Your gift will help the Latino Coalition bring resources to non-profits in marginalized communities.
Please register for WAGEES Bidders Conference on Dec 2, 2014 10:00 AM MST at:
The WAGEES Bidders Conference will provide information concerning the request for proposal process for funding to serve parolees referred by the Colorado Department of Corrections.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
“Now that I’ve discovered what I can do I’m positively thrilled. Everything is so different, maybe it’s because I’m different” – Excerpt from the book: “You Can If You Think You Can”
Defining Personal Significance
- Every human being is special and needs to know it.
- Every human being is distinguished and needs to discover it.
- Every human being is important and needs to believe it.
- Every human life has meaning and we need to receive it.
Not until we each know this, discover this, believe and receive this about ourselves – will our family, church, workplace and community function to full capacity. How could it? Anything that is missing a core element of its essence will not achieve its full potential. And what is at the core of the essence of human beings is the fact that we were created in the image of God with purpose and meaning that plays a significant role, not only in our daily lives, but in the lives of others and in the history of all mankind.
Hard to believe – Don’t believe – Won’t believe? Precisely why I wrote this article – for all of you non-believers in yourselves as the significant person that you are.
It is time to stop short changing yourself and start rewarding yourself with a life of joy, peace, and prosperity that you deserve. That’s right – say it – DESERVE. All together now repeat after me:
I DESERVE THE BEST LIFE CAN OFFER – I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY – I DESERVE TO BE AT PEACE – I DESERVE TO PROSPER – I DESERVE TO BE APPRECIATED, RECOGNIZED AND REWARDED FOR THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MY LIFE AND CONTRIBUTION TO MY FAMILY AND COMMUNITY! – I DESERVE_______________ (fill in the blank)!
If you need to, print this out, paste it on your mirror and repeat it aloud every day for thirty days and just watch your self-image transform into its peak potential that you were always meant to know and live!
We’re all familiar with the “golden rule”; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. However, the underlying message and key to implementing this principle in our daily lives is this: Knowing how you want to be treated because of the value you put on yourself as a deserving individual.
You’re one of a kind, a significant individual, and nobody can do you like you do you. Don’t cheat the rest of us who need your contribution – be the best you can be!
Over the past ten years the Latino Coalition For Community Leadership has been fortunate to receive over 22 million dollars in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Justice, and Health and Human Services – Administration for Children & Families. These Federal grant dollars have allowed us to serve in over 20 cities in eight states awarding over $15 million in grants to 42 community and faith-based organizations since 2004. Currently we are coming to the end of our 30 month 10 million dollar DOL grant. We continue to seek more funding to sustain our service to the great work nonprofits do in communities around the country.
I thought I would share with you some of the things we learned over the years in research, writing and applying for grants. I hope these few tips will be helpful to you-especially newer organizations needing that first grant to get you off the ground and running, or the next grant to sustain the services you provide.
Step 1: Re-visit your Mission
- Key Principle: “Know thyself to grow thyself.”
- Stay in your circle of influence, effectiveness and expertise.
- Write out and post your Mission for all to see and know.
- Don’t be afraid to re-write or update your mission statement to reflect who you are to the community you serve. Learn to speak your community’s language.
Why is this important?
- Your Mission Statement (MS) is the guiding force of your decisions.
- Your MS describes you clearly and briefly to funding sources – your application must match your mission.
- Your MS will keep you from “chasing money” that does not match your mission.
Components of a solid Mission Statement include short statements that describe:
- Who we are (organization focus)
- What we do (Describes program/project)
- Who we do it for (Defines target audience)
- Where we do it (Defines specific location)
- Why we do it (Describes motivation/compassion)
- General principle: keep it short enough that you and your members can recite it on demand.
Remember: You must be able to clearly describe your project to a variety of funding sources in a short but compelling manner
Step 2 – Prepare to receive
- The time frame for grant application development is limited (45-60 days – depends on the source) – Get your house in order and ready to receive!
- Create a file / notebook / box where you keep information “ready” about your ministry and programs.
- This information includes:
Media, articles, brochures, program description, testimonies, methodology used in programs, record keeping & management of volunteers, participants, employees, Board Members, 501 c/3 papers, and evaluation of impact of your program, etc.
If you do not have any of this “stuff”, start writing or collecting it now!
Step 3: Team Work
- A good proposal takes a good team of like-minded individuals.
- The role of the Executive Director/Leader is that of a “resource” of vision, information and approval.
- Identify people (inside or outside your organization) for the following key roles:
- Writing the proposal
- Accountant-Book Keeper to prepare the project budget
- Project Manager calling team meetings to check on time line progress, etc.
