Earlier this year, I came across a fake seminar outfit called the North American Program Planning and Policy Academy (NAPPPA) [read the comments for more information] running out of a rented mailbox in Los Angeles. NAPPPA was recently covered by ABC15 in Arizona (see video below).
It seems to be a bait-and-switch operation. Seminars are promoted as being held at universities, only to switch venues at the last moment, students complain the the seminars are of very low quality and there are complaints as well that people who have been employed to teach these seminars (often hired via Craigslist) are not getting paid.
Well, a contact informed by that NAPPPA was back, this time peddling seminars under the name of NA3PA and with a website at www.na3pa.org:
From: NA3PA Announcements
Subject: Strategy Session: Program Planning, Evaluation, and Proposals (October 18 - 19, 2011: Los Angeles, CA)
NA3PA will be conducting the Program Planning, Evaluation, and Proposals Strategy Session in Los Angeles, California on October 18 - 19, 2011. Interested development professionals, researchers, faculty, and graduate students should register as soon as possible, as demand means that seats will fill up quickly. Please forward, post, and distribute this e-mail to your colleagues and listservs.
For more information call (888) 673-8865 or visit our website at http://www.na3pa.org. Please find the program description below:
The Program Planning, Evaluation, and Proposals Strategy Session is a hands-on, intensive session that leads participants through the entire grant proposal and funding research processes. Through an intense two day practicum, participants will receive an overview of program planning concepts along with advanced writing techniques to develop successful proposals. This results-based session combines individual exercises with group collaboration to allow each participant to leave the session with a Program Planning and Funding Dossier. Exercises leading up to the dossier and organization narrative include a thorough proposal outline, completed worksheets necessary for proposal submissions, and a starting collection of publications and resources to build a development library. Strategy Sessions is designed to provide your organization with the competitive advantage necessary in our modern grants award environment.
This session is ideal for those with a targeted program, but is equally effective for those who can identify their program and funding interests. Completion of the Pre-Session Interview and Assignments is essential to program success and value. Each participant will receive a selection of funding programs tailored to their program and/or areas of interest. Participants without a program will be provided a working example during Pre-Session.
The Program Planning, Evaluation, and Proposals Strategy Session will cover the following during the two day session:
(1) Fundamentals of Program Planning
This session will teach professional program development essentials and program evaluation. While most grantsmanship "workshops" treat program development and evaluation as separate from the writing of a proposal, this will teach students the relationship between overall program planning and proposal writing.
(2) Strategic Funding Research
At its foundation, this session will address the basics of foundation, corporation, and government grant research. However, this course will emphasize a strategic funding research approach that encourages writers to see research not as something they do before they write a proposal, but as an integrated part of the grant seeking process. Students will be exposed to online database research tools, as well as publications and directories that contain information about foundation, corporation, and government grant opportunities. Focusing on funding sources and basic social science research, this course teaches students how to use research as part of a strategic grant acquisition effort.
(3) Professional Proposal Writing
Designed to obtain tangible results, this session will make each student an overall proposal writing specialist. In addition to teaching the basic components of a grant proposal, successful approaches, and the do's and don'ts of grant writing, this session is infused with expert principles that will lead to a mastery of the process. Strategy resides at the forefront of this session's intent to illustrate grant writing as an integrated, multidimensional, and dynamic endeavor. Each student will learn to stop writing the grant and to start writing the story. Ultimately, this session will conclude with a completed proposal outline.
Tuition for this two day strategy session is $398.00.
Strategy Session Registration
1. Participants tentatively reserve a seat online at http://www.na3pa.org, by calling the Program Office toll-free at (888) 673-8865, or by sending their name and contact information via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. A confirmation email is sent to registrants that includes session site information, travel information, program description, and details on how to confirm attendance and make payment arrangements. An invoice and agency W9 is also included.
3.Upon attendance confirmation, registrants will receive (usually via email) a Pre-Session packet that will include 1) a Pre-Session Interview, 2) Pre- Session exercises to be completed, 5) a Session Agenda and Schedule, and 4) a receipt.
You have received this invitation due to specific educational affiliation. We respect your privacy and want to ensure that interested parties are made aware of NA3PA strategy sessions and schedules. This is intended to be a one-time announcement. In any event, you should not receive any more announcements unless there is a program next year in your area. To be unlisted from next year's announcement, send an email to email@example.com and write "Unlist" in the subject line.
The registrations details for the domain na3pa.org are hidden:
Registrant ID:decwp508561qlee2 Registrant Name:Protected Domain Services - Customer ID: DEC-3558115 Registrant Organization:Protected Domain Services - Customer ID: DEC-3558115 Registrant Street1:P.O. Box 6197 Registrant Street2: Registrant Street3: Registrant City:Denver Registrant State/Province:CO Registrant Postal Code:80206 Registrant Country:US Registrant Phone:+1.7202492374 Registrant Phone Ext.: Registrant FAX: Registrant FAX Ext.: Registrant Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
na3pa.org itself is hosted on 188.8.131.52 at Fortress ITX. If you get a spam from NA3PA (and you can be assured that it is a spam), then forward it to abuse -at- fortressitx.com.
That server also hosts napppanet2.org which has been used before, and similarly has an anonymous registration.
The email is sent from an apparantly address of email@example.com - grantfundraising.org is another recently registered anonymised domain.
(Update 21/10/11 - the domain academicresearcher.org is also in use by these people)
This operation appears to be run out of California, apparently from the Hacienda Heights area (the originating IP for the emails is always 184.108.40.206). I know that complaints have been filed with both the BBB and the California AG's office, but no action appears to have been taken.
If you have any experience of "NA3PA" please feel free to share them in the comments.
NOTE: You can find out who was operating NAPPPA here