• Report: #832594

Complaint Review: Ramona Munsell & Associates

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  • Submitted: Wed, February 01, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, March 11, 2013

  • Reported By: LivveandLearn — United States of America
Ramona Munsell & Associates
5208 Village Parkway Rogers, Arkansas United States of America

Ramona Munsell & Associates RMA Tricky Accounting!! Say Goodbye to Your Indirect Costs!! Rogers, Arkansas

*Consumer Comment: Munsell Group are Seasoned Professionals

*Consumer Comment: Ramona Munsell & Associates Are The Best

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: First Hand Account

*Author of original report: We did it ourselves.

*Consumer Comment: Lazy Uninformed Report

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Ramona Munsell & Associates will gladly teach your college or university how to circumvent the "funds cannot be used to reimburse grant writing activities" clause found in most RFPs. This little accounting trick (fraud) will drain your indirect cost accounts and put THOUSANDS of dollars in the RMA accounts. 

In return for your school's money, RMA will copy and paste pieces of old grants into a "custom" proposal just for you. And within that proposal RMA will assign an "external evaluator" to evaluate the program they've written. But wait! The evaluator is an RMA writer! That keeps things nice and tidy and keeps the checks coming to RMA every year throughout your award. 

Instead, I recommend giving "pay grant writer with grant funds" a little Google. See how many times you find the word "unethical" to describe the practice. If you need to hire a grant writer, pay a flat fee upfront. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/01/2012 09:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ramona-Munsell-Associates/Rogers-Arkansas-/Ramona-Munsell-Associates-RMA-Tricky-Accounting-Say-Goodbye-to-Your-Indirect-Costs-R-832594. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Munsell Group are Seasoned Professionals

AUTHOR: Grant Director - ()

After 25 years of higher ed and nonprofit work, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Ramona Munsell and Associates on a Title V grant and a PPOHA grant for my PUI, both of which were funded and received nearly perfect scores.  Let me repeat that:  they received nearly perfect scores.  There will be 300 applicants in a pool and only 10 to 20 funded projects.  To be funded is quite wonderful, but to receive perfect scores is exceptional. Note that indirect costs are not permitted on Title V or PPOHA, so I cannot speak to those baffling comments.  

Time was of the essence as we were creating two new programs from scatch.  Additionally, we had no centralized grant office.  The RMA administrative training for reporting and compliance was important and foundational.  These grants brought necessary and much-needed programs to our students and community.

Working with the RMA team, our PUI was able to train faculty on the correct administration of grants, work successfully with the finance office to ensure that the grant programs remained in compliance and without audit findings, and educate our staff and administration on best practices for grant administration.  The RMA team was available 24-7, 365 days a year.

If you are at a smaller institution with few grant and compliance staff or on a deadline, I  certainly recommend RMA.  I recommended Munsell and Associates to five institutions in my state, all colleges and universities that wasted no time obtaining RMA services.  Ramona, Don, Patricia and Anne and the entire staff are truly experienced and professional.

 

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#2 Consumer Comment

Ramona Munsell & Associates Are The Best

AUTHOR: Grant_Meister - ()

I have had the pleasure of working with Ramona Munsell and Associates over 20 years as lead grant writer of two Title III recipient colleges.  Now I intent to work with her again.  I COMPLETELY disagree with this previous Ripoff Report and frankly it smells of sour grapes.  The RMA that I have worked with is tireless in fine-tuning all grants and making sure they are tailor made to each college's needs.  The nature of Title III makes some repetition within the grants pro-forma, but cut and paste: NEVER.  

In additional to working with Title III writing; RMA provides endless guidance once the grant is funded, helping to keep the college on track and successful in strengthening the institution. I have recently worked with colleges who have NOT used RMA's skills and I can tell you they are suffering from lack of guidance and information well into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of the grant period.  

I keep up with their funding record even when I am not involved and I can personally attest, they have one of the highest approval rates in the nation, if not THE highest. 
'
Regarding the lack of ethics in "paying only if you are funded," I feel strongly that this is a fair and generous way to work with a Title III consultant.  Of course it could be a ethics mire if you worked in only this manner, paying your staff grant writer if they deliver the goods.  But Title III grants often require more than one submittal as they are not generously funded by congress.  Paying WHEN you receive funding is a great way to test the waters with RMA.  Personally, I have never regretted it.  They write great TRIO and Gear-Up proposals too.
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

First Hand Account

AUTHOR: InformedConsumer - (United States of America)

As an ex-employee of the company, I can personally say that most (if not all) of the report is correct. The trick to the business being successful is "courting the customer" with fancy meals and lodging then convincing them (often using scare tactics) that they need RMA to work as their middleman between them and the government to get grant funds.  

Next, RMA has customers sign a contract paying them a certain percent each year of the grant, which can add up to a considerable amount.  Many grant proposals are very similar and so, in many cases, parts of other proposals were pieced together to create a "new, customized" one for customers. 



The only person they could be referring to as "external evaluators"  are their off-site "grant writers" who also get a percentage paid to them directly by RMA. 



I am not familiar with the rules and regulations with regard to using grant funds to reimburse grant writing activities but I can say that if a school is taking a percentage from what they are receiving in grants and paying it to RMA, they are paying for grant writing activities.

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#4 Author of original report

We did it ourselves.

AUTHOR: LivveandLearn - (United States of America)

We did write our own grant. It was funded. We were able to hire 3 full-time staff for less than what it would have cost to utilize the "services" of RMA. After much discussion and research we conclude RMA uses fraudulent business practices. The Department of Education investigation will no doubt substantiate the claims above.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Lazy Uninformed Report

AUTHOR: Truth - (United States of America)

This report was the biggest load of steaming crap I've read in a while.  It's obvious the poster comes from a culture of entitlement where everything is given to them and they are upset when it is not.  A Title III grant would probably not be in their best interest anyway if this is how they feel.  The grant actually requires that you do "actual work" and report it back to the government.

Ramona Munsell is the best in the business and everyone knows it.  If you do not want to utilize her expertise you are welcome to write the grant on your own.  Good luck!

Don't count on Ramona coming on here and paying the extortion fee to retort either.  She is a professional and does not resort to anonymous attacks.
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