Author Topic: Grants  (Read 2097 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Grants
« on: December 13, 2008, 06:26:02 PM »
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Grants has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Ira Schreiber wrote:
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The National Railway Historical Society has just released information for its grant program.
You do NOT have to be an NRHS affiliate to apply.
The limit is $5,000.
No computer or related projects will be considered.
It is pretty straight forward and we can apply for any number of planned projects. We just need to pick one that best fits.
I would be more than happy to assist in the preparation of the grant request.
Forms are available from their web site along with all details.
The deadline is June 1st, so shall we get the ball(wheel)rolling?
Ira Schreiber

Mike Fox replied:
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I would suggest the board appoint someone to be the grant writer for the Museum. One person who is very artistic with words. It seems to be working for our local FD. One person chases all the grants. Any board members want to chime in and maybe get it into one of your meetings? I'm sure there are more grants that could be gone after.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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The local FD usually applies for about 2 or 3 grants at a time, so that way the likely hood of one being accepted is greater. However, they are not all for the same things. But if someone from the board did apply for a grant, then they could choose topics such as #9, Coach 8 brakes, or brakes in general, and the Head Tide Water tank. Just my thoughts on some topics.

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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I hope the Board will find a Grant Writer.  If they do, I think we should make a request for funds toward the construction of the proposed Sheepscot handcar shed/section house.  If we build a replica of the Whitefield section house (as has been discussed), we will be recreating a historic Maine two foot railroad structure.  I know that would appeal to the folks at the NRHS.  I didn't say water tank as we have already received a number of grants towards it's construction.  The amount of $5,000 would do much in purchasing lumber and materials for the handcar shed/section house.

Joe Fox replied:
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$5,000 of lumber can go a long ways. People think that lumber is expensive, however, it all depends on where you get it, and what you are getting for materials.  If anybody has any estimates that are needed for Building a shed, or a building, let me know, and I can give you a rough estimate on materials, and/or cost if you give me the prices on the materials that you would like. Talk to you guys later.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Sounds like a good start for an NRHS grant. As I previously said, I will get the grant rolling but I will need all the support data, plans, costs , historical data, etc.
This will all be compiled into the grant request.
Let me know what you think.
Ira

James Patten replied:
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It's our understanding that grant givers don't like to give money for things requestors do not own.  So we have never asked for grant money for #3 or #9.

Amherst Railway Society commonly gives out a large number of grants from proceeds from the Springfield show.  We've gotten money from them for many years.

In New England, the only railroad-related grant I know of is the Webb grant, administered by the Mass Bay RRE (I think).  That's for $10,000.  Even this grant has a fair amount of competition.  Once you get out of Maine or New England the pool of applicants grows by leaps and bounds.

With many granting organizations, it's not always about what you do but about who you know.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Ira,  Mike is right about going through the Board of Directors.  It is my understanding that the Board chooses the Grant Writers.  We already have one person who persues certain Grants.  He may be the one who will contact the NRHS.  If not, the Board will sellect another Museum Rep to submit the request.  James knows more about this than I but I don't think anyone should consider contacting the NRHS until the Board addresses the issue.

As to lumber - Joe is right, it can be gotten at a good price.   The machine shop sheathing came from a man in Palermo who has a red mill.  He gave us a good price on rough cut lumber.  He may be our source for lumber when we finish the water tank and then build the handcar shed.

James Patten replied:
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I agree with Stewart, that the Board should address the issue of the NRHS grant (such as what we ask for and who writes it).  Currently Steve Z. is our unofficial grant writer, but he may be willing to to relinquish the title.

We get our crossing planks for a man in Palermo (probably the same guy Stewart mentioned) who owns his own mill and is a member of the Museum.  I believe he gives us a discount on the lumber and his services.

However for most of our lumber (PT, etc) we've gone to the Wiscasset lumber store (which I understand is now no longer open).

Bill Sample replied:
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James, you are correct - the Webb railway preservation grant is administered by the Mass. Bay RRE.  Info on this is on their web site,
and the next closing date for application is September 2007.

It's too bad that some sort of Maine-based grant for #9 couldn't be done given the locomotive's major role in Maine railroad history, built at Portland, last existing loco from SRRR, SR&RL, KC and WW&F, maybe last Maine-built loco still in state, etc.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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My offer to help on grants was based on the Board showing the direction and scope of any project. I am well aware that this HAS to start with the Board but, to mis-quote POGO "Them is us".
If we, as members, do not convey our feelings to the Board, then the Board, as our representatives, can not respond.
Ira

James Patten replied:
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Ira, I can't recall if you've already answered this question: have you successfully written grants in the past?

