Meet Bill Jeffries, Grant/Proposal Writing Instructor

William E. Jeffries III, MCP, will be teaching Grant/Proposal Writing at Purchase College Continuing Education this spring.  Jeffries has more than 14 years of project development and grant writing experience, mainly in the performing and visual arts sectors. He has secured more than $3 million in grants and administered another $3 million in funded projects.  Here are some insights from a recent interview with him:

What got you started in your field?  When did you discover your passion for it? Like many grant writers, I stumbled into the profession by accident. After finishing my undergraduate degree, I worked for a Public Housing Authority as a Youth Coordinator and part of the job involved making grant reports on the state funded youth programs that I was charged with implementing. It turned out that I had a real gift in this area and decided to get more experience. I later went to graduate school and obtained a Masters Degree in Community Planning. While there, I really learned how to put together and evaluate projects that could be submitted for grant funding. During graduate school, I secured a job with the Appalachian Regional Commission and learned about grants from the perspective of a grantor and grant reviewer.

After working for an orchestra and arts and science center for the past decade, I now specialize in informal arts and science education grants and arts funding in general.

I also served as a President for a contemporary dance company and learned a great deal about how arts nonprofits work and don’t work.

What question do you wish an interviewer would ask you, and what is the answer? What are some general traits that successful grant writers share?


  1. The ability to balance strong attention to detail with the ability to maintain a broader perspective and long term view
  2. The ability to take in and condense large amounts of data and information and rework it into more general terms
  3. Knowledge and applied experience on how to break down problems, projects or very large assignments into smaller, workable pieces without diluting or compromising the original intent or goal
  4. The ability to maintain a strong ethical and professional code
  5. The ability and patience to educate people in a continual basis about the grant writing field

The Grant/Proposal Writing course will be held Wednesdays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. and runs from February 16-March 16, 2011.  Click here for information about the certificate program in Fundraising and Board Development in partnership with the Association of Development Officers (ADO) and here for more information about the Writers Collective.

Winter/Spring 2011 at Purchase College Continuing Education

Our Winter/Spring 2011 catalog is now available online.  Click here to see our latest course offerings.

Purchase College Continuing Education: Facebook CEO Makes Major Gift

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on “Oprah” a $100 million gift to improve public education in Newark, NJ.  The money will be used to start a new foundation called Startup: Education.

Zuckerberg, now 26, created Facebook when he was in college.

Open House — Purchase College Continuing Education

On Thursday, February 4 from 6:30-8:30pm, we will be hosting our Spring 2010 Open House for our Professional Certificate Programs and Personal Enrichment Courses. Attendants will be able to meet with instructors to discuss our Spring certificate programs and courses, and register for classes, so save the date- February 4.

Location: Purchase College, Student Services Bldg., Room 0129. Park in the W1 parking and follow the signs.

RSVP: or call (914) 251-6500

Click here for more information

Fundraising in the Arts, Tough Times in Canada (Purchase College Certificate in Fundraising and Development)

Fundraising is very important for non-profit organizations. Non-profits, lets say, arts related, need fundraising as a way to finance their organization and as a source of funding for their projects and events. In the past, there have been many donations made to non-profit organizations by individual donors/philanthropists, as well as charitable foundations set up for the specific purpose of donating money. However, even though these charitable donations are great, they are not necessarily a long lasting source. This is something that non-profit’s need to be aware of. With this being said, non-profit organization should have many different approaches to obtaining money, rather than to rely on these organizations/individuals.

Unfortunately at the moment, non-profit organizations are having a hard time getting the support of foundations and philanthropists. I came across an article posted on (30 November 2009), entitled “Support for the Arts at Critical Low but Region is Ready for Challenge.” This article is talking about arts organizations in all of Canada, but more specifically the focus is on Quebec. The fear of not being able to fund an organization has become a reality. This reality has caused local arts organizations to close down, and poses a significant threat to close down many more in the near future.

One way these arts organizations help themselves out, is by increasing their revenue significantly, helping them to stay afloat. This is very good, but there needs to be a plan for how they will get funding for their organization in the future. So, the next step will be to devise a plan/formula that will ensure funding in the future, therefore ensuring that these wonderful/important arts organizations can stay open for the community to enjoy in the future.

– Andrew Illiano

HOW TO: Launch an iPhone App for Your Nonprofit for $25 a Month

by nonprofitorgs

2010 is going to be the year that the large national and international nonprofits launch iPhone Apps. Many of those Apps are already in development (@Kiva4iPhone), but at this early in the game hiring someone to develop an iPhone App for your nonprofit is expensive. Very expensive. Large companies and some nonprofits are spending as much as $50,000 to build and launch an a iPhone App.

Below you’re going to learn how you can launch an iPhone App for your nonprofit and have it added theApp Store on iTunes and ready for download by the end of the year. But let me just say straight from the beginning that these Apps are very basic. This is absolutely first generation, do-it-yourself iPhone App development. Over time, design and functionality will likely improve significantly, but if you want to be a very early adopter and wow the world with your cutting edge adoption of the Mobile Web, then Sweb Apps is for you.  

