Foundation Center

The Basics of Grant and Prospect Research
March 4, 2014

It doesn’t matter how many foundations, individual donors, local and regional governments, and other funders believe in your organization and can donate financial support to it if those donors can’t find you and put you on their radar. Researching grants and prospects is the first step in the process, and navigating the upper levels of major-gift fundraising often requires a different approach than individual gift campaigns.

Can We Move Beyond the Nonprofit Overhead Myth?
February 14, 2014

Will we ever be rid of the idea that nonprofits can somehow achieve a nirvana where very little (or no) money goes to boring things like salaries, technology, infrastructure, fundraising, leadership development, planning, R&D? I wonder if we could gain more traction by talking less about the negatives of an overhead myth and talking more about the positives of nonprofit organization building.

Giving Pledge Signers Gave Big in 2013 but Not Much for Today's Needs
February 11, 2014

More than 120 of the world’s billionaires have committed publicly to giving at least half their wealth to charity, including 19 on this year’s Philanthropy 50 list. But while the number of people who have signed the Giving Pledge has been growing, so too are concerns about whether the effort is channeling enough new money to urgent causes today and whether some people are motivated to join for public-relations purposes.

New Website Offers Inside Look at Grant Makers, Including Anonymous Reviews
February 3, 2014

The online world is full of anonymous opinions: Diners review restaurants, students rate professors, patients evaluate doctors. Now fundraisers are getting their turn. A new website, Inside Philanthropy, is asking them to “Speak Truth to Money” and say what they really think about foundations, program officers and philanthropists.

The anonymous-ratings feature is part of a broader effort by the online venture’s founder, David Callahan, to penetrate philanthropy’s inner sanctums.

U.S. Foundation Giving Reaches an Estimated $50.9 Billion in 2012
October 2, 2013

Even through a period of unpredictability in the national and global economic and political environment, domestic foundation giving has continued to grow at a moderate pace. According to Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, the Foundation Center’s new annual research study, in 2011 the country’s 81,777 foundations held $622 billion in assets and distributed $49 billion, an amount estimated to have reached $50.9 billion in 2012. The outlook for 2013 is for continued modest growth overall.

5 Online Fundraising Best Practices for Small NGOs in Developing Countries
September 11, 2013

Thanks to Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific, I’ve presented a series of online fundraising and social-media trainings to more than 300 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) throughout Asia Pacific over the last three years. The experience has made me aware that access to information about trends in nonprofit technology, online fundraising and social media often does not reach small NGOs. Here are five online best practices to get small NGOs started: 1. Launch a new, mobile-optimized website. 2. Launch an e-newsletter. 3. Acccept donations online. 4. Study and mimic large NGOs. 5. Create a Facebook Page.

Giving USA: Charitable Donations Grew in 2012, but Slowly, Like the Economy
June 18, 2013

Even with households across the country feeling continued financial pressure, Americans donated an estimated $316.23 billion to charitable causes in 2012. Modest overall gains in total contributions mirrored the nation’s recent economic trends, Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, announced. The 3.5 percent year-over-year growth rate (1.5 percent adjusted for inflation) in gifts from American individuals, corporations and foundations matches the same figurative portrait of 2012’s economic indicators — some trends were positive, others were negative, but overall, there was growth.

Managing Up: The Grantwriter’s Dilemma
May 29, 2013

Good grantwriters have a unique perspective with respect to nonprofit organizations: We know what grantmakers want to hear, and we know what we'd like to be able to put into grant proposals. But when conspicuous gaps begin to show up in proposals, what should you — the grantwriter — do? Here are six elements of a good proposal that often are missing or inadequate, and some resources to help you and your employer/client address the problems they might be hiding.