Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 



The purpose of this course is to enable you, legitimately, to include "Grants Writer" on your resume. During three 1 1/2 hour classes in June and July, you can acquire the skills to write effective funding proposals. This skill can aid you in getting challenging employment and a fulfilling career.

Each class will be a simulated staff meeting. As a result, the give-and-take may be rough at times, but, as my drill sergeant told us in basic training, "If you think it's rough here, wait til you get into combat."

To profit from the course, you will also have to put in lots of time in study, meetings, and writing.

Where:  To be determined by mutual agreement.

When:  Two concurrent class sessions:

     Tuesday mornings, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  June 12, 26, and July 10.

     Thursday evenings, 7 to 8:30 p.m.  June 14, 28, and July 12.

Preparation Before Coming to the First Class

+ Copy and read my blogs on "Getting Grants - Organizing" and "Getting Grants - Proposals", which can be found in the right-hand column at http://leadings.squarespace.com.

+ Visit the Gates Foundation visitor center, next to the Seattle Center.  Go through the orientation so you know the foundation's scope and interests.

+ Go through all of the Seattle Foundation's web site.  (This will probably take two hours.)

+ In mid-May, I will e-mail you Sam Charter's concept paper for an apprenticeship agency, along with information on six possible funding sources.  (1)  Read and evaluate Sam's plan.  (2)  Read the six foundation descriptions.  (3)  Pick the best prospect for funding and be able to defend your choice.

+ Assemble all your funding materials in a notebook and bring the notebook to each class.

+ Bring six copies of your resume to the first class.

First Class -- Tuesday morning, June 12, 10 a.m. or Thursday evening, June 14, 7 p.m

1.  Resume reviews -- Getting to know each other.

2.  The proposal format.  Discussion. 

3.  Research sources -- your tools:  Web, Main Library, Books, Articles.

4.  Your recommendations for Sam Charters' agency.

5.  To which of the six foundations would you recommend that Sam apply?  Why?

Preparation for the Second Class:  Working with an agency:

+   Volunteer to write a funding proposal for a non-profit agency.

+   Get the information you need for your proposal.

             Note:  In doing so, you may have the role of the organizational development consultant                                  with the agency.  Avoid becoming the program organizer – unless they pay you well.

+   Write your first draft.  You have a deadline of ten days, until Friday, June 22, to e-mail yourfirst draft to each person in the class.

Second Class - Tuesday morning, June 26, 10 a.m. or Thursday evening, June 28, 7 p.m.

1.  Understanding the funding game.

            +  How foundations work.  How trustees think.  Ego massage.

            +  Pressure on the foundations.

            +  Examples:  What's going on?

2.  Alternative sources of funding:  Web site / individuals and friends, governments, corporations, churches, denominations.  Do friend raising, not fund raising.

3.  More on the realities of proposal writing:  Your role in organizational development.

4.  Reviewing each of your proposals. Critique of your proposal. Your recommendations for the improvement of each other's proposals.

Preparation for the Third Class

1.  Research possible funding sources. Pick one. Take special notice of the foundation's submission deadline. (If a letter of intent is required, write the letter of intent and go through the same review process as if it were a proposal.)

2.  Make six copies of information on your funding source.

3.  Revise your proposal.  Tailor it specifically to your selected foundation.  Write a cover letter, if appropriate.

4.  Review your proposal with the agency person who will sign the cover letter or the proposal.

5.  Revise your proposal to satisfy the agency person's objections and requests.

6.  Write your final draft.  You have a deadline of ten days, until Friday, July 6, to e-mail your final draft to each person in the class.  Include both the proposal and the attachments.

Third Class - Tuesday morning, July 10, 10 a.m. or Thursday evening, July 12, 7 p.m.

1.  Reviewing each of your proposals. Critique of your proposal. Your recommendations for the improvement of each other's proposals.

2.  Review of the Organizing Blog -- methods to use in friend raising -- structuring your revenue stream: The ratio among fees, grants, and individual donations.

After the Third Class

1.  If needed, revise your proposal.

2.  As needed, clear it with your agency contact before submission.

3.  If needed, revise it again.

4.  Get the signature of your agency contact on the cover letter or proposal.

5.  Submit the proposal.

6.  When you learn of the results, contact Jack Towe.




Entrance Requirements for the Course

You need a job, a better job, and/or a career.

You have good writing skills.

You can organize complex information.

It's useful if you have sales experience.

Jack's Qualifications as a Teacher:  In the '70s, I took the one-week Grantsmanship course out of L.A. While I've never worked full-time as a Grantsman, in the past 40 years have raised over $5 million for various non-profits, including $3 million for our NGO, Sign of the Cross Housing.  As a former agency director, I can say that my one week of grantsmanship training has been at least as valuable as my three years at Harvard Law School.

Fee:  There is no fee for the course.  What's the catch?  What's in this for Jack?

(1) Writing:  I'm now doing creative writing and am unwilling to do more proposal writing.

(2) Income:  Once we've done the pilot program, I may choose to do the course for a fee with others.

(3) Ministry:  All y'all need jobs or better jobs.  I've got this skill, which is in demand, so the LORD tapped me to share it with you, and not to hoard it.

(4) Weariness:  I'm tired of going after funds, and two years ago at 75 I resolved to reform.

Scope of the Course

+  Grants resources and where to find them.

+  Organizational planning.

+  Proposal writing.

+  Foundation relations, do's and don'ts.

+  Becoming a professional grants person.

Note:  You may be able to get extra credit – from your graduate school -- if you can prepare the proposal in fulfillment of course requirements.

What's in This for You?

Many non-profit agencies need a grants writer. If the grants person has a track record, there are openings. The professional positions are usually listed under "Development Director".  Every university, hospital, and large agency has one.  And not to put too much hope in the game, but development directors often become agency directors. So, it's a good career track. And the basics can be learned in a few days.


I was surprised – and you may be surprised – to learn that these grants people have professional organizations with a code of ethics.  (That's America.  We have organizations for everything.)  It's unethical for a grants person to work on a contingency fee basis, as tort lawyers do.  The only ways a grants person can work with an agency is (1) as an employee, or (2) as an independent contractor, with an agreed-on, fixed fee to be paid when conditions are met – e.g. the proposal is written and submitted on-time to the foundation, or (3) as a volunteer. 

Problem:  Most foundations are unwilling to fund on-going agency expenses. Why? Because there's no end. Thus, they prefer to fund either (1) capital improvements (bricks & mortar or equipment) or (2) special projects, which have a measurable conclusion, including start-up grants.

The hot-button item with foundations are grants to non-profits which will enable the agencies to become self-supporting.


Purpose of this blog is to compile a book for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright © 2012 by Jack Towe


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