to check the Federal Register and knock down another few million for our operating budget in order to get the board to forgive me for not kissing ass. One year I knocked down 38 million….None of it from foundations…

  4. Aafrica says:

    OMG LOL! i *must* forward this to the PIs i work with.

  5. Gayle says:

    LOL – this is wonderful. I\’ve been on the periphery of this world for awhile now and am circling closer to its interior. This struck a number of cords. Thanks for the laugh, it was a good one!G.

  6. Linda says:

    Dear Jorge,Happy new year! Wish you have a wonderful and successful new year in 2006. Thank you very much for stopping on my page and thanks for sharing your thoughts. Well in fact this Christmas and New Year\’s Day, I spent it in France. my first time to go abroad. Good feeling and experience I had. Ok, just write here, see ya later!All the bestLinda

  7. Yolanda says:

    happy new year to you, yeah I know a bit on the late side hehe but there is still many days to goLoveYoli

  8. Michelle says:

    (laugh) That is funny… especially the ending. Chocolate!!! I did not think of that yesterday. I have to eat some today just because… :)Abrazos,Michelle

  9. Nellie O Apple says:

    J, you are special & unique! Have a great day 😉

  10. Jaime Campbell says:

    I\’ve never had experience with this and it sounds like I should be very glad, huh? hahahaHope you are well, my friend.Peace to you.Jaime.

  11. Pamela says:

    I\’m laughing out loud…you are quite the humorist…Keep us giggling…Peace.

  12. the1stephzen says:

    This one brought a smile. I have only applied for one grant…the AL arts council to get funding so I could "just" write songs. ANyway I enjoy "tongue in cheeck" writing of any sort.

  13. Jaime Campbell says:

    Jorge,Thanks for your visit. I really appreciate your comments. I hope that you\’re having a wonderful Sunday. Hugs.Peace to you.Jaime.

  14. Fructose says:

    This makes me smile. I visit the link you provided but I could not open the comment section. Anyway, I found it very interesting. I will try later. As to my entry, \’Spank as Punishment\’ the purpose of which is to share the reason why I\’m sensitive so that people may understand as may be gleaned from it the way we were brought up by my parents. I noticed my situation is rare especially so with respect to sex thing compared to some people experiences that I\’ve read was shocking, horrible and inhuman, that if will be done in my country is considered henious crimes and deserves death penalty. I decided to continue blogging to open my mind to any further unbearable treatment others underwent and come to analyze the reason behind or take that as a continuing study for my growth.

  15. Kathryn says:

    anytime at all Jorge – *smiling*

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