, Newburyport, MA


July 11, 2013

A misunderstanding of granting procedures

To the editor:

Joe DiBiase’s understanding of the Committee for an Open Waterfront’s alternative funding proposal (“COW’s funding proposals leave me in doubt”, letter, June 21) seems to deliberately miss the point. He read the report as though on a fault-finding expedition.

He apparently does not to know that most private granting organizations state that “unsolicited requests for funds are not accepted.” One generally approaches these groups with a phone call and an informational letter about your group and about your project. If they are interested, they invite you to submit a proposal.

Regarding granting organizations that have a preference for a certain region of the state or for a certain type of project, it requires the same tactic. You need to sell your project and your organization to the granters. They do make exceptions to their guidelines and they do fund other types of deserving projects. These are but two examples that expose Mr. DiBiase’s apparent unwillingness to grasp the grant-seeking process and, perhaps more to the point, his bias in favor of the NRA’s approach to funding — selling parts of the central waterfront to developers to pay for waterfront improvements.

To Mr. DiBiase I would say: If you want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, although I’m not sure that you do, please conduct your own research. Look for granting agencies that will be interested in funding the waterfront betterment project, not ones that you think will not be receptive. Rather than complaining about our initial research efforts, you could have better used your time to find a funding source for the NRA that could, for example, pay for all of the brick walkways in our new park. Maybe then they would realize that they don’t need to sell off parts of the waterfront to developers to improve it.

Sandra Small

Funding the Park Subcommittee

Committee for an Open Waterfront, Inc.

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