April 2012

Pod- Cast: Grant Writing

Let’s imagine you, or your organization, has decided to apply for a grant. The process may go something like this: you hear of a grant they’d like to apply one, you write or complete grant application and necessities, youreceive grant! It may go as smoothly as that or it may involve countless hours of writers block, carpel tunnel or a simple straight-forward denial because you didn’t meet the criteria, or didn’t complete the grant flawlessly. No nodding heads = no grant money. Here’s the important part though, the difference between receiving a check and receiving a check-off is oftentimes a skilled grant writer. Seeing this, here are a few general things to know regarding hiring or finding your grant writing soul mate.

A grant writer is usually defined as someone who is responsible for preparing the necessary documents needed in order to secure grant money from governments or foundations that provide grant funds to nonprofits, businesses or other eligible organizations.

Once an organization determines they do in fact want to hire, either permanently or on contract, a grant writer they begin the process of finding someone up for the job.

Where to find them: As with a lot of things in life it is sometimes best to begin close to home. You can always start by asking for referrals from friends, relatives or colleagues who may have previously gone through a similar process.  If this turns up nothing but dead ends, it’s best to look for a consultant grant writer. These can be found in many places but a good place to start is the American Grant Writer’s Association. They have the ability to play match maker between their certified grant writers available for hire and the type of organization you are or what type of grant you are applying for. You can also check job boards, place a job ad, reach out to a local university or research the websites of non-profits or fundraising organizations.

What they will do: Once on board, a grant writer gets down to the job. They begin with either tackling a grant you have already selected to apply for or begin researching grant opportunities for you or your organization. Once grant opportunities have been located grant writers will write the actual proposal to be submitted to foundations or applications to government agencies. A grant writer also has the ability to step in and simply review a proposal or application that you have already written and if desired they have the skills and knowledge to think long term and train your staff to research grant opportunities and write proposals in the future.

How much they will cost: Grant writers hired as a consultant will charge an hourly rate. These often range from $40-100 per hour. Just an FYI it is unethical for any grant writer to accept compensation that is a percentage of grant funds an organization may receive.  It is also unethical for compensation to be contingent upon receipt of grant funds. 

So there you have it, a mini breakdown on some key things to know regarding the duties of grant writers, where to find them and what to expect from them. You can also check out our website for more grant resources than you could imagine, or check our Facebook and Twitter pages for frequent how-to’s and updates. 

Grant Writing Resources:

http://www.agwa.us/

http://foundationcenter.org/

http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/tutorials/shortcourse/index.html

Pod-Cast: Fenway Turns 100!

ImageNot many people get to celebrate turning 100. Not many ballparks do either. Today, however, marks the 100th year of Fenway Park, and solidifies it as America’s oldest working Major League ballpark. On this day, exactly one hundred years ago in 1912, the Boston Red Sox took on the New York Yankees, then known as the New York Highlanders. Today, they rematch.  Those same two teams will play each other, in the same ballpark, with simply a few modern day updates and a mere one hundred years separating the two events. And although the players and fans may be different, and the outcome may vary, I have to wonder if the feeling and the magic of Fenway is just the way it was one hundred years ago.

Congrats Fenway Park and The Boston Red Sox, here’s to a one of a kind ballpark and to the next one hundred years.

We look forward to continuing the celebration when we see Yawkey Way teeming with baseball and softball equipment during the Red Sox Equipment Day Drive taking place from Friday June 22nd until Sunday June 24th. This year will mark the eighth consecutive year that “Kids Gear for Baseball Boston” will be selected by the Red Sox as the Equipment Day grant recipient and be awarded a $5,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund.

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Head over to the BTF Facebook and Twitter pages to tell us what you’re doing to gear up and collect items for the Equipment Day drives coming your way …we’re dying to hear!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Pod-Cast: Jackie Robinson Day

ImageSunday marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson walking onto Ebbets field as first baseman for The Brooklyn Dodgers. He broke the color barrier of Major League Baseball. Prior to Robinson, baseball had been a segregated sport for over 50 years. Allan H. (Bud) Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball stated, “When Jackie Robinson took the field in Brooklyn sixty-five years ago, he transcended the sport he loved and helped change our country in the most powerful way imaginable.”

MLB is commemorating Jackie Robinson Day with a league-wide anniversary recognition celebration. All MLB players and on field personnel will wear the number 42, youth baseball and softball clinics will be held in different communities through the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program and Clubs will hold special ceremonies at MLB ballparks throughout the country.

Commissioner Selig states, “It is a privilege for Major League Baseball to celebrate Jackie’s enduring legacy each year, and we are proud that every April 15th, our young fans around the world have an opportunity to learn everything that the Number 42 stands for – courage, grace and determination.”

In celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, Austin RBI is hosting a free clinic along with a Pitch, High & Run Competition. The event is being held at past Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant recipient, Austin Reagan High School. Reagan High School was chosen in May of 2010 as the MLB Groundskeepers’ annual renovation service project where each year, the MLB Groundskeepers go into a community and renovate a selected baseball field in need of repair. The completion of the renovated playing surface and upgraded facilities was celebrated on January 11, 2011.

The clinic held at Austin Reagan on April 15, 2012 will celebrate an important day in history while also showcasing the importance of continued support to youth baseball and softball.

Jackie Robinson’s Nine Values to Live By:

  1. Courage: Doing what you know is the right thing even when it is hard to do
  2. Determination: Staying focused on a plan even though the path to its end may be difficult
  3. Teamwork: Working with other people toward a common goal
  4. Persistence: Working toward a goal and continuing to move forward even though you face obstacles or barriers
  5. Integrity: Sticking to your values, regardless of what others think you should do
  6. Citizenship: Making a contribution that improves the lives of others
  7. Justice: Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are
  8. Commitment:  Making a promise and following through on it
  9. Excellence: Doing the best that you possibly can

Weigh in on Facebook and Twitter to tell us what you think of Jackie’s Nine Values or tell us a few values you live by.

Pod-Cast: Opening Day!

We find ourselves once again at Friday and having finished yet another great week here at BTF.

We broke up the week by traveling to Statesville, NC on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of the new Power Cross home baseball field. Image

Power Cross, an organization dedicated to mentoring young men through athletics, was awarded a grant in the amount of $45,000. This grant funded renovations to their home baseball facility, batting cages, playing surface, dugouts, and for purchase of baseball equipment and uniforms. Over 300 young men will benefit from the renovations and new facility. The event was attended by Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh and the Hickory Crawdads Mascot Conrad and kicked-off with an explosive home run derby. Check out the great photos.

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As I’m sure many of you already know Thursday was the highly anticipated 2012 MLB Opening Day. Opening Day, for me, is always exhilarating; predications of who will take it all this year are made, friendly rivalries between colleagues and departments break out and all of a sudden it feels like summer is just around the corner. Opening Day means we can start sporting our worn out, but perfectly broken in, team hats, watching games with friends and family and acting as if we’re in the grandstand and, if we’re one of the lucky ones, attending a game on a summer evening. When the sun sets, the lights click on, your team is winning and your hot dog has the perfect amount of ketchup on it, you may wonder how it could get any better.

The beginning of baseball season means that Equipment Day collections are coming your way! Continue to check our website for updated calendar listings of Equipment Day collection dates. In the meantime, jump start your own collection by stock piling your baseball or softball equipment to donate to a nearby MLB Club collection.

As we head into a sunny spring weekend here’s my suggestion to you: check out the BTF Facebook and Twitter pages, then break out that team spirit and enjoy our favorite American sport.

Pod-Cast: Keep Off The Grass: Field Maintenance

Spring has officially sprung… and, field maintenance is the topic of conversation!Image

With the assistance of MLB Clubs, BTF has begun a new initiative called the Field Maintenance Education Program – an opportunity for MLB Head Groundskeepers to host field maintenance clinics to educate and support the ongoing task of facility maintenance. The first clinic of the season was held in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals Charities on on Saturday, March 24.

A private field maintenance clinic was held for local youth baseball and softball organizations, including BTF and KC Royals Charities grant recipients. KC Royals head groundskeeper Trevor Vance and his crew reviewed techniques and methods of professional field maintenance that could be used for smaller, youth facilities. In conjunction with the clinic, BTF presented a $5,000 grant each to Blue Springs (Mo.) High School and Van Horn High School in Independence, Mo., for baseball field upgrades!

Check out a brief video  and photo gallery of the day in order to get the digital scoop.

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The second clinic was held this past Saturday in partnership with the Cincinnati Reds at Brandon Phillips Field. The seminar was hosted by Jamie Mehringer of J+D Turf, Josh Cook from Advanced Turf Solutions and featured guest speaker Doug Gallant, head groundskeeper for the Reds. Doug handed out useful advice and demonstrated proper field maintenance methods to prepare a the field for the all important spring season. BTF presented two more $5,000 grants to the Cincinnati Public Schools/Student Activity Foundation as well as the Morgan County (Kentucky) Middle School baseball field which sustained damage from a tornado last month.  

 

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BTF partners with MLB Clubs to hold these clinics with the steadfast purpose of educating attendees of the importance of ongoing field maintenance. Field maintenance is the cornerstone to keeping a field safe for players and the promise of continued use in the future.  A baseball field has to tolerate many natural disasters, including tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, etc. Through education and grant funds, BTF continues to support field maintenance education and the longevity of a field.  

Upcoming clinics:

  • Detroit Tigers (Saturday April 14)
  • New York Mets (Saturday August 11)
  • Seattle Mariners (Friday August 24)

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow BTF on Twitter for great photos, stories and constant updates. 

FM Quick Tips:

  • Walk your field everyday and look for hazards, it’s the only way to truly know your field and be able to recognize safety concerns.
  • Water can be the most important maintenance tool. Some pros water heavily at least 8-10 hours before any game to ensure proper moisture which in turn provides firm footing for the athletes.
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