To Praise or Protest?

According to numerous news reports, the White House praised Walmart for raising its minimum wage to $9/hour.  


Couldn’t the White House folks have just said something like, “Walmart’s increased wage is slightly less appalling than the old wage” instead?

When you consider that today in the U.S.:

  • 1/2 of children grow up in low-income households,
  • 1 in 5 kids doesn’t get enough food,
  • The richest 1/10th of 1% have more combined wealth than the bottom 90%, and
  • Over 99% of new income went to the top 1% between 2009 and 2013,
it becomes clear: Praise is not what’s needed. 

Outraged, ongoing protest is. 


Sanity-Saving Tip for Grant Seekers in a Hurry

You are asked to complete a grant application due tomorrow at five p.m.

"You can do it, can't you?" asks your boss.

You plan: "Okay, this morning, I'll work on the cover page and attachments.... this afternoon, the first three questions of the narrative section. Tomorrow morning, I'll do the next three, tomorrow afternoon, the last three..."

Wait. Stop. That plan might work this time, but sooner or later, you'll be working on yet another last-minute grant application, fall behind your own schedule, and find yourself re-designing the last part of your plan. The revised part will look something like this:

  • 4:30 - 4:40, answer questions 6 and 7;
  • 4:40 - 4:50, answer questions 8 and 9,
  • 4:50 to 4:55, answer question 10,
  • 4:55 - 4:57, proofread application
  • 4:58 - upload attachments
  • 4:59 - send.

Here's a better approach: The next time you have two days to complete a grant application, try to finish a first draft of the entire application on Day One. On Day Two, you can further develop your answers, proof read the application, etc.

There are two advantages to this approach. First,  if some unforeseen problem develops on the due date (e.g. you can't get online, your saved application wasn't saved), you have time to deal with it. Second, unlike your first plan, this approach leaves time for you to better develop any "skimpy" responses to application questions. This means you are more likely to end up with an application you are proud to submit instead of an application with responses that devolve from informational (first question) to unintelligible (last question).


A Time-Saving Tip on Researching Foundations

Credit: LaurMG
Has this ever happened to you?

You’re studying a foundation website, wondering: Will these folks fund my proposal?

You check the foundation’s mission statement. So far, so good.

You check the deadlines – plenty of time to submit.

Do they fund organizations in Seattle? They do!

You keep reading … Great! A perfect fit!

And then you see it. In fine print. At the bottom of your screen: “Due to the economic downturn, we no longer accept unsolicited proposals or letters of inquiry.”


Save yourself some time and heartache: Ignore those exhortations to PLEASE READ ABOUT OUR FUNDING PRIORITIES AND GUIDELINES FIRST! and check the section on how to apply for any “Don’t call us, we’ll call you” statements.


What to Do If Congress Votes on Repealing the Affordable Care Act a 57th Time

So yesterday, House Republicans voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)  - for the 56th time.

If there is a 57th attempt to debate and overturn the ACA, here’s what we should do: We should form a fund and get friends, neighbors, etc. to chip in a nickel for each minute that members of Congress waste “debating” what they’ve already “debated” 56 times. And we should spend the money on voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Here’s how it could work:

Let’s estimate (based on prior “debates”) that Congress (and staffers) spend 450 minutes on “Debate” 57:

If I get 20 people to donate an average of 5 cents per minute, I raise: 450 minutes x  5 cents per minute per person x  20 people, or 225 dollars.

If 99 Seattleites do the same, we generate 22,500 dollars.

If 9 other cities in  King County follow Seattle’s lead, we generate 225,000 dollars.

If 5 other counties in Washington State follow King County’s lead, we raise over one million dollars.

It just might be enough to ensure that in Washington, in 2016, pro-repeal electeds don’t get back into office, and pro-repeal candidates don’t get on the ballot.