Step 4: Understand the importance of Community Partnership & Relationships
“If we want something we have never had, we have to do things we have never done”
- Key role for Leader/Board Members is building community partnerships
- Grant Funding always asks about community involvement
- Demonstrating working relationships enhances your credibility
- Grant applications often require a “sustainability plan”
New Partnership Development:
- Attend community workshops & trainings
- Visit other programs
- Join an advocacy group
- Chamber of Commerce – Business groups
- Open House – invite community leaders to a special event and honor them for their community service.
- Write letters of support
- Attend their meetings
- Volunteer or accept Board invitations when feasible
- Invite community friends to be on your Advisory Committee (i.e. “grant advisory committee”)
- Share your resources (Building, classrooms, parking)
- Start a community committee to address neighborhood needs
Step 5: Understanding The Three Core Elements of A Proposal:
1. Program = 80% of points – scoring
2. Marketing = “Resume” – why they should fund you, qualifications, distinction, track record, experience.
- Appendix (letters of support, staff & Board resumes)
3. Financial = Budget & Future funding
Step 6: Finding Grant Opportunities
- Know the Funding Agency-for example:
The Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will focus on four key priorities, to be carried out by working closely with the President’s Cabinet Secretaries and each of the eleven agency offices for faith-based and neighborhood partnerships:
- The Office’s top priority will be making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete.
- It will be one voice among several in the administration that will look at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion.
- The Office will strive to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood.
- Finally, beyond American shores this Office will work with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog – click on Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships
Funders include Federal, State, County, City, Corporate, Community, private and Family Foundations
- Know their Mission, priorities, giving pattern – do your homework.
- Study the application guidelines.
- Make contact with a program officer.
- Know the deadlines and any technical assistance workshops they may be offering.
- Know The Funding Terms
- Request for Proposal (RFP)
- Request for Application (RFA)
- Letter of Inquiry
- Know Where to Look
- Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (www.cfda.gov )
- Federal Register (www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html )
- Grant opportunities (www.grants.gov)
- Foundation Center (www.fdncenter.org)
Departments that fund FBO work:
- U.S. Departments of:
- Justice (http://www.justice.gov/10grants/)
- Labor (http://www.doleta.gov/grants/)
- Health & Human Services (http://www.hhs.gov/grants/)
Rules for Use of Federal Funds by FBO’s:
- You may not use funds to support “inherently religious activities.”
- No religious worship, instruction, proselytizing
- You cannot require people to participate in religious activities.
- You can invite to participate, but services not dependent on participation.
- You cannot use funds to purchase religious materials—Bible, Torah, Koran, Talmud or other religious or scriptural materials You may hire employees based on faith orientation (although this provision is under a lot of fire in congress right now and might change).
7 Thoughts On Thought Leadership:
- Thought leadership (TL) is not knowing what’s new, but what’s next.
- In TL it’s not content or context that’s king, but concept.
- TL is not only knowing what’s needed, but knowing what should be first.
- TL is not accepting whatever is in print or the result of “research” as the end of thinking about it.
- Being a TL means being an expert that’s a most trusted adviser in your industry.
- TL’s distinguish themselves from the conventional wisdom.
- TL’s love their constituents more than their own programs.
Leaders and the Challenge of Changing Communities
1. The challenge of remaining relevant.
“The greatest detriment to tomorrow’s success is today’s success.” – R. Warren
- To go to the next level of leadership – what do you need to let go of?
- Sometimes to seize opportunity means to let go of security.
- Security does not always equal significance.
2. The challenge of remaining Competent.
“Leaders who gather followers add to what they can accomplish. Leaders who develop leaders multiply their ability.” – J. Maxwell
- My competence does not always depend on me.
- Part of remaining competent is who you surround yourself with.
3. The Challenge of Assessment.
“There are two ways of relating to life. One is that of playing horse while life rides. The other is that of becoming the rider while life plays horse…if you do not choose to become the rider of life, you are sure to be forced to become the horse. Life either rides or it is ridden. It never stands still.” – N. Hill
- How good am I at what I do?
- Where can I improve?
- Why should other leaders seek out my services?
Look around my fellow leader. Be in tune with the changing tides. And, to stay relevant…always look within first.
Here is a great example of what I write about in my new book, From The Margins To The Mainstream. My friend and colleague, Robert Renteria, is a former gang-banger from East LA, turned successful business man, author, and social activist in addressing the needs of schools needing to change their paradigm of how they are educating our children.
Click on the link and read this excellent example of how one Latino Leaders is positively influencing the mainstream:
I want to matter (Is that bad?). I want to count (worse?). I want to make a difference (egotistical?).
Okay, let me say it another way – I want to serve and be relevant in the day and time I was given to live in this world. I can’t think of anything worse than to simply be existing and surviving in my time on earth with no clue, no ideas, no contribution or significance to show for whatever amount of years I’ve been allotted, and leaving no lasting legacy for my children or grandchildren and others to follow. Is that weird? Maybe, but like it or not, it’s the calling of a leader and unless we respond to that inner voice to make a difference–to be relevant–we’ll surely be the most miserable of people.
Websters Dictionary defines relevance as: a relation to the matter at hand; having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand.
So, this begs the questions: What is the matter at hand, and how are we/can we make a significant contribution that is relevant?
What Is The “State Of Our Nation?”
I watched the President give his annual State of the Union address last week and came away with the deepened impression (deepened because I already felt they were way off track) that our leaders in Washington DC are really lacking in leadership (to put it nicely). I sat there listening and asked myself, “what is he saying and who is he really talking to”? Then, to top it off, the Republican rebuttal was just as bad, just as disconnected, and about as irrelevant to “the matter at hand” as it can get.
Is It Just Me?
Maybe it’s my age. Maybe it’s because I’m paying more attention now. Maybe I’m just way off base. But, if something dramatic doesn’t happen soon – something dramatic is going to happen soon! As a matter of fact, I believe we are at the point now where it will take some type of dramatic catastrophe (another economic crash, natural disaster, nuclear explosion, or sudden scarcity of resources; like water for example) that will either put our country back on the right course, or will forever change life in America as we (my generation–the baby boomers) have known it. When I look, listen, and study all that’s going on today I truly fret for my children and grandchildren and what they will encounter in the not too distant future.
Do you understand what I’m saying ?
Do see it? Do you feel it? Do you get it? Do you agree? Are you there and do you care, which brings us back to the issue of leading and being relevant.
What Can I Do?
I’m not sure if all the protesting, preaching, or political posturing can really change things at the Federal level anymore. It’s really gotten to the point of beyond ridiculous and is a pretty embarrassing situation in my opinion. I don’t think the average American is aware of (or really cares?) about what’s happening in our nations capitol. If they really understood, that alone would cause a revolution that I think is needed at the grassroots level. The kind of radical revolution like we’ve seen in the past where things get messy, and in our day and age, they might get the messiest that we’ve ever seen. But the good news is that at the individual, grassroots level, we can act and make a difference. And, who knows, maybe even start a movement that can grow to the national level! It’s been done before and whose to say you can’t make it happen again?
Call To Action:
The following are principles that will keep you relevant and put you in a position to make a difference in the lives of the people you’re leading and help them to deal with the circumstances that we are all feeling in one way or another.
1. As individuals or leaders of an organization continue to lead on the cutting edge. How is this done? By consistently being committed to step 2.
2. Commit to the discipline of learning. Sound easy? Common sense? Well, as we learned from the late great Dr. Stephen R. Covey, “common sense is not common practice.” In my experience as a public leader and speaker I’ve found that the minority of people are avid readers and learners/students of their own industry. I’m not talking about reading the newspaper, reading a book or articles on the internet. Those things are okay, but they are not the same as the discipline, time, and effort it takes to do research and obtain a solid, unbiased understanding of a subject. Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, said it takes at least 10,000 hours (the approximate equivalent of 10 years) to become a world class expert in anything. But the key to that time frame is what one does during that time. It’s not automatic just because you’ve been in the same job for ten years. That’s too easy. Experts are people that go the extra mile. They “pay the price.” They are dedicated to discipline and constantly curious to climb the ladder of significance and challenge themselves to always go to the next level by whatever means necessary.
3. Think bigger about leaving a legacy on purpose. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” says the wisdom from the good book. Therefore, because you’re a leader (or desire to become one) allow me to encourage you, here and now, to think bigger about who you are and what you can accomplish both now and after you’re long gone. Trust me when I tell you that your leadership and your relevance are desperately need in your community.
Legacy is automatic. We are either creating and living our life, or we are just reacting and being lived by circumstances. Thus, what will your legacy be? That’s a question not enough people think about. But as it pertains to leadership, you can achieve a great leader legacy by developing superior services. And because of your superiority, your product, organization, and/or skills are passed on and sustained by other excellent leaders after you that have been attracted to you because by investing in you they have found success, significance, and relevance.
As I said, I don’t know where our national elected leaders heads are at. But, regardless of what they are saying, doing, and not doing, don’t let it take away from your aspirations as a local leader to be and remain relevant in your circle of influence. Who knows, you might be, or you might play a part in developing the next individual that puts the nation back on track.