While these Apps are far from fancy, the PR value can be very high. Your organization can create a page on your Web site announcing the new App and promote it in your e-newsletter and on social networking sites. As an iPhone user, I personally would love to download the Apps of my favorite nonprofits and have their avatars displayed on my iPhone. In the coming years it will become commonplace to see Tweets and Status Updates reading “Check out our new App on iTunes!” so early adoption is the key to getting the most downloads. A quick search of the term “nonprofit” in the iTunes App store returns less than 50 Apps, and most of those are miscategorized Apps. That’s how new it is for nonprofits to have iPhone Apps.

Through December 31, 2009, Sweb Apps will defer all set-up fees for nonprofits organizations and all you are required to pay is $25 a month to host the App. You can choose between 4-8 buttons that can be easily edited and utilized through a Web-based Sweb App Management System. You can cancel your App hosting at any time, but if Sweb Apps comes out with new buttons and tools in the future, upgrades will not be discounted. That’s something to keep in mind. Down the road you may need to pay a few hundred dollars for new buttons and upgrades. It is also quite likely that more do-it-yourself iPhone App services will be popping up over the next year.

All that said, I created an iPhone App for Nonprofit Tech 2.0 using Sweb Apps and hope to have it available for download by the end of the year. The approval process by Apple can take 3-6 weeks. And speaking of Apple, and since I know you will ask, “Donate Now” buttons are not allowed on iPhone Apps. A few Apps have gotten through with Donate Now buttons in the past, but as of right now Apple will reject an App with a Donate Now button. They give no explanation as to why. My guess is some sort of “Donate Now” App is in the works. 2010 will be a big year for nonprofits and iPhone Apps.

Make-A-Wish Foundation Taps into Social Media Sites (Purchase College Certificates in Social Media Marketing and Nonprofit Management)

   Richard Kelly, vice president and COO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, takes part in a video shoot Monday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. The video will be used on the  foundation's new Facebook, YouTube and Twitter sites. Many nonprofits are using social media to grow awareness.
Richard Kelly, vice president and COO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, takes part in a video shoot Monday at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami. The video will be used on the foundation’s new Facebook, YouTube and Twitter sites. Many nonprofits are using social media to grow awareness.  


If you’ve had a friend suggest lately that you become a fan of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida, you’re not alone — it’s part of a new strategy by the local nonprofit to get involved in social media.

In six months, the group has created thousands of fans and even seen individual giving increase since it established a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Richard Kelly, 42, the vice president and chief operating officer, dabbled in Facebook for a few months to get an idea of what he calls the “nuance and power” behind the site before the foundation created its page.

Kelly said initially the idea was to delve into social media just to create awareness about the organization, which fulfills wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

“We understand the demographics and the way that people get their news has changed,” Kelly said. “People get their news in many ways and we’re going to deliver it that way.”

In the past year, the local arm fulfilled 479 wishes for the children and families it serves in 13 counties in the southern half of the state.

The staff of the nonprofit, based in Fort Lauderdale, modeled its page after the national Make-A-Wish page, which has more than 86,000 fans.

Once the local page was created, Make-A-Wish reached out to a core group of staff, board members and volunteers and asked them to suggest to 10 friends that they become fans of the Facebook page they created. In the past six months, the page has gained 4,250 fans.

The organization also tells the stories of Florida children and their wishes through a Twitter account (@makeawishsfla) and a YouTube channel, which they also use to promote events and fundraisers, including a link that directs people to donate.

“We’re looking to share our stories and our mission — and if fundraising comes with it, that’s great,” said Kelly, who said they have seen a small increase in individual giving to the local foundation in the six months since they’ve created a social media presence.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts are updated at least once a day by Kelly or other staff, who also monitor the comments and interact with other people.

The local Make-A-Wish Foundation is just one of many nonprofits that have started to establish a presence on social media sites. Recently, an Atlanta-based social media company called EVERYWHERE came up with a fundraising idea: for every mention of the phrase “beat cancer” on Twitter, in Facebook status updates and on blogs, they would have sponsors donate a penny.

Over a 24-hour period that started on Oct. 17, the group was able to get more than 200,000 mentions. The #beatcancer hashtag, a keyword that Twitter users use to keep track of similar topics, quickly became one of the most used terms of the day.

EVERYWHERE’s Tamara Knechtel said the goal now is to use social media to generate large mass donations: “If we were able to generate $70,000 in 24 hours, what do you think we could do in 365 days?”


purchase logo black and whiteWhether you’re looking to advance your current career, change jobs, start your own business, or just learn some new and exciting skills — Purchase College has the Professional Certificates and Career Development Courses that will help you Learn … Produce … and Amaze.   We have the instructors and the curriculum that will give you the competitive edge in today’s challenging marketing.