Sunday, January 21, 2007

About This Blog

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Ruth Wahtera. I love my job, which is -- whatever I make it! In 2001, after years working in large organizations, I set out to be my own boss. I have no desire to build a huge company. I just want to use my talents to help people I enjoy make great things happen.

More often than not, that means that I'm helping people and organizations translate their dreams into language others will understand and support.

Strategic plans, business plans, grant applications, web sites, blogs.... I write a lot. I also facilitate conversations and planning sessions. I consult. I work on special projects. I serve as a sounding board.

And, I love to explore and test new tools and techniques for working efficiently and managing projects.

One day I started thinking about how my clients could use blogs. That made me think that I better start blogging myself. After all, there's nothing worse than a consultant preaching about something they've never experienced. So, I thought, hmmm -- grant writing tips.

Every non-profit, many individuals, every school, and some businesses submit grant applications. And, we're all struggling with the same issues. Some involve nuts and bolts. Some present ethical or philosophical. Some are pure resource needs -- where can I find statistics about the number of xyz's in my state?

So, this blog was born. It provides me with experience blogging. It helps me think about the process of writing good grants, and that helps me improve my craft. And, I can share what I've learned with others.

If you find value in what I offer, I hope you'll encourage me by posting comments and offering your own tips and resources. Knowing you've found something useful will keep me writing. And when you share something that works for you, you make me very happy.

I hope you'll subscribe by RSS or, if you prefer updates by email, by Feedblitz. You'll find the subscription information at the bottom of the sidebar. I also publish a periodic enewsletter about whatever I find interesting -- the epitome of arrogance. But you may find some of it interesting, too.
Post a comment to let me know you're there.

All the best,


David Kutcher said...

Hi Ruth, I wanted to bring a site I run to your attention. The RFP Database and its blog feature a community listing of RFPs and grants. Your readers might be interested in learning about this site as a way to find new grant requests and a way to share grant requests that they aren't submitting to with other users.

Anonymous said...


I noticed your blog and wanted to introduce you to

We have two main blogs for the site we started and want to know if you wanted to be listed on the “Ask an ED” blog. The site was launched 1 ½ weeks ago. While we are small now, we do have several hundred unique visitors each day. Let me know if you’d like to co-linking each other.

Gabriel Buelna
The Nonprofit Network

Anonymous said...

Hello Ruth,
Thank You for this website. I am a counselor with big ideas and in need of funding. I found your site easily. There are many useful hints and tips I have enjoyed reading. janet

Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,

I drop in on your blog from time to time and wanted to let you know about our annual nonprofit event that may be of good use to you and your readers. The Georgia Nonprofit Summit attracts a nationwide audience of attendees and has great classes, resources and speakers on all topics of importance to nonprofits, big and small. Our keynotes this year are Robert Egger from the DC Soup Kitchen and Allison Fine, author of “Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age.”

If you’d like to have a post about the event or any specific information on it, feel free to link to the event page at or feel free to contact me directly.

Joe Folan
The Georgia Center for Nonprofits

Rudolf Schmidt said...

Hello, Ruth. I have two tips for you. The first is, where you can find an extensive database of grants and funding opportunities for nonprofits etc.

The second tip is: there's no apostrophe in "share some of your's". ;)


Ruth Wahtera said...

Thanks for catching my error, Eric!

Unknown said...

This blog is fabulous! Thank you so much for doing it. You provide real-life issues and answers. I plan to follow it for all the latest in grant-writing.

Ruth Wahtera said...

Thanks, Ruth Ann. I appreciate the complement.

findmegrants said...

Hey Ruth:

I reallllllllly like your grant writing advice website - I have 26 years of experience writing grants and am now doing it full time at home. Because I run into a lot of people who have misconceptions about grants - more than I can count - I started a website called
where I try to help by answering any grant questions


Ruth Wahtera said...

Thanks, Margie,
I just visited your site. It looks great and you're certainly off to a wonderful start.

I'll subscribe to your feed to cheer you on.

Unknown said...

Hi Ruth!
Thanks so much for your blog. I am new to grant proposal writing, and very excited about it. Your blog is an incredibly helpful and inspiring resource!

Ruth Wahtera said...

Thanks, Britta,
Good luck with your new adventure. Keep us posted on how it's going, too.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ruth!
I'm in the middle of writing a LOI and am getting quite frustrated with it. It's difficult to find the right balance - i.e. how much to say in this "grant proposal proposal," and how much to save for the actual grant proposal. (The foundation's instructions were vague and gave no minimum or maximum length.) I imagine it will become easier over time and with practice, but right now, GRRRR!

So I procrastinate by looking at a gazillion sample LOIs online, and babbling in people's blogs. ;)
I'm currently appreciating your "don't research" tip, because that's another one of my favorite procrastination tactics.

Anonymous said...

Writer of local grant indicted:

Paso Robles woman indicted for $35 million fraud scheme

A Federal Grand Jury has indicted a Paso Robles woman on charges she submitting a forged application in an attempt to obtain $35 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Education, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Affairs Officer Thom Mrozek.

Jean Michele Cross, 57, is also accused of concealing a 15 percent fee she had negotiated for successfully submitting grant applications.

The indictment alleges Cross submitted the forged grant application on March 12, 2007 on behalf of the Indio Youth Task Force (IYTF). The Department of Education awarded the non-profit $6.9 million per year, over five years, in December 2007.

“In April 2008, after improprieties about the grant application process surfaced, IYTF returned the check,” Mrozek said in a press release. “The indictment alleges Cross altered and forged signatures and documents.”

In addition, investigators from multiple agencies including the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Education allege Cross forged and altered documents from several other educational entities including Desert Sands Unified School District, Perris Elementary School District, and Nuview Unified School District.

Cross has been charged with forgery, mail fraud, and making false statements. She faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in federal prison if convicted.

Ruth Wahtera said...

Thanks for the update on Jean Cross, anonymous. I've posted about it on the blog.

Do you live in the area? Can you keep us posted on the trial, when it occurs? I'd love to have you guest-post here.

Alexxa Blue said...

Hi Ruth,

I'd like to mention an online course that might be useful for your readers. The University of Illinois at Chicago offers a Grant Writing for Nonprofits course. Information can be found here:

Leila Benwell said...

And a great resource for grants it has become.

Janel Hastings said...

Hi, Ruth!

I am new to your blog, and very pleased to have come upon it! I manage a (new) blog that focuses on institutional research and grant writing, with the goal of providing tips and resources. With your permission, I'd be very happy to post your blog on mine!

Janel Hastings
La Verne, CA