Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If It's Not Right, Just Say No

I did a BlogTalkRadio broadcast on Saturday about two new RFPs that came out last Friday - Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools and Grants for Integrating Schools with Mental Health Systems. On the radio show, I summarized the details of each grant opportunity - deadlines, eligibility requirements, funding priorities, available funding, etc.

One of the details for Grants for Integrating Schools with Mental Health Systems is that grant funds cannot be used to fund direct services for students.

Since then, I've had two conversations with people who want to know if there is any way they could use that funding source to pay for a school counselor.  The answer was, "Not if that counselor is going to provide any direct services to students." Both then followed up with several questions asking if we could find a way to describe the counselor's duties that would be acceptable to get them funded, but then they went on to make their intent clear - that the counselor would be providing direct services to students.  My answer, "No."

When you have an intensive need, it's very tempting to try to make the square peg of what you need fit into the round hole of what the funder is offering, but it is never a good idea. Not only can it be unethical, but ultimately, it won't help you get closer to the achievement of your mission.

In the case of my example, I advised these clients to wait for the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program grants.  That source will fund school counselors.  It's a square hole made to fit the client's square peg.

Keep looking, you'll find the funding source that fits your needs.

If you find one that's not right for you, just say no.

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About Creative Resources & Research

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Woodland, CA, United States
Creative Resources and Research is a consulting firm specializing in grant writing, grant seeking, program evaluation and professional development training. We have worked with hundreds of clients including public and private schools, school districts, universities, non-profit organizations, and social service agencies throughout California, securing over $155 million from federal, state and private foundation funding sources over the past decade. Our primary grant writers and program evaluators have over 50 years of combined experience in the education and social services fields. At CRR we prefer a personal approach to the clients we work with; by developing long term relationships, we are better suited to match client’s needs with available funding sources. We provide a variety of services to help assist you, including grant writing, evaluation consulting, professional development opportunities, and workshops.