Keep Up with Change

Corporate Angels

Donate, Don’t Dump

Seeking Showhouse Designers

Leadership Trenton Funded

Corrections or additions?

This article by Judith G. Lindenberger was prepared for the

November 21, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights

reserved.

Tips for Writing A Winning Proposal

So how do you or your organization get up to $600,000

in state funds to underwrite the mission of your choice? Well, you

have to ask for it, as well meaning friend or relative will tell you.

But how you ask is critical.

Grant proposals have to sing — and gain the attention of the

funding

source as surely as a mezzo-soprano reaches the upper balcony. Lots

of frugal nonprofits have concluded that money spent on a professional

grant-writer is money well spent. Herewith 10 tips from

Judith Lindenberger, a veteran non-profit professional, who has

written

proposals for both non-profits and for-profits:

IN MY FORMER LIFE, I was a corporate businesswoman, grappling

my way up to the glass ceiling. For the past two years, I stuffed

my business degrees in a drawer and got paid for my passion —

working as the administrative director of a nonprofit organization

that helps kids with learning differences.

In my job, I wrote lots of grants. Early on it dawned on me that I

had been very successful in the business world when I wrote business

proposals. In my corporate life, I developed a training program for

business executives who wrote business proposals. The result of that

program was that the business executives wrote clearer, more effective

proposals and their audience made clearer, more effective decisions.

So, using what I learned in both my business career and my nonprofit

career, here are my 10 steps for writing winning proposals even in

a down economy:

Know your audience. Create a mental picture of a typical

reader. Think — how will the reader react to my ideas? what

information

does the reader need to be able to follow and accept my message? Learn

your audience’s points of view and goals. Learn their attitudes and

values.

State your purpose up front. Every proposal needs a solid

foundation and an idea or product the audience needs. State your

purpose

up front. Many first-time presenters mistakenly believe you should

save your punch line until the end. Wrong. This is not the time for

suspense.

Outline your proposal. After determining that there is

a match between your purpose and the audience’s point of view and

goals, follow these three steps to write your proposal:

1. Determine what’s in the middle — what is your core

message?

2. Figure out the ending — how will you close? What

is your call to action?

3. Figure out the beginning — how should you open?

Start off with answering the question, What is the issue? and telling

your audience what you want them to do.

Focus. Keep your proposal clear and succinct by answering

the following questions: What is the issue? What is the recommendation

and how much will it cost? How did we get here and what is the

evidence?

What are the outcomes and how can the results be measured?

Use visual aids. Your audience is 43 percent more likely

to be persuaded by what you’re saying when you use pie charts, bar

graphs, pictures, etc. Simplify, simplify, simplify. A good visual

aid looks like a billboard on an interstate that drivers can read

while going 65 mph.

Anticipate and answer questions. Do a bit of detective

work. Find out the subjects of greatest concern. Address how you will

manage those concerns in your proposal.

Schedule time for rewrites. Show your proposal to friends

or colleagues. They can observe what you can’t see — how you will

sound to your audience. Ask for specific comments. Ask them to point

out any possible weaknesses in your material.

Know your subject completely. Know every angle, every

possible concern.

Be realistic. What are the key issues of your proposal

likely to be? Give the bottom line. Include a realistic and complete

budget. What’s the worst case scenario? What are the next steps?

Be passionate. Let your convictions show. And, remember,

everyone has the same goal — a successful business decision.

— Judith G. Lindenberger

Judith Lindenberger is director of administration and human

resources at Newgrange, and an independent consultant and founder

of The Lindenberger Group. She can be reached at jlndnbrgr@aol.com .

Top Of Page
Keep Up with Change

Like it or not, change is a fact. Some people embrace

it, and others deny the need to change, preferring to clutch on to

the same-old-same-old down to the bitter end. Nonetheless, change

is going to happen.

For executives and corporations, failure to change can mean disaster.

And according to Nanette Hartley, founder and president of

Crescent

Consulting based in Morris Plains, the need for corporations to

foresee

and adapt to change has only become more crucial over the past two

decades. "The rate of change in the world is faster," says

Hartley. "And in the corporate world, the implications are so

significant that failure to change can mean loss of job or even loss

of company. These days if you fail to change with the marketplace,

you’re gone."

Hartley will be giving a seminar on "Overcoming Obstacles to

Change"

as a part of Quality New Jersey’s 13th annual conference,

"Focusing

on Excellence in the New Century," on Thursday, November 29, at

9 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick. The keynote speaker

is environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr.. Among the other

featured speakers

are G. Jeremiah Ryan, president of Raritan Valley Community

College, Laura Spoeri, director of performance management of

Somerset Medical Center, and David Zatz, senior consultant,

Toolpack Consulting. Cost: $325. Call 609-777-0940.

While companies such as GE have become classic examples of

organizations

that have successfully changed to fit the times, other companies have

been slow to see the writing on the wall, languishing in a kind of

denial that imperils their future. But recognizing the need for change

is only the beginning. Corporations must also learn strategies in

which change can be successfully implemented.

The purpose of Hartley’s workshop is to teach people how to recognize

the need to make changes in their organizations, as well as how to

successfully make these changes happen. "Over 50 percent of

attempts

to make changes fail," she says. "We’re offering a blueprint

that can be applied to all situations, from corporations with

thousands

of employees, to small church organizations, right down to a parent

trying to motivate a teenage son to get to school on time."

Hartley received her BS from Ithaca College in 1969. She went on to

work as a physical therapist before returning to school, receiving

her MBA from MIT in 1981. She founded Crescent Consulting in 1994.

Hartley believes that when first looking at a situation, it is

important

to ask the right questions. While that may seem obvious, it is not

necessarily easy. "It’s important to step back, and try to see

the real underlying issues," says Hartley. "For example,

sometimes

there may be a conflict in a department that seems at its surface

to be about money. But in fact it may be about power, or control,

or people being told to do things in which they don’t have any

input."

Empathy is an age-old virtue, and it is no less so in the corporate

world. Before instituting any changes, it is important for people

in leadership positions to put themselves in the shoes of those who

are being asked to change. It is essential to have a dialogue with

the people who are being affected and to include everyone in the

decision-making

process. Also, looking carefully at changes that have been initiated

in the past and analyzing what was successful and what wasn’t cannot

be overrated. Often people resist change for a good reason —

because

they already know it is not going to work.

"Top down impositions really only work in army situations,"

says Hartley. "Making a blanket order is fine when one army is

attacking another, but even that’s because the general has already

established enough credibility with his troops so that they believe

he knows what he’s doing."

For many, even making the smallest changes requires gut-wrenching

determination. Often the uncertainty of the outcome only adds to the

stress. Hartley offers some suggestions to those faced with the task

of initiating changes, on a big or small scale.

Make a commitment. The starting point is commitment of

leadership. If leadership is not able to put forth a true value-driven

commitment to the time and resources needed to make changes, they

won’t happen. The desire to cut corners is very easy to spot.

Engage others. Often leaders of change complain about

other people’s resistance to go along with these changes. But in fact

this resistance often comes not from people’s inherent desire to

oppose,

but simply from the leader’s failure to bring others along on the

process. It’s like skydiving. You can’t land unless you jump.

Keep scanning the horizon. Things keep changing, even

in the midst of change. One change begets another. The environment

never stays still so that even after a decision has been reached and

a plan put into action, it is important to keep looking for hurdles

looming on the horizon. Stay fluid, change is a continuous process.

It’s not personal. By keeping your eye on the goal, you

can eliminate the personal issues that sometimes prevent changes from

happening. For example, if two people aren’t working well together

it is important to keep the goal of doing effective collaborative

work front and center. People are generally committed to excellence,

it’s when "but, it’s just that…" gets in the way that

problems

arise. Getting to the underlying issues is much easier after removing

the personal side of things.

While change can be an anxiety producing prospect for anyone,

it is a fact of life. This is as true in the boardroom as it is in

the living room. By embracing the process rather than holding back

against it, it is possible to make change work. "I have found

that people really do want to excel," says Hartley. "If people

who are trying to initiate changes can tap into that, by asking the

right questions, setting up a process that supports them, you can

have extraordinary results."

— Jack Florek

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

Employees at the Belle Mead facility of 3M

received

recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation

at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s 13th Annual Symposium, "Science

and Stewardship: Creating Green Communities." The Belle Mead

facility,

located on Sourland Mountain, was granted certification by the

wildlife

organization.

The 3M land encompasses over 1,600 acres, 250 of which the company

uses for rock quarrying and processing operations. The remainder of

the land is managed as a wildlife habitat.

The wildlife habitat team at 3M works at enhancing and restoring

wildlife

habitat. Since the facility opened in 1961, the company has worked

to improve the growth of upland forests, and has conducted a managed

hunting program.

Other wildlife team activities include attracting hummingbirds and

butterflies, enhancing stormwater detention basins, erecting

birdhouses

for wood ducks and bluebirds, and controlling invasive plant species.

The Belle Mead facility was one of 111 sites recognized at the

symposium.

Since 1990, the WHC, a non-profit that works largely with

corporations,

has certified 288 sites worldwide.

Top Of Page
Donate, Don’t Dump

Fall clean-up means leaves AND computers, say Carol

Royal and Geri LaPlaca, doyennes of a high-tech recycling

endeavor, the Trenton Materials Exchange.

Don’t let your used and obsolete electronic equipment pollute our

waste stream, they say.

The Trenton Materials Exchange computer drop-off center has changed

its hours; it is now open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. and Saturdays

from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Exchange accepts any working, broken or outdated computers and

electronic equipment and sends all parts to be de-manufactured and

recycled by a DEP licensed firm.

Drop-off items may include: CPUs, monitors, CRTs, printers, cables,

modems, and all other computer accessories. Also accepted: TVs, VCRs,

typewriters, projectors, small copiers, telephones, and fax and

answering

machines. (There is a $5 handling fee for each monitor and TV.)

Items can be dropped off at the Exchange warehouse located at 800

New York Avenue in Trenton, directly off Route 1 at the Olden Avenue

exit. For more information, call 609-278-0033 or visit www.tmex.org.

Top Of Page
Seeking Showhouse Designers

The Junior League of Greater Princeton is looking for

interior and landscape designers for the 12th Designer Showhouse,

to be held in spring of 2002. Participating designers will decorate

a space inside or on the grounds of the house.

The proceeds of the Designer Showhouse provide funding for community

projects to benefit children in Mercer and Bucks Counties, as well

as to grants to other area non-profit organizations.

More than 30 area designers will be chosen to partner with the Junior

League. Call Judy Springer at 609-771-0525 for more information.

Top Of Page
Leadership Trenton Funded

Thomas Edison State College has received a grant

of $50,000 from the Fund for New Jersey to launch Leadership Trenton.

The Fund for New Jersey is a not-for-profit private foundation that

distributes grants to organizations dealing with current problems

facing New Jersey in order to promote social improvement within the

state.

Leadership Trenton is a new program to develop a network of emerging

civic leaders. The program is an initiative of Leadership New Jersey,

a statewide leadership program sponsored by the Partnership for New

Jersey and the Watson Institute.


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