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on February 6, 2014
As a new accountant who will be helping my agency grant writer, this is a great starting point to see the overall process. However, I did notice something missing. I am interested in information regarding Project Revenue. Chapter 5 Page 88 says there will be a more detailed discussion in Chapter 11. However, the only thing mentioned in Chapter 11 is a short paragraph about endowments.
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on June 22, 2015
good condition
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on March 3, 2013
This book was not really useful to me. I expected to find a few math problems in budget preparation but didn't find any. It was a waste of money.
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on July 14, 2002
I have done many budgets and taught workshops and seminars on how to do budgets. The first response I had to this book is that I was glad I understood the process because if I didn't, I would not be able to understand this book. It is obfuscating, repetitive, and full of obscure, irrelevant quotes from such diverse sources as Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat and Shakespeare. As a matter of fact, I usually don't use obfuscating words or concepts myself, but this book has led me to do so. Having said that, I did gain new knowledge, new concepts and new viewpoints that will be very helpful. It was hard work to find these gems - I prefer direct, basic explanations since they usually avoid confusion. I also disliked Wise Guy and Wise Lady - text set aside in blocks - where he asks dumb questions and she give smart-aleck or condescending answers to dumb questions. Both are insulting to the intelligence of the reader.
This is definitely not a book that you pick up as a reference source when you are beginning or in the middle of preparing a budget. It is not a book for beginners, unless you have the time and patience to work your way through, chapter by chapter, learning their process step by step. Indeed, it would be a good text for a full semester class, with lectures and homework and steady progression through its many topics. Budgets don't really come into the picture until Chapter 5. The authors require that you learn or relearn their terminology relevant to grant writing before you can approach actual budgeting. Throughout the book they present concepts and ideas, and drag on through several paragraphs or pages saying what something is not before saying what it is. By their definition, of course - which you must accept to move forward.
This is really a book on preparing grant applications, not just budgets. Several chapters and sections of chapters are devoted to projects, programs, defining problems, defining solutions, project development, and program evaluation. Each is described in detail, with examples and forms, which are also available on the accompanying CD-ROM. By the time you get to Chapter 5 and see a budget form you are exhausted. But take a vitamin pill - Chapters 6 through 9 detail in depth the difference components of a budget, using their terminology. Which you memorized back in the beginning of the semester for the first test. Again, the explanations are exhaustive and belabored, and stated often in negatives, which is confusing. For example, Chapter 6 is dedicated to explaining direct costs. There are nine pages defining the different types of travel, including definitions of travel by watercraft and by animal. After all the various modes of travel are defined, the rest of the chapter explains how to acquire each of them on site and the different types of each. Bus travel is broken down into inter-city, intra-city, and chartered. They also describe express buses and local buses, and where and how to purchase tickets. More information than most of us need, to say the least. If you don't know the difference between an express and a local bus by now, you are in big trouble. Not that it is relevant to preparing a budget anyway.
The authors are committed to a budget format that uses very specific line items. They state that any item you can put in a budget can fit into one of their categories. Just for fun, I came up with a couple of items I would put in a budget that I couldn't fit into their scheme. And if you want to use their forms from the CD-ROM, you must do all your budgets according to their line items. You are on your own if you have a potential funder that demands you use their forms and their line items.
If you can ignore all the indirect, convoluted and useless information, this book has a lot to offer. Many concepts are very valuable and useful. Some of the forms are also useful. There are planning forms and evaluation forms in addition to more budget forms that usually appear in one place. Select the information that is relevant, ignore the rest and use what is applicable. Wading through the chaff to get to the wheat is not easy, but many of the kernels are worth the effort. And if you are taking or teaching a full semester course this could be a useful text or supplement.
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on November 14, 2001
In providing a much-needed context for the discussion of grant proposal budgets, the authors have actually created a step by step, straightforward plan to design a sound project. They begin with how a good project springs from a problem that your organization can solve. Then they walk you through defining the project's purpose, goals, and component steps.
I am torn about this book, because I believe grant seekers should NOT be the ones to design programs; program staff ought to do that. However, I realize that in reality grants people often end up with this task, or can act as advisors and coaches to those going through the process. And in any case, we grant seekers need to understand the task of project design and how it relates to expressing a project in numbers and words when approaching a funder.
The book goes on to focus on budgets, after the groundwork of planning has been expertly laid. The sections on budgets are very useful for anyone dealing with government proposals.
So, while the book takes a stance I don't necessarily agree with - that the grant seeker is a project designer - I have rated it highly because it is sure to result in better planned projects for anyone who follows its advice.
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on February 8, 2008
I would like to shake this writer's hand if I saw him. All the books I have read from his creation are good.

Another good book to buy is How To Write A Grant Proposal by Cheryl New & James Quick... I have not been able to let go of this book. Even go browse thru it and you will see why... I hope they write more like this soon... It's overdue.
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on January 24, 2005
I discovered this book when writing The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grant Writing and found it terrific for learning how to put together a program budget. Having done this for years and having taught others how to do it, I found their approach clear and to the point. The many examples are especially helpful.
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