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Institute of Museum and Library ServicesSince my community college serves a rural, agriculturally-based population it tends to be under-funded and sadly, ignored by fundors. Driving though our rice paddy fields, I have seen a one-room library that was founded by 19th-century steel and railroad industrialist—and philanthropist—Andrew Carnegie, who established 1,679 new libraries throughout large and small towns across rural America.

National Science Foundation, Where Discoveries BeginGrant funding for research at the community college level can be scarce, but a National Science Foundation grant intended to match student researchers with innovative businesses may help to reverse that trend. And the key may be as simple as knowing who to ask.

Reimagining Learning: graphic for the Digital Media and Learning CompetitionI was reading the July 7, 2010 issue of eSHOOL NEWS, and I came upon the following article: “Ten winners snag $1.7 million in digital competition: MacArthur Foundation funds projects that explore new approaches to 21st-century learning.”

Image from the eGrant website.Historically, the lead federal agency in the electronic proposal submission effort has been the National Science Foundation, with its “FastLane” system, developed a quarter century ago.

Stock image from inside and elevatorIn the April 30th online version of Philanthropy Today, published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, there was an interesting video clip titled, “The Art of the Elevator Pitch.”

eSchool News logoA week ago, I received my copy of the April 2010 issue of eSCHOOL NEWS. Deborah Ward’s article, Death of a grant proposal: Six lessons learned in post-mortem, on page 34,  was quite revealing.

Coins on a notebookRecently, I read two articles that I found extremely germane to the enterprise of grant seeking and grant writing. The first, by Mary Walters, “You Can Get the Grant,” was published January 11, 2010 in Inside Higher Ed.

Ms. Walters correctly assesses that the tone of your prose can affect how the reviewers read and react to your proposal. She states that a hesitant or negative tone becomes a sure sign of lack of confidence. Being too verbose, lacking clarity, use of excessive technical terms and generalities can sink your proposal.


In looking at proposals that have been funded over the years, one interesting element of succesful grantwriting that is becoming more and more important is evaluation.

I was thinking recently about a grant that Butte-Glenn Community College District (BGCCD) submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) two years ago. This prompted me to look at grants targeted to community colleges. The NSF Advanced Technology Education (ATE) is specifically designed for community colleges.