Ira Schreiber replied:
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No.......But I have worked on them for other groups in the historical preservation field.

Josh Botting replied:
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FYI,

I have been getting my lumber from N.C. Hunt in Jefferson.  Its not too much further from the museum than Hanckock Lumber in wiscasset, but their prices have been better, the lumber has been better, and the people have been better.  If rough sawn hemlock is accepatble, way more authenitc looking, than the prices are even better.

James Patten replied:
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I should state for the record that anybody who has grant writing experience and is willing to write them for the Museum should make themselves known to the Board.

Mike Fox replied:
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James,
I have read and re-read the grant application requirements from NRHS News Letter. If you don't get the news letter, try the website, http://www.nrhs.com . There is a link on there to the 2007 grant but I can't seem to make it work. Definately worth a look. But make sure you read the whole thing.
Mike

elecuyer replied:
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I should state for the record that anybody who has grant writing experience and is willing to write them for the Museum should make themselves known to the Board.

I sucessfully applied for a grant for my church. We were awarded $5,000 by a liturgical music publisher to help replace the sound system. This was the 3rd attempt I had made for recieving the grant (while pretty much re-using the same material for the 3 years.)

A press release with the details can be found at:
http://www.ocp.org/en/resources/parish_grants/05PR.php

While I can't devote a ton of time to this endevor, I am certainly willing to do a few.

Any board member who wishes to discuss this with me can email me at mailto:ed@spongeawareness.com or call me (email for phone numbers.)

- Ed Lecuyer
(Posting from lovely Largo, FL this week - away on business.)

Stewart Rhine replied:
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The most expensive part of the water tank building (and handcar shed) will be the cedar shingles.  James is right about our source of crossing planks.  As I mentioned before - there's a fellow in Palermo who gives us a good price on rough cut lumber.  He has provided planks and sheathing for a number of projects.  I've been up to his mill with Fred a few times.  The lumber source is ok, what we really need is a source of inexpensive cedar shingles.  The cost per square has gone sky high the last few years.  We will need quite a few squares to shingle the tank house.  The shingles should be treated too.

Mike Fox replied:
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Here is a little better link to the National Railway Historical Society grant. Look on past grants to see what the monies have been awarded before were used for. This is a 50/50 grant. Meaning we pay half of the cost if awarded. Contact a Board member if you would like to be a grant writer for us.
Mike

Ira Schreiber replied:
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I hereby give notice that I will help on grant writing for the NRHS grant.
As I mentioned, I have not authored a grant but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!
Ira

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Information for NRHS grant paperwork:

http://www.nrhs.com/grant/index.html

Ira

Mike Fox replied:
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Thanks for picking up my slack Stephen. I just realized I forgot to post the link. That's what I get when I try to multitask.
Mike

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Perhaps some of the more distant members of the museum wonder why the organization doesn't more aggressively pursue grants. One reason, I think, is that the vast majority of the day-to-day, week-to-week activities at the museum are handled by a relatively small core of people -- no more than a couple dozen -- who have their hands full just running the trains and keeping up with maintenance. They simply don't have the time or the energy to do what's necessary to chase down grants.

Most museums which secure major grants are able to do so because they have a full-time paid general manager or executive director who devotes a great deal of his time seeking grants and then providing the huge amount of documentation required to document that the money was properly spent. And the museum's board has to figure out how to come up with the matching funds necessary to leverage the grant.

It's fun to dream about what we could accomplish with a half-million dollars, but where do we come up with the $100,000 match? I think we're doing just fine with the small grants we receive, most of which do not require a match. Down the road, when the museum has grown and we can afford to employ an executive director, then we can think big.

Joe Fox replied:
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There are some days at the museum, when there are only enough people to operate the train, and the gift shop/ticket agent.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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One of the first lessons learned is think BIG. If you think small, you will be small..
If you read most grant applications, which I have, you will see that there are many cash equilivants, not the least of which are labor and materials.
Don't let the $  match amount put you off.
I have been involved in several grants that were granted when all the naysayers said we would never get them.
The trick is in the writing and presentations, assuming the projects are equal.
Let's advise our BOD of our desires for grants, and let them give us the direction and we will persue them.

