Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I had heard one of my guests talk about how the National Museum was the setting for a date. She was quite impressed with the guy and eventually married him. People go to bars or parties to meet people. Well, there's also the National Museum.

I've seen it all in the course of guiding. Stolen glances. Silly remarks to start a conversation. There's actually a lot of sexual tension in a museum tour. I find it all amusing and can tolerate it for so long as the guests still give me their attention.

Many of my guests are actually quite endearing. In their attempts to seeking their roots and being awestruck with our collection, they become vulnerable. They bare their selves and become open to an encounter.

But if nothing happens, at least you'd have learned how great we are as a people.

Monday, October 05, 2009


"After 2 workshops, I finally figured out how to personalize my emails to friends and donors. I did one on what happened to our staff and kids during the typhoon with a specific appeal for them to send money. I'd done such an appeal describing what we want to do before but for the first time, some people actually sent money. They said they were touched by the story I wrote."

Olie Lucas
Unang Hakbang Foundation

October 4, 2009

Dear friends,

I am offering one Advocacy Writing Workshop (Thursday, October 29) and two Grant Writing Workshops (Saturday, October 31 and Thursday, November 5, 2009). Given recent events, I will include in these workshops writing tips to accentuate emergency relief work and needs to get financial support and news coverage.

Advocacy Writing

Advocacy Writing like submitting editorials and letters-to-the-editor, writing and publishing articles and blogs and participating in a variety of forums are an essential component to organizations or corporations that have a cause to present to the public or a corporate social responsibility (CSR) feature to highlight. Your cause is widened, gains members and helps in providing solutions to eradicate the problem. Many funders these days are interested in supporting organizations and organizations that have a strong advocacy component.

I will help you learn to research and gather your writing points, develop a coherent and powerful article that persuades the general public and gather both moral and financial support. An example of my own advocacy writing can be found on my blog:


My written advocacy pieces have helped in stopping the destruction of heritage buildings, eliminated the posting of corporate banners on trees, removed illegal structures on historical sites, increased literacy rates among public school teachers and students, promoted the arts, championed gay and lesbian rights, and preserved freedom of expression. Many of these pieces appear on my blog as well.

Grant Writing

With over 30 years of grant writing experience, fundraising work and giving grants, I have taught thousands of non-profit organizations how to write a succinct, readable and winning grant proposal.

Many international funders don’t understand the proposals sent from Philippine organizations. They are often criticized for being too “wordy,” “vague,” full of academic and development jargon, and imploring in tone rather than partner-oriented.

International funders increasingly insist that proposals be brief, exact and easy-to-read. They want to read proposals that are not stop-gap measures but contribute to solving or eradicating a problem. They want measurable outcomes rather than hopeful prognostications.

My work in international funding organizations has given me the ability to recognize and discern exactly what these funders want and I will share them with you.

For the grant writing class, you will learn the how-to’s in seeking funding, the research phase, the query letter, the important segments of a proposal and the salient points of a winning proposal.

In all my classes I share the art of writing a persuasive narrative, one most likely to be read and seriously considered. Compelling, gripping accounts about your organization’s work in story telling mode secure grants and garner public support these days.

Advocacy Writing Workshop

October 29, 2009

9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

PhP 3,500 pesos

Grant Writing Workshop

October 31, 2009

9:30 AM – 5 PM

PhP 3,500 pesos

Grant Writing Workshop

November 5, 2009

9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

PhP 3,500 pesos

Reservations necessary. Text/call 0926 729 9029 or 0917 419 5928 or e-mail jsilva79@mac.com

All workshops include a CD containing supplemental study material. A non-refundable fee of PhP 2,000 pesos will be applied towards your reservation.

All workshops are held at the Ortigas Library, Ortigas Building located at the corner of Meralco and Ortigas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

John L. Silva, who conducts all the workshops has had 30 years of fundraising experience having worked for Oxfam America, the American Cancer Society and Greenpeace. He is a co-founder and former trustee of Venture for Fundraising, an NGO teaching fundraising to other non-profits locally and throughout Asia. He is fundraising adviser and trustee to various organizations such as Ballet Philippines, Hands On Manila, Synergeia, the National Museum and Mangyan Heritage Society. He has lectured and taught fundraising courses in the Netherlands, India, and Malaysia to international NGO's. He is a published author and has written for various publications here and abroad. Read him at: