Disabled Cycling Tours

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Bob Matter, Jan 29, 2003.

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  1. Bob Matter

    Bob Matter Guest

    Hi:

    I'm new to the group, but I was wondering if I could solicit some advice. I'm in the process of
    starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    their families. I'm leaning toward the people with developmental disabilities. As the father of a 12
    year old with various disabilities, I got him into cycling last year and have never been able to
    find suitable recreational activities that we could do together (thus the birth of this idea).

    Would you have any advice on getting the business up and running (e.g. liability insurance) and
    whether the idea is feasible? We live in Colorado, and the trips are going to be mostly 2-4 day
    tours of 20-30 miles on adaptive tandems over flat terrain. I'm planning on starting day trips the
    first week of June followed by weekend longer tours the same month. By the second year, I plan on
    offering week long tours within and outside of the state of Colorado.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Bob Matter
     
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  2. Beverly

    Beverly Guest

    "Bob Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:%[email protected]...
    > Hi:
    >
    > I'm new to the group, but I was wondering if I could solicit some advice. I'm in the process of
    > starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    > their families. I'm
    leaning
    > toward the people with developmental disabilities. As the father of a 12 year old with various
    > disabilities, I got him into cycling last year and have never been able to find suitable
    > recreational activities that we
    could
    > do together (thus the birth of this idea).
    >
    > Would you have any advice on getting the business up and running (e.g. liability insurance) and
    > whether the idea is feasible? We live in
    Colorado,
    > and the trips are going to be mostly 2-4 day tours of 20-30 miles on adaptive tandems over flat
    > terrain. I'm planning on starting day trips
    the
    > first week of June followed by weekend longer tours the same month. By
    the
    > second year, I plan on offering week long tours within and outside of the state of Colorado.
    >
    > Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Bob Matter
    >
    Sorry I don't have any advice regarding liability insurance, etc. But as the parent of a 37 year old
    developmentally disabled adult I can tell you I would be interested in such a service. My daughter
    often rides with the family but we limit those trips to around 20 miles. I'm sure she could do
    longer distances on some type of tandem. Sounds like a great idea and I hope you successful in
    getting started.

    Please keep us posted.

    Beverly
     
  3. John Gorentz

    John Gorentz Guest

    Bob Matter wrote:

    > I'm new to the group, but I was wondering if I could solicit some advice. I'm in the process of
    > starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    > their families.

    > Would you have any advice on getting the business up and running (e.g. liability insurance) and
    > whether the idea is feasible?

    I don't have any advice, but it might be worth while for you to compare notes with the people who
    run therapeutic horseback riding centers. I live a few miles from one of the first-ever of those.
    <http://www.cheffcenter.com/> The mission of this one may have morphed over time, and is probably
    not exactly what you have in mind. But I see some things you might have in common.

    I don't happen to know anyone who currently works at the Cheff Center, but I know a professional who
    did for a few years. (I tried to get her husband and son interested in bicycling with me on the
    roads, they tried to get me interested in trail riding, and we never did get together. Now they've
    moved away.) If you have trouble finding anyone to else to talk to, I could probably come up with
    her e-mail address.

    John Gorentz
     
  4. >Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    >
    >Bob Matter

    Hi, Bob.

    I live in Colorado and am the parent of an adult child with a developmental disability. Although
    unable to ride a 2 wheeler, he does do short rides of about 3 miles on a 3 wheeler, with me
    walking with him.

    A couple of suggestions:

    1. I am the moderator of the PAD-CO listserv group with membership exclusively for parents of
    adults with disabilities in Colorado. We now have 46 members, all very active, and pretty much
    the elite of parents "in the know" in the state.

    2. I am also a member of P2P-CO listserv which is aimed at parents of younger children and has
    about 550 members.

    3. The local ARC's all have newsletters and communication into the community.

    4. As you are probably aware, the CCB's all have input into the community.

    5. And I am sure you are aware of the therapeutic horse riding program in Parker - Praying Hands
    Ranch. As previously suggested, they would have a lot of insight into an area such as this.

