USDA Seeks Applications for Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees

18 04 2018

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through September 30, 2018

For more information:

At SparrowHawk Consulting we have lots of successful experience helping bring broadband to communities. Contact us at


New Non-profit Class Offered at Evergreen and Grays Harbor College

9 03 2018

I will be offering a 4-credit class at The Evergreen State College this coming Spring Term called “Doing the Business of Non Profits-Ideas to Realities”.  It’s a part of the College’s Evening and Weekend Studies Program and Grays Harbor College offerings.  The course will meet Mondays from 6-9:30 PM on the main campus just west of Olympia and at the Grays Harbor College campus in Aberdeen on Thursday evenings also 6-9:30 PM. Here’s the course description:

Students in this class will learn a lot about philanthropy in the United States and the role of nonprofits in contributing to healthy, sustainable communities. We’ll look at the historical role of charitable giving before and after contact and the evolving role nonprofits have played and are playing in the U.S.  As a part of this inquiry, we’ll consider what it takes to create a nonprofit and grow and sustain existing organizations.  We’ll also focus on Development Readiness tm  for these organizations and how using this approach helps ensure a sustainable organization that benefits, for example, from an empowered and engaged board and staff as well as contemporary and ongoing strategic planning. The ethics of nonprofit organizations will also be considered as will professional development and volunteer recruitment and management. We’ll learn about grant writing and fundraising for nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations. This portion of the course will also include effectively finding funding sources for organizations and their programs. Each student will be asked to identify and develop an organization and a project over the course of the quarter. The organization and project can be based on an existing nonprofit or one that is created for the purposes of the class.

Go to for further information or to register.

Don Chalmers

USDA is Accepting Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants

17 05 2017

USDA is Accepting Applications for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is accepting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, which provides increased access to education, training, and healthcare resources in rural areas.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program finances telecommunications equipment, computer networks, and advanced technologies for use by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. Grant amounts range from $50,000 to $500,000. Of the funds made available this year, $1.6 million will be prioritized for communication upgrades between emergency transportation vehicles and medical facilities.

Applications are due by Monday, July 17, 2017. Prior to applying, applicants are encouraged to review the 2017 Application Guide.

For more details about DLT grants and the application process, see page 22477 of the May 16, 2017, Federal Register.

For assistance in preparing a competitive application please contact me at:

Don Chalmers

Strategic Planning in chilly Nebraska

25 01 2016

Just back from two days of strategic planning and board development with the Omaha Nation Community Response Team (ONCRT) in Walthill, NE. Great non-profit serving the Omaha Nation and other area residents. I really appreciated the Board members and dedicated staff who actively participated in planning for the future undeterred by sub-freezing temperatures! The resulting plan will also provide compelling context for their upcoming funding requests to support their important work in their Communities!

for further information contact SparrowHawk Consulting Company:

SparrowHawk Consulting Welcomes New Client: Omaha Nation Community Response Team

15 12 2015

We’re honored and pleased to welcome the Team to the family of SparrowHawk Consulting clients.  The Omaha Nation Community Response Team (ONCRT) is a private, non-profit organization that serves the residents of the Omaha Reservation in Northeastern Nebraska.  As a community-based organization, the Team strives to provide quality prevention, intervention, and community mobilization services and activities, emphasizing the inclusion of Omaha culture as the primary protective factor in bringing about positive changes in the community.  The ONCRT works at the grass root level, creating partnerships with tribal programs, the State of Nebraska, local organizations, and community stakeholders concerning a variety of youth issues.

We’ll be engaged to help ONCRT design, implement and facilitate a strategic planning process early in 2016 that will help them chart a course for the next 3-5 years and create context for future funding requests. Welcome ONCRT!

Looking Forward to Sharing with Local Environmental Groups Next Week in Olympia

4 06 2015

Thanks to Amber Smith, Education Manager at the WET Science Center in Olympia.  She’s arranged for me to present to a monthly meeting of environmental groups next week on Wednesday, June 10.

Here’s the announcement:

Don Chalmers, President, brings over 40 years of experience as a community development professional to the SparrowHawk Consulting Company team. Don has worked with state agencies, Tribes, other governments, Colleges and Universities, and a host of non-profits and their governing boards and planning committees. His career includes successful community and organizational development for scores of clients through project management, grant preparation, other resource development, facilitation, training and strategic planning. For many years Don has served as an Adjunct Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College, teaching Grantwriting and Nonprofit Development in the Evening and Weekend Studies Program. He is a member of a number of related affinity groups. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Olympia.  He holds a law degree from the University of Oregon.

We will  start our session with Don doing brief self-introductions.  During those each of us will be asked to briefly share any learning objectives we have for our time with Don.  In addition we’ll learn about trends modern non-profits are facing and how best to respond to them.  We’ll delve into developmental readiness and how those activities help make non-profits sustainable and able to secure needed resources.  Developmental readiness includes board recruitment and development, board education and training and strategic planning among other components.

Come join us for a lively and fun session designed to help each of our organizations flourish!

Board Development and Strategic Planning at NPI

20 05 2015

I was honored to present this topic to a well-attended session of this year’s 25th Anniversary of Native Americans in Philanthropy and Native Philanthropy Institute at Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel earlier this month.  I’ve attached a PowerPoint Slide Show for those who would like to view the presentation.  You will have to click “Enter” to move through the slides.

For further information please contact: or (360) 412-1700/ (360) 280-0511  Thanks!

Board Dev and Strategic Planning – NPI 2015