The mikeroweWORKS Foundation has partnered with Scholarship America to offer the 2014 mikeroweWORKS Foundation Work Ethic Scholarship. This scholarship is for high school seniors, graduates, and students currently enrolled in an accredited two-year college, vocational-technical school or other approved technical institute in the United States.

Interested students must complete the application and mail it, along with all required documents to Scholarship Management Services postmarked no later than June 13, 2014. The number of applications to be processed will be capped at 300. Once 300 applications are received, the application period will be over. Note this may happen before the June 13 close date so apply early.


“Paying Commission On Grant Proposals: Don’t Do It”

Bottom line… doesn’t everyone expect to get paid for working?  Otherwise it’s called volunteering.

This article makes all the valid, and often (necessarily) repeated points:

Contingency pay is considered an unethical practice and is prohibited by leading professional groups (i.e. Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Grant Professionals Association (GPA)). 

First, funders almost never allow you to pay for pre-award costs out of a grant.  Paying for the proposal writer out of your grant funds will even often result in termination of the funding.

Second, real grant professionals deliver a high quality product for a fair fee. The example given is realistic, “A professional might, for example, spend 160 hours pulling together a highly complex proposal that results in a $5 million grant award. Paying that consultant at $100 per hour for high-level skills would result in a fee of $16,000 — pretty standard for top-level work.”  The opposite — paying on commission — would result in a $250,000 fee ($1,562.50 per hour for a 5% commission), or $500,000 ($3,125 per hour for a 10% commission), and IS outrageous. Since the pre-award work won’t be an allowable expense in the grant budget, where is the money going to come from? It almost seems as though if you have that kind of money to throw around, maybe you don’t need to be pursuing grant money.

Third, there are too many variables that impact grantmaking decisions (only one of which is how well the proposal is written) to ‘lay the blame’ for a not-funded grant solely at the feet of the proposal writer. “You are paying a proposal writer for a solid, professional job, not for a grant award. The applicant organization must assess the situation and assume the risk of moving forward with a grant proposal.”

Lastly, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) standards state that fundraising services should be paid “at the time services are provided.”  Very, very few grant awards are made immediately, and some take between six months to one year to be processed.  “Waiting until an award is received to pay for proposal writing services is unfair to the writer and could also ding your audit… And don’t forget, taking the consultant’s fee from the grant award is probably a prohibited expenditure.”

Grantseeking is an inherently risky endeavor, but it’s simply a cost of doing business.


Worriers vs Non-Worriers

I admit that I’m not much of a worrier, so I liked this article. So, the “11 Habits of People Who Never Worry”, as related to me…

  1. They focus on the present.  True, mostly.  The past is over and the future is out of my control (for the most part).
  2. They practice mindfulness.  :-/
  3. Their brains actually function differently in a worry-inducing event.  Since different situations would be considered ‘worrisome’ to different people, I’m not sure that this is something we can compare… and a life-threatening event I would not classify as ‘worrisome’.  I also think that if you are facing a troublesome person or situation about which nothing can be done (over which you have no control), then it’s a waste of time to dwell on it.
  4. They’re more willing to take chances.  I don’t think of myself as a risk taker, but throughout my life I’ve done some things that other people have later told me they considered ‘brave’ and daring.
  5. They have a sense of perspective.   No, I am not Elmo and do not, and would not, talk about myself in the third person.  /:-|
  6. They get to the root of their worry.   I do try to deal with the immediate issue and some up with possible, workable, realistic solutions.
  7. They don’t stop worrying — they just designate time for it.  Don’t think I’m this compartmentalized.
  8. They have confidence they can handle whatever comes at them.  If you stop trying to control people and situations, you may worry less.
  9. They have the ability to see positive outcomes in seemingly bleak situations.  Yes, I used to officially belong to an Optimist Club… is that like being an Aggie?  🙂
  10. They ask themselves the right questions.  Yes!
  11. They know how to perceive their negative emotions.  I wish!

It seems to me that a lot of people ‘over-think’ things. Overall, a good article.


Home Depot’s Retool Your School HBCUs Campus Improvement Grant Program

Deadline for Letter of Intent: 10 February 2014

The Retool Your School (RYS) Campus Improvement Grant Program will award a total of $250,000 to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for campus and facility improvements. Grant awards for the 2014 program are:

  • Tier I Grant award of $50,000 (1 Winner)
  • Tier II Grant awards of $10,000 (13 Winners)
  • Campus Pride Grant awards of $25,000 (3 Winners) The Campus Pride Grant will go to the top three schools with the most votes and social media activity, as assessed by The Home Depot.


California Historical Society Book Award Announcement

Applications are due every July 1.

The California Historical Society and Heyday have established the California Historical Society Book Award for a book-length manuscript that makes an important contribution to scholarship and deepens public understanding of some aspect of California history. The annual prize carries a $5,000 advance and publication in both print and e-book format by CHS/Heyday, with an awards ceremony, ample promotion, and an author tour throughout the state.

More information and details on how to apply can be found here: