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Monthly Archives: October 2012

It’s commonly held wisdom— particularly among fundraising generalists — that nonprofit organizations shouldn’t rely exclusively on grants for their operational and programmatic support. Grants should be only one element in a multiple-source mix.

 

This post explores nonprofits’ revenue development strategies and their varied mixes of funding sources. Later posts will explore their options for seeking grants from private sources.

 

Revenue Strategies:

Available statistics suggest that nonprofits — as a large population of organizations — apply this wisdom in practice. Generally, grants are in fact only one element in their funding mix — and often they form only a small part of that mix.

 

As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted in its Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector (2009) — “…It is important to note that nonprofit organizations that receive charitable contributions generally have other important sources of revenue, such as user fees, earnings from assets, or government support….” In its Overview, the CRS found that, as of 2005:

 

  • Government grants and payments were much more important for health organizations (37%) and for human services organizations (36%) than for other types of organizations.
  • Private donations formed the largest source of funding for arts, culture, and humanities organizations (43%) as well as for environment and animals (48%) organizations. They were also significant in human services organizations (16%).
  • Private payments (fees for service) were most important for education (56%) and healthcare (56%) organizations, but also significant for human services organizations (41%), arts, culture, and humanities organizations (29%), and for environment and animals organizations (24%).
  • Investment income was far more important for education organizations (17%) and arts, culture, and humanities organizations (9%) than for others (range: 3% to 7%).
  • Other sources of revenue (e.g., special events) were most important for environment and animals organizations (9%) and for arts, culture, and humanities (7%) organizations.

 

In its Overview, the CRS reported that government grants were least important for health organizations and most important for human services and international organizations. The grants reflected the nature of the specific organizations, and were less important as a revenue source for those organizations — such as hospitals — that relied heavily upon government fees (e.g., Medicare and Medicaid). Grant support was more important in areas where the government had a special interest — such as the human services and international sectors — than in others.

 

Government Grants as Revenue:

Government funding to charitable organizations has three origins. It may come: (1) directly from the Federal government, (2) from state and local governments that have received the funding from the Federal government (rather than raised the revenue themselves), or (3) directly from state and local governments.

 

Among the findings of one CRS-cited study were that only 9% of grants originated with state and local governments; 61% were financed by the Federal government but flowed through to nonprofit organizations via state and local programs; and the remaining 30% were provided directly via the Federal government. While the Federal government appeared to be the primary source of funds through grant making, state and local governments were the primary sources of oversight.

 

This distribution of grant origins implies that what happens to future Federal discretionary spending will impact greatly — even disproportionately — those organizations that rely more heavily on grants in their funding strategy mix – particularly those human services organizations that depend upon Federal-origin grants and Federal-origin fees.

As potential grant seekers, some types of charitable (or nonprofit) organizations in the United States of America are more likely than other types to need to compete head-on against their peers for public and private grants.

 

This post explores nonprofits’ revenue development strategies and their varied mixes of funding sources. Later posts will explore their funding mixes further, as well as their options for seeking grants.

 

Different Sources, Different Impacts:

Different types of charitable organizations depend to varying degrees on different types of revenue sources. Those that focus on arts, culture, and humanities, environment, and animals rely most heavily upon private contributions. Such charities are more susceptible than others to economic turmoil that contributes to fluctuations in individual giving.

 

Compared to other types of charitable organizations, educational institutions rely more upon investment income. Their revenues are susceptible to volatility in financial markets that impacts their investment income. As recent economic history has demonstrated, market downturns affect those investments directly and adversely.

 

Charities that derive much of their revenue from private payments (e.g., fees for services) — such as health care and education institutions — are less likely than others to suffer revenue losses when external factors cause changes to the level of private contributions (donations).

 

Funding Mixes:

In An Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector (2009), the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that for arts, culture, and humanities organizations, the revenue source mix is 12% government grants and payments, 29% private payments (fees), 9% investment income, 43% private contributions (donations), and 7% other revenue. See table ad infra.

 

For education organizations, the mix is 12% government grants and payments, 56% private payments (fees), 17% investment income, 13% private contributions (donations), and 2% other revenue.

 

The revenue source mix for environment and animals organizations is 12% government grants and payments, 24% private payments (fees), 7% investment income, 48% private contributions (donations), and 9% other revenue.

 

For healthcare organizations the mix is 37% government grants and payments, 56% private payments (fees), 3% investment income, 2% private contributions (donations), and 2% other revenue.

 

Finally, for human services organizations, the mix is 36% government grants and payments, 41% private payments (fees), 3% investment income, 16% private contributions (donations), and 4% other revenue.

 

Type of Organization Source of Revenue
  Gov’t Grants Fees Investments Donations Other
Arts, Culture, Humanities 12% 29% 9% 43% 7%
Education 12% 56% 17% 13% 2%
Environment and Animals 12% 24% 7% 48% 9