    6. I personally ran a program for 10 years providing work-related day services for individuals with
    profound disabilities, and am personally aware of such things as 501(c)3's, foundations and
    other organizations who might give financial support, Boards of Director's, insurance, etc.

    7. Of course, we have the National Center for (?? Disabled Sports ??) in Winter Park

    8. I would think this might be a project that some of the local bike clubs might want to have an
    involvement. DBTC, RM, Team Evergreen, Highlands Ranch, etc., all are active and vital biking
    clubs. - and Bicycle Colorado.

    Feel free to contact me personally at

    [email protected]

    If you so desire.

    Good luck. Sounds like an interesting idea filled with challenges.

    I would thi

    http://members.aol.com/foxcondorsrvtns (Colorado rental condo)

    http://members.aol.com/dnvrfox (Family Web Page)
     
  5. Al Sharff

    Al Sharff Guest

    Bob Matter wrote:
    > Hi:
    >
    > I'm new to the group, but I was wondering if I could solicit some advice. I'm in the process of
    > starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    > their families. I'm leaning toward the people with developmental disabilities.

    You might want to get in touch with a group called World Team Sports.
    http://www.worldteamsports.org/

    I've never been on the rides but they do some major bike events including people with disabilities.
    Even if the events are of no interest to you there is probably some information that's of use.

    Al Sharff

    --
    ****************************************************************
    To reply remove the * from *Sharff*@cwo.com
    ****************************************************************
     
  6. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    Bob wrote:
    > ...starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    > their families. ... Would you have any advice on getting the business up and running (e.g.
    > liability insurance) and whether the idea is feasible? We live in Colorado, and the trips are
    > going to be mostly 2-4 day tours of 20-30 miles on adaptive tandems over flat terrain. I'm
    > planning on starting day trips the first week of June followed by weekend longer tours the same
    > month. By the second year, I plan on offering week long tours within and outside of the state of
    > Colorado.

    The ARC of Western Wayne County (in Michigan) has an active cycling program. They are regulars at
    all the local invitational rides. Some clients ride single bikes, others need tandems (I unloaded
    an albatross on 'em, and they were happy to get it). Sorry I don't have a URL. (As soon as I hit
    the send button I'll remember the name of the guy who runs it. John something.) You might offer
    the option of tours that serve as respite for families. Caregivers need breaks, too, and maybe
    they don't want to get all kitted out for 20-40 mile rides (or maybe they don't ride at all).
    Like summer camp for the clients, with a home-based vacation for their families. I bet you can
    find grants and sponsors for this. HTH --Karen M.
     
  7. John Gorentz

    John Gorentz Guest

    "Karen M." wrote:

    > The ARC of Western Wayne County (in Michigan) has an active cycling program. They are regulars
    > at all the local invitational rides. Some clients ride single bikes, others need tandems (I
    > unloaded an albatross on 'em, and they were happy to get it). Sorry I don't have a URL. (As
    > soon as I hit the send button I'll remember the name of the guy who runs it. John something.)
    > You might offer the option of tours that serve as respite for families. Caregivers need breaks,
    > too, and maybe they don't want to get all kitted out for 20-40 mile rides (or maybe they don't
    > ride at all). Like summer camp for the clients, with a home-based vacation for their families.

    Ever since Bob posted his initial message, I've been asking myself if I would ever do volunteer work
    for an organiztion like that if there was one nearby. I wouldn't know for sure until I knew exactly
    what the organization does. But I'd like to make one comment on your idea of a "respite for
    families."

    I do occasional volunteer work for a Saturday morning science program for elementary school-aged
    students at my workplace. (Some years I've done more than I've been doing lately.) It's a program in
    which parents are encouraged to get involved. Sometimes it's better when they're not working on the
    same projects with their own children, but there are things for parents to do -- lead sessions of
    their own, mentoring, organizational things, etc. What DOESN'T work so well is when parents think of
    it as a Saturday morning day care service where they can dump their kids while they do other things
    during the day. We greatly discourage that, and try to make known up front that we want the parents
    to be involved. It is much easier to get other volunteers to help with the program if they know that
    this isn't just a Saturday morning dumping place for receiving other peoples' kids. The kids who
    take part in this program tend to be your better students, but that doesn't mean there aren't
    behavioral problems that outside volunteers aren't equipped to handle.