Ira Schreiber

Ira Schreiber replied:
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I have downloaded the grant form for the NRHS grant program.
IF the BOD approves the construction of the Whitefield section house, this would be an excellent starter project.
I am now asking the BOD to proceed with this at the April meeting.
I will be back for the Spring track weekend and I will have the forms with me.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the paperwork is not too onerous but requires alot of hard numbers from the financials and a very accurate estimate of the expenditures for the proposed project. I could get material prices here but Colorado is not Maine.
I had several people volunteer to help me and that is appreciated.
Thanks,
Ira

James Patten replied:
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I have asked Roger to put grants on the next agenda.  I suspect construction of the Whitefield section house is on the list too.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Ira,  Let me know if the Board gives you the highball to work on the NRHS grant.  I have a four page set of plans (including site plan) for the section house.  I can send you copies if you want them for the grant request package.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Great Stewart,
Hang on to them for the present and let's see what the BOD does.
We are short on time for this year but even if we don't get the grant this year, it is good to go through the motions for later applications.
Ira

James Patten replied:
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Ira and Ed have been given the go for the NRHS grant.  Guys, I've emailed you about this just a few minutes ago.  Good luck to you and to us.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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James,  Thanks for the good news about the Board's appointing the NRHS Grant Committee.  Ira, I will get your 4-page set of section house plans in the mail tomorrow.

Good luck to Ira and Ed !!

Ira Schreiber replied:
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FYI, I have updated the materials list and I should have some numbers by the end of next week.
I have decided to use my local prices, as I am sure they are higher than Maine, and therefore more conservative for the grant purposes.
Ira Schreiber

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Any update from NRHS on our grant application?
Even an acknowledgement would be a good sign.
Ira

elecuyer replied:
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After its approval and review by the BOD, I sent the finished grant application in plenty of time for the deadline via an overnight carrier. (Actually, my employer took care of this for us, so I don't have the tracking info, etc.)

Anyhow, we have not received an acknowledgement.

Meanwhile, the BOD knows that we are ready and willing to apply for future grants. I'm sure that with the Percival purchase now behind us, they'll have all sorts of projects and dreams that we can try to make happen.

-Ed Lecuyer

James Patten replied:
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Let's see, projects and dreams.....parking, bathrooms, mortgage, archival support, landscaping, car storage, car construction, locomotive construction....that should keep you busy for a few years 

elecuyer replied:
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I have split off the discussion regarding the reconstruction of the Trout Brook/Carlton Brook bridge into its own topic. It is clear that funding for its reconstruction (via grants) is a ways off. (Although, I certainly support that goal.)

elecuyer replied:
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I regret to report that we did not receive a NRHS grant:
http://www.nrhs.com/media_center/2007_grants_release.pdf

Sincere congratulations to clubs and organizations that did - including some desperately needed money for poor old 470 in Waterville. I will definitely resubmit the Whitefield Section House to them for consideration in 2008.

I am going to be working on another grant application - due by Mid-September for expansion of the Car shop. Unfortunately, I'm (suddenly) in the middle of moving and may not have all the time I need to get it done.

-Ed Lecuyer

jockellis replied:
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As a former grant application scorer for Funding Unit of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Places, I can tell you it isn't necessarily what you write. Quite often it is in how well you read the instructions. If the grant applcation states that "the award will be made based upon the scoring WITH INPUT FROM ???" then you can rest assured that the scoring has nothing to do with it. I've had our director come over to my cubicle, ask for a certain county's (my father's home county, actually) application then change the grading based upon what he has been told about the need for the grant at a meeting with the pleading agency. He would change enough points to make sure that the grant was awarded.
Incidentally, if you are a professional grant writer, make sure your client's elected officials stay in the dark about what is being sought. People giving out the money hate to have these bottom feeders trying to force them to grant money to their districts.
Mr. Patten is quite correct in stating that it is who you know. This doesn't necessarily have to be a good ole boy network, but making sure that the grantors know  more about your need than you can sometimes put into an appalication.
Jock Ellis
Cumming, GA

elecuyer replied:
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Hi Jock,

First off I'm not a professional grant writer - nor do I play one on TV. I happened to have success once writing and receiving a grant for my church, and offered to help the WW&F. Ira has also been very helpful.

To date, we've applied for 2 grants. One was not accepted, the other is currently in review.

If you email me at mailto:ed@spongeawareness.com, I'd love to have your input in any future applications we do.

Right now, we're looking for a source of funding for the restoration of the SOCNY B&H Tank. We'd also like to find a grant to help us construct restrooms and parking (maybe something from Maine department of tourism?)

Thanks,

-Ed Lecuyer

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Though our present score does not have a win, we are much more learned in the process, thanks to Ed's hard work and others.
The article in November Trains magazine should score some serious creditibality points for us in the future.
Ira
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum