The Nonprofit Association of Oregon has alerted its contacts that an organization (The Funding Institute) is perpetrating a scam by advertising a grant training in Portland Sept. 16-18. NAO was alerted by a grantwriting instructor who was victimized earlier by The Funding Institute.
Here is the email thread from NAO:
From: Jennifer Bugley [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 5:55 PM
To: Phil McCorkle
Subject: FW: Beware: The Funding Institute
Wanted to give you a heads up about this scam grant training that is being advertised to take place on Sept 16-18 in Portland.
NAO has notified the Department of Justice but wanted this to be on your radar. Can you notify your network?
Nonprofit Association of Oregon
p 503-239-4001, ext. 102 / f 503-236-8313
From: Wendy Traylor [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, August 28, 2015 4:31 PM
To: Jim White
Subject: The Funding Institute
Thank you for taking my call! You are saving me a lot of time and stress by contacting folks who can make an immediate difference in this matter. My professional website is http://www.socialprofitservices.com and outside of my outdated photo.
Below, you will find the text of the email I sent to Kathy Liang at the University of Richmond:
I just got off the phone with Laurie Rogers, who I found in a search for grant writers in the Richmond area. I am hoping to prevent another grant writer/instructor from being deceived by a company that calls itself The Funding Institute. I am an independent grant writer living in Albuquerque, NM, and I was contacted in June by a woman identifying herself as Patty Jones. She had read my resume online and asked about my teaching experience. After a few phone calls, she offered me a contract position teaching a 3-day “Grant Funding and Proposal Writing Essentials” course to be held at the University of New Mexico. The job paid $1,500, so I agreed, signed the contract, learned their curriculum, and within a few weeks, taught the course at a conference room at UNM. The course went off without a hitch (outside of my having to edit sections of the textbook due to inaccuracies), and everyone went home happy.
I had not performed proper research beforehand (and me, a grant writer!!), so I was not aware that The Funding Institute is known on the internet to be a scam. Thirty days passed after the conclusion of my class and I still had not been paid as my contract promised, so I called, texted and emailed Patty without success. More than sixty days later, the University also remains unpaid. I have since learned that “Patty” is actually Patchree (or Patchtree) Patchrint of the Los Angeles, CA, area, and she has a long history of perpetrating similar scams with a man named Anthony Christopher Jones.
The FBI has started investigating the case, but I wanted to notify you right away that The Funding Institute intends to hold a workshop in Richmond, Virginia on September 16-18, 2015 (see http://fundinginstitute.myfreesites.net/programs-and-courses), though they do not mention where it will be held or who will be teaching the course. They typically hold these courses at large universities and send emails to encourage development professionals to register at a cost of $495. Students are promised a “Grant Funding USA Certificate in Professional Grant Writing,” but as Grant Funding USA is one of their former scams and not an accrediting body, their certificates are worthless.
In your position as the Manager of the Institute on Philanthropy, I hope that you will help Laurie and me to spread the word about this company. My goal is to prevent the Funding Institute from victimizing anyone else. I will also do my best to contact universities, AFP chapters, Centers for Nonprofit Excellence and individual grant writers in other states (and Canada) where The Funding Institute plans to present a course. As you may have noticed, I believe that defrauding universities and nonprofit workers of their money and time is inexcusable.
Thank you for reading my extremely wordy email. I promise this is not indicative of my grant writing style. 🙂 Feel free to contact me with any questions, and I hope you have an enjoyable evening!