    Now most of us would be a lot more sympathetic to the parent of a disabled child who needs a break
    from caregiving than we would be to some of these parents. But I'll bet there are some people who
    would volunteer to help caregivers and dependents do bicycle touring together who would not be as
    inclined (or equipped) to give caregivers a respite.

    I don't know if this is relevant to what Bob Matter has in mind -- I don't know to what extent his
    program would use volunteers. But it's a perspective to keep in mind.

    John Gorentz
     
  8. John Gorentz

    John Gorentz Guest

    "Denver C. Fox" wrote:

    > >It's a program in which parents are encouraged to get involved.
    >
    > Parents of children with disabilities have few, if any, opportunities to be by themselves. If the
    > disability is severe at all, there are multidinous pressures on the family unit including often
    > intense medical issues, fights to get proper school placements and services, limited financial
    > resources because, frequently, one parent must be at home to provide care, and also major bills
    > not covered by insurance or other programs, etc., etc. I could go on and on.

    The points you make are certainly important and worth making known.

    I was saying what I did to point out that it is not a small matter (pun unintended) for Bob Matter
    to choose between offering a program that offers a parental respite vs one that's intended for
    parents and children to do together. I'd bet the former would require a lot higher ratio of
    professional staff to volunteers, and require a lot greater level of training for the volunteers,
    and the volunteer pool would be a lot smaller.

    I think it would be great for him to do either kind of program. He mentioned one that would be for
    parents and dependents to do together. I'd hate for him to be put off because he isn't doing the
    other type.

    On another, though related, aspect of this. Someone (Karen M?) mentioned getting grants and
    sponsors. It seems one can get a grant to do just about anything new and innovative. Government as
    well as private programs seem to abound for this. What is extremely difficult is to get a grant for
    covering the ongoing costs of operations. So one might as well plan upfront for making the program
    sustain itself economically. In fact, having such a plan is a key to success in getting a grant to
    get a program started.

    John Gorentz
     
  9. Karen M.

    Karen M. Guest

    John wrote (about something I wrote):

    > ...But I'd like to make one comment on your idea of a "respite for families."
    >
    > I do occasional volunteer work for a Saturday morning science program for elementary school-aged
    > students ...It's a program in which parents are encouraged to get involved. Sometimes it's better
    > when they're not working on the same projects with their own children, but there are things for
    > parents to do -- lead sessions of their own, mentoring, organizational things, etc. What DOESN'T
    > work so well is when parents think of it as a Saturday morning day care service where they can
    > dump their kids while they do other things during the day....

    Participating in a program with one's relatively normal (high-energy) child is somewhat different
    from the circumstance of
    24/7 care for a disabled adult child. Locally there's a guy who's paralyzed on one side of his body;
    he rides an adult trike and does centuries, and raises money for good causes. (He doesn't think
    of himself as needing assistance.) I doubt his family can keep up with him. There are other folks
    who have challenges that exclude their leg power. Your typical overwrought aging parents of a
    disabled adult might have their own health issues, not to mention wanting/needing some time off.
    A buddy of mine runs a city's therapeutic rec program, with about 250 clients in town and
    environs. They have perhaps three staff to shepherd groups of up to 50 on outings. Granted, they
    aren't cycling (20 miles a day on flat terrain) but I've seen plenty of developmentally disabled
    folks who are able to propel themselves around a closed course bike event. And, having
    participated in family home care for someone in a coma (again, 24/7) and someone else in hospice,
    I can vouch for the need to "get away" and be "normal" for a few hours. HTH

    --Karen M. The Western Wayne ARC bicycle guy: John Waterman Short-term memory is the second
    thing to go.
     
  10. John Gorentz

    John Gorentz Guest

    "Karen M." wrote:
    >
    >
    > And, having participated in family home care for someone in a coma (again, 24/7) and someone
    > else in hospice, I can vouch for the need to "get away" and be "normal" for a few hours.

    You've probably seen my more recent comments on this, but I'll add one more item.

    A Bob Matter might do well to begin as he planned -- to offer tours for people with disabilities and
    their families. I'm sure he understands as well as anyone else the need for caregivers to get away.
    Maybe if the first part went well, he could then branch out into the more difficult task of
    providing tours for people with disabilities so their families could get a break. Baby steps, etc.
    He might even find that some of his earlier volunteers have grown in skill and confidence along with
    his program, so they could help out with some of the more difficult tasks, too.

    I'm making a lot of assumptions about what he has in mind, of course.

    John Gorentz
     
  11. Bob Matter

    Bob Matter Guest

    I wanted thank all of you for your advice. I didn't want to give too many details due to the whole
    issue being rather intensive, but I thought I'd clarify a little on what I'm trying to do and how
    I'm envisioning doing it.

    What this idea has evolved to is this (at least for this first year of business): 2-4 day tours for
    families 3 weekends a month. That thought came from my inability to find things to do together with
    my son. The fourth weekend of the month will be dedicated to parents/guardians wanting to get away,
    or respite vacation. I've been working to find respite workers who are willing to work over the
    weekend and provide care in the house for the parents while they are gone. The other thought is that
    on the family tours, if a parent can't ride (or doesn't want to), I will have "riders" available for
    hire to spend the day with the person. The parents will have the day to spend doing whatever they
    want, and be responsible for the person from dinner to breakfast. As mentioned in a previous post, I
    don't want this to become a daycare program, but rather an opportunity to have a family vacation. Of
    course, this will be a constantly evolving project and somethings may work and others not.

    Next year I plan on adding week long tours within Colorado and outside. I am hoping to take 3 tours
    a year outside to see the world. I'm planning on Newfoundland for 2 weeks next summer and,
    hopefully, Vermont this coming October. I want my child to be able to see the world and, to me,
    there's no better way than on the back of a bike. Even if he doesn't get anything out of it, I'll
    have a memory to last a lifetime.

    I've heard from a professional grant writer that I spoke with that there are no funds out there for
    startups such as this. If anyone has any advice to the contrary, I would be most appreciative if you
    shared it. I'm pretty sure there's no such program like this in existence (at least in the U.S.), so
    I'm charting some new territory here and can use the help.

    For those of you interested, I do have a website put up, but it's rather on the anemic side. I've
    been planning an update for the past several weeks, but my son has kept me rather busy. However,
    more information will be up by the end of the weekend. I hope I don't offend anyone here, but the
    URL to the website is www.assistedcyclingtours.org.

    Thanks, Bob

    "John Gorentz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > "Karen M." wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > And, having participated in family home care for someone in a coma (again, 24/7) and someone
    > > else in hospice, I can vouch for the need to "get away" and be "normal" for a few hours.
    >
    > You've probably seen my more recent comments on this, but I'll add one more item.
    >
    > A Bob Matter might do well to begin as he planned -- to offer tours for people with disabilities
    > and their families. I'm sure he understands as well as anyone else the need for caregivers to get
    > away. Maybe if the first part went well, he could then branch out into the more difficult task of
    > providing tours for people with disabilities so their families could get a break. Baby steps, etc.
    > He might even find that some of his earlier volunteers have grown in skill and confidence along
    > with his program, so they could help out with some of the more difficult tasks, too.
    >
    > I'm making a lot of assumptions about what he has in mind, of course.
    >
    > John Gorentz
     
  12. Tess

    Tess Guest

    Great idea, Bob. As a mom of a 3 year old for 17 years (actually he is 20 now), I have always been
    reluctant to participate in certain events with my son as others often don't understand that he has
    special needs. He has gone bicycle touring with the family, on our own and it gets the heart rate
    up. Not because we got fast or do anything strenous, but because we always have to be quick to
    respond to any of his moves. He doesn't understand all traffic rules and we act as buffers between
    him and traffic. We did try a tandem, but if he were afraid of something, he would just jump of the
    back of the seat.

    He loves bike riding, which is amazing as the doctors said he would never be able to ride. We find
    that low traffic rail trails are perfect places for him to ride.

    As far as respite goes, it would be a great option. And those who think that respite is simply
    dropping off the child for free time, does obviously does not live with a special needs child.

    theresa

    Bob Matter wrote:

    > Hi:
    >
    > I'm new to the group, but I was wondering if I could solicit some advice. I'm in the process of
    > starting a non-profit entity designed to promote cycling tours for people with disabilities and
    > their families. I'm leaning toward the people with developmental disabilities. As the father of a
    > 12 year old with various disabilities, I got him into cycling last year and have never been able
    > to find suitable recreational activities that we could do together (thus the birth of this idea).
    >
    > Would you have any advice on getting the business up and running (e.g. liability insurance) and
    > whether the idea is feasible? We live in Colorado, and the trips are going to be mostly 2-4 day
    > tours of 20-30 miles on adaptive tandems over flat terrain. I'm planning on starting day trips the
    > first week of June followed by weekend longer tours the same month. By the second year, I plan on
    > offering week long tours within and outside of the state of Colorado.
    >
    > Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Bob Matter
    >
     
  13. "Bob Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > I've heard from a professional grant writer that I spoke with that there are no funds out there
    > for startups such as this. If anyone has any advice to the contrary, I would be most appreciative
    > if you shared it.

    Personally, I think this is not true. Perhaps the grant writer you spoke to doesn't know of funds
    for this sort of venture, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, complaints in the
    nonprofit world usually run the other way -- there's lots of money for new programs. The hard thing
    is finding money to keep the lights on, and buy a new ream of letterhead, year after year.

    Like any other business start-up, you'll need a solid business plan. Donors are investors. They are
    looking for a social return, not a financial one, but they aren't going to put money into your idea
    unless you look like you know what you are doing and will squander their money.

    Another thought is that you may not want to run this as an independent nonprofit. There's a lot of
    overhead in setting up and running your own organization. Is there an existing organization that
    serves people with disabilities that you could work with instead? You would have the benefit of
    using their own 501(c)(3) status, board, donor and volunteer base. They would have the benefit of
    having a new program, already well-thought-out, that they could use to attract further donors (see
    that bit above about foundations only giving to new programs) and further serve their target
    population. If later you decide to go your separate ways, you can spin yourself off.

    I am currently volunteering with a start-up nonprofit that for three years was a program of a larger
    organization. It took some negotiation, but we are now separate from them, and setting up our own
    501(c)(3) status. About a year ago there was some tough negotiations between the director of our
    program and the director of the larger organization, but in the end, they were able to
    make peace and wish each other well. This, however, takes maturity and good communications
    for it to really work.

    You also might want to take a quick look over at soc.organization.nonprofit, too, and draw on the
    expertise of that newsgroup.

    Best wishes,

    Claire Petersky [email protected] No sig today
     
  14. John Gorentz

    John Gorentz Guest

    Claire Petersky wrote:

    > "Bob Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > > I've heard from a professional grant writer that I spoke with that there are no funds out there
    > > for startups such as this. If anyone has any advice to the contrary, I would be most
    > > appreciative if you shared it.
    >
    > Personally, I think this is not true. Perhaps the grant writer you spoke to doesn't know of funds
    > for this sort of venture, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, complaints in the
    > nonprofit world usually run the other way -- there's lots of money for new programs. The hard
    > thing is finding money to keep the lights on, and buy a new ream of letterhead, year after year.

    That pretty much matches what I've seen and heard, too. It happens at all different levels, and it
    probably has to work that way.

    You hear about a junior level faculty person getting a research grant. The next thing you know, her
    department chair is pressuring her to put some of her salary on the grant, which is a good deal for
    the departmental budget in the short term, but not a good deal for the researcher who needs the
    money to finance the research so she can be successful and get an even bigger grant the next time.
    Granting agencies usually consider this sort of thing an abuse, so they put mechanisms in place to
    stop it. But those who pay the regular day-to-day operating costs keep looking for new loopholes to
    shift operating costs to grants.

    The person in the middle, whether a researcher or a little non-profit agency that gets grants, can
    try to use the granting agency's requirements to advantage to protect the funds for the new venture
    and also apply pressure on those who provide the operating costs to keep it up.

    I'm in the process of trying to find a few leads for Mr. Matter. I haven't reported back to him yet
    because it's still in progress. I've heard of a local woman who has set up her own little nonprofit
    that provides recreational opportunities for parents and their disabled children -- though as far as
    I know so far, it doesn't do any bicycling or bicycle tours. She apparently has been very successful
    in getting grants. Sounds promising.

    But one comment I heard elsewhere bothers me, and I'm wondering if you have any insight. I got it
    from a person who is somewhat familiar with the workings of a private philanthropic organization.
    She said that programs that are "replicable" are the ones that get funded. Do you think that is true
    in general?

    I have issues with that notion. I can understand why a government funding agency needs to do it that
    way, but why do private foundations need to be that way? I'm thinking back to 1993, when the Bill
    and Hillary Criminal administration was proposing its first budget. My hero Rush Limbaugh spent a
    lot of time poking fun at the "midnight basketball" component. He attacked the concept on two
    levels, one that I agreed with and one that I disagreed with. It seemed that some private nonprofits
    had had great success with midnight basketball in some cities. I didn't see any need for Rush to
    disparage that. But just because a program is successful when run by some person who has the
    personality and drive and whatever it takes to make it work, doesn't mean it will work well when it
    is made into a government program. Government programs need to be bureaucraticized, which isn't
    necessarily a bad thing, but it usually means the personal idiosyncracies that may have made
    something like midnight basketball a success will be stifled.

    Now maybe bicycle touring for disabled children and their families is something that requires a
    person with the drive, enthusiasm, and personality quirks of a Bob Matter to work. Maybe it isn't
    something that can be easily replicated (i.e . bureaucratized). Why can't a private foundation see
    that Bob Matter is doing something really good that deserves support, even realizing that it might
    not do so well without his personality behind it. I'm not saying that Bob Matter's plan is NOT
    replicable, but I don't see why it should be in order to get funded. A private foundation ought to
    be agile enough to deal with it in ways that would be impossible for a government.

    Of course, one has to be careful about telling a private foundation that its criteria are all wrong.
    It would take some tact and finesse. And maybe it's my idea that's wrong, anyway.

    BTW, in the interests of bipartisan bashing, I should point out that George W Bush's idea of funding
    "faith-based" charities suffers from all the defects of Bill and Hillary's midnight basketball (plus
    a few additional ones that are way off topic for this newsgroup). Some programs might be very
    successful at the private level, but once they're made into government programs, everything that
    made them successful in the first place will get stiffled.

    Well, here's hoping somebody at whatever level is able to help Bob Matter's bicycle touring idea get
    off the ground.

    John Gorentz
     
  15. Bob Matter

    Bob Matter Guest

    I thought I would share this with all of you since you've been so kind as to offer guidance and
    support regarding this new organization. I'm in the process of landing my first sponsorship. One of
    the local microbreweries here in Colorado is taking a good look at the program and thinks it's a
    great idea and fits into their ideology. I think once I get the first donor of some recognizable
    status, others will fall into place.

    I've also contacted a different grant writer to get a better impression of what is truly out there,
    and if that one doesn't work, I'll just keep looking. I think this idea is certainly worthy of
    pursuing until it's actually operational. What happens after that (if there will be enough demand)
    will be worked out by market forces rather than the program never seeing the light of day, and
    having the opportunity to succeed or fail on it's own merits.

    Thank you all for your support. One way or another, this will be off the ground in June.

    "John Gorentz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Claire Petersky wrote:
    >
    > > "Bob Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > > I've heard from a professional grant writer that I spoke with that
    there are
    > > > no funds out there for startups such as this. If anyone has any
    advice to
    > > > the contrary, I would be most appreciative if you shared it.
    > >
    > > Personally, I think this is not true. Perhaps the grant writer you spoke to doesn't know of
    > > funds for this sort of venture, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, complaints in
    > > the nonprofit world usually run the other way -- there's lots of money for new programs. The
    > > hard thing is finding money to keep the lights on, and buy a new ream of letterhead, year
    > > after year.
    >
    > That pretty much matches what I've seen and heard, too. It happens at all
    different levels, and it probably has
    > to work that way.
    >
    > You hear about a junior level faculty person getting a research grant.
    The next thing you know, her department
    > chair is pressuring her to put some of her salary on the grant, which is a
    good deal for the departmental budget
    > in the short term, but not a good deal for the researcher who needs the
    money to finance the research so she can
    > be successful and get an even bigger grant the next time. Granting
    agencies usually consider this sort of thing
    > an abuse, so they put mechanisms in place to stop it. But those who pay
    the regular day-to-day operating costs
    > keep looking for new loopholes to shift operating costs to grants.
    >
    > The person in the middle, whether a researcher or a little non-profit
    agency that gets grants, can try to use the
    > granting agency's requirements to advantage to protect the funds for the
    new venture and also apply pressure on
    > those who provide the operating costs to keep it up.
    >
    > I'm in the process of trying to find a few leads for Mr. Matter. I
    haven't reported back to him yet because it's
    > still in progress. I've heard of a local woman who has set up her own
    little nonprofit that provides recreational
    > opportunities for parents and their disabled children -- though as far as
    I know so far, it doesn't do any
    > bicycling or bicycle tours. She apparently has been very successful in
    getting grants. Sounds promising.
    >
    > But one comment I heard elsewhere bothers me, and I'm wondering if you
    have any insight. I got it from a person
    > who is somewhat familiar with the workings of a private philanthropic
    organization. She said that programs that
    > are "replicable" are the ones that get funded. Do you think that is true
    in general?
    >
    > I have issues with that notion. I can understand why a government funding
    agency needs to do it that way, but why
    > do private foundations need to be that way? I'm thinking back to 1993,
    when the Bill and Hillary Criminal
    > administration was proposing its first budget. My hero Rush Limbaugh
    spent a lot of time poking fun at the
    > "midnight basketball" component. He attacked the concept on two levels,
    one that I agreed with and one that I
    > disagreed with. It seemed that some private nonprofits had had great
    success with midnight basketball in some
    > cities. I didn't see any need for Rush to disparage that. But just
    because a program is successful when run by
    > some person who has the personality and drive and whatever it takes to
    make it work, doesn't mean it will work
    > well when it is made into a government program. Government programs need
    to be bureaucraticized, which isn't
    > necessarily a bad thing, but it usually means the personal idiosyncracies
    that may have made something like
    > midnight basketball a success will be stifled.
    >
    > Now maybe bicycle touring for disabled children and their families is
    something that requires a person with the
    > drive, enthusiasm, and personality quirks of a Bob Matter to work. Maybe
    it isn't something that can be easily
    > replicated (i.e . bureaucratized). Why can't a private foundation see
    that Bob Matter is doing something really
    > good that deserves support, even realizing that it might not do so well
    without his personality behind it. I'm
    > not saying that Bob Matter's plan is NOT replicable, but I don't see why
    it should be in order to get funded. A
    > private foundation ought to be agile enough to deal with it in ways that
    would be impossible for a government.
    >
    > Of course, one has to be careful about telling a private foundation that
    its criteria are all wrong. It would
    > take some tact and finesse. And maybe it's my idea that's wrong, anyway.
    >
    > BTW, in the interests of bipartisan bashing, I should point out that
    George W Bush's idea of funding "faith-based"
    > charities suffers from all the defects of Bill and Hillary's midnight
    basketball (plus a few additional ones that
    > are way off topic for this newsgroup). Some programs might be very
    successful at the private level, but once
    > they're made into government programs, everything that made them
    successful in the first place will get stiffled.
    >
    > Well, here's hoping somebody at whatever level is able to help Bob
    Matter's bicycle touring idea get off the
    > ground.
    >
    > John Gorentz
     
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