YES! bring innovative projects to life, divide the work and multiply the mutual success of each partner.  Who should you collaborate with? Partners that compliment but not duplicate services to your clients.

For example, a community center wants to offer literacy classes but no one at the center is qualified.  However, just down the road is a literacy agency with training available.  If these two partner, there are benefits for both agencies.   The Community Center staff/volunteers receive training to use at the center and possibly elsewhere.  The literacy agency gets to provide their services and count the statistics of not only the number trained, but also how many clients those trained served, how many hours of service, etc.  A third partner may bring yoga, a fourth after school programming, and so on.

If you think of collaboration as a pie, each new partner does not take away from the pie but rather adds more filling to the pie, allowing for each partner to continue to benefit.

CAUTION: Only partner with those you trust.  Run background checks, ask questions, get references if necessary.  Be sure to have signed Agreements or Contracts in place to protect all parties involved.

Want to know more about collaboration? Check our calendar for upcoming seminars.

Governor’s Volunteer Awards

Wednesday September 9, 2015

        As a small nonprofit organization, our staff are the only reason that we survive. A Circle of Ten, Network for Collaboration was founded by Kathy Holdway currently residing in Edom, Texas.

            As the announcement of the Governor’s Volunteer Awards were announced last week, I wanted to give a shout out to the lady Mrs. K and our C10 crew.

            In December 2009, A Circle of Ten, Inc. (C10) received the Governor’s Community Collaborator Award.  The award recognized C10 for “..creating and strengthening partnerships within their communities. Community Collaborators understand the importance of relationships, and develop connections between groups and individuals to help those craft collaborative solutions to local needs.”   C10 was selected out of a pool of over 50 nominees.

The Governor’s Volunteer Awards honor Texans who devote their time and talents to their communities.  This tradition allows Governors to recognize some of the individuals, organizations, corporations and public entities that embody the Texas tradition of community service. 

A Circle of Ten’s selection was based on regional work through their Rebuild America- Rural Community Building Initiative.  These efforts bring leadership, education, workforce and energy efficient affordable housing/building opportunities, while impacting economic development, tourism, and the environment/emissions.                            

 “It truly was an honor to be selected for this award,” stated Kathy Holdway, President of A Circle of Ten.  “C10 believes in collaborations!  Working together empowers leaders and increases partnering agencies’ capacity to provide services and improve quality of life for Rural Texans. ”   

If you want to see who the latest winner are go here:          

Congratulations to the new recipients!

Basic Prep Work

I want to write a grant…
I have a need…
I have people I can call on…
But where do I start?

Sometimes we seem to have ideas of what we want to conquer however road blocks or just the unknown gets in our way. A Circle of Ten has found a good list of some Tangibles and Intangibles for writing a grant.


  • Designated office space    You need a quiet environment that you can think and communicate with others without a lot of distractions.
  • Computer with Internet Access   A lot of what you do will be on the computer. The grant sites are mostly digital and you will need to make sure that you have the basic Microsoft type programs. Practice your copy and pasting skills, this will come in handy.
  • Access to a printer   Make a copy of things. We like to put things in binders and each grant team member have the same information. You can use jump drives also but I like having the hard copy.
  • Copier/Scanner/Fax Device   If you do not have something in house, you can always use an Office Supply store. We have had the need for a scanner a lot. When you get any document it will need to be formatted to a pdf or jpg so that you can attach it to the grant. Suggestion: Invest in this.  Check out
  • Location to a 24/7 mailing place.  Track one down that’s closest. Join their rewards program you’re going to need them in your corner.
  • Letterhead    Make it appealing. You are going to compete with other organizations that are doing similar things. Think of this as a resume, you want it to look the best.
  • Information on others    Budget information for funding newsletters, nonprofit newspapers, foundation center directories, etc. Look at someone that is doing similar things and research data.
  • Filing system   As stated above we do a lot with binders, however with technology you can use jump drives and file sharing software to do the same. Once you have completed a grant, keep it! You may need to get something from the grant later to complete another.
  • Designate Roles   It can be very overwhelming for one person to do it all.Delegate the task that you are not strengthened in. I love research. So that’s a place that I strive. I’m not as strong in understanding and reading the fine print. So on our team, I am a researcher; I go find things on the internet or in files. Someone else reads the fine print and works out a timeline. 



  1. Someone with understanding of the organizations culture, structures, governance and programsYou are again competing for these funds. Bring your “A” game. You’ll need someone that has the background information. Founder, President, Board Member, etc.
  2. Time!!!
    • Meeting time: When? Where?
    • Program development: Who is going to do the program? How are we going to use these resources?
    • Writing: schedule time to write. Block out other things and make sure you are writing.
    • Develop an Evaluation Model: take time to figure out how you are going to measure success. What are the goals of this project?
  3. Identify and Designate Roles
    • Who is going to read?
    • Who is going to write?
    • Editing?
    • Re-write?
    • Final draft?
    • When are we going to get back together and collaborate?
    • Prepare the budget?
    • Is responsible for making phone calls or emails to prospective funders to build a relationship?
    • Who is watching deadlines?
    • Who talks with board members?
    • Who are signers on the proposals?
    • Who is responsible for grant administration?

The grant can’t write itself and without a clear picture of who is doing what, frustrations are inevitable. Find all the bullet points described in the grant and divide and conquer.

  1.  Make timelines   You have to have end dates set in stone at the beginning, without it all parties will be lost. Plan lunch meeting or specific times every week/month to meet. If you can’t meet in person utilize technology, Skype, FaceTime or any other program that you have. Meet together and do your part.

Want to know more about being organized?

We currently have a workshop scheduled at the

Cameron- J Jarvis Troup Library for October 8 from 1:30 to 4:30.

Interested? Or want to schedule this at your facility for your team*?

Call us at (903)541-0013 or


 *contract required


New to Grant Writing? Want to improve your skills? Need CEU’s?

Upcoming workshops:

September 29 through October 1, 2015
November 17-19, 2015
December 8-10, 2015

8:30-4:30 Tuesday through Thursday at the DragonHead Retreat Center in Edom, TX
(lodging is available)

A Circle of Ten, Inc.~Network for Collaboration, a nonprofit agency, builds capacity, empower leaders, and increases services/funding through collaborative Initiatives. C10’s main & base service is a fast paced, tailored 3-Day Process of Collaboration Seminars © linking Leadership, Grassroots Community Organizing, Innovative Program Development, Grant Research AND GRANT WRITING.

Each seminar is limited to 10-15 Leaders.  C10 staff will do preliminary interviews & grant research for each Leader, then tailor the class/curriculum to meet the needs of those registered.

Team Approach to any grant is best. Agencies, needing funding, often send 2-3 staff/volunteers to make up their own Program/Grant Team! Discounts are applied to multiple registers from the same agency. So make sure that you pass this email on to the appropriate team members.

Alumni from our 3-Day Seminars are also invited to be part of C10 collaborative grants. Initiatives address adult education, workforce, art, technology, energy efficient housing, small business/nonprofit incubation and health/human services.  For Inclusion, each agency must send 1-3 professionals (staff or volunteers) to be part of C10’s Initiative “Program & Grant Writing” team(s).