Mission Grantpossible

Despite what you might believe as a result of the Hollywood hype machine, the life of a non-profit grant writer can be occasionally dull. Just this morning I sat through a preliminary grant meeting that consisted primarily of reading the request for proposals out loud. We were assured that questions would be duly addressed in the forthcoming addendum, which would comply with Policy IV.3.i., as specified in Item Q.3, etc. Whew, I was worried!

No, grant writing isn't all glamor, gunfights, and exotic romances – not all the time, anyway. Which is why it's nice to occasionally get your organization recognized with some generous funding. Sinking a grant means that we get to do, well, the things we are supposed to do: bike education, public outreach, advocacy, international espionage, that kind of thing.

We were honored with just such an opportunity recently, when Michael Lee Environmental Foundation awarded SVBC a grant to combine Safe Routes to School practices like a bike-pool and walking bus with environmental education at a San Jos̩ elementary school. The program will start in the fall Рstay tuned for updates and precious photos of precocious youngsters!

We were also recently awarded a Specialized Bicycles dealer grant, thanks to Calmar Bicycles in Santa Clara. That funding will help us expand our BPAC outreach in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, which makes for stronger institutions to promote bicycling as sustainable transportation. Neat!

So, I'll soldier on – just me, my computer, and enough laserjet toner to spit out 4,000 words on the ways SVBC will engage stakeholders to support incorporating bicycle infrastructure into a station area plan or transit project. Also: night-vision goggles, just in case. It's a dangerous job, but I have the office-casual chinos and medium-point gel pens it takes to get it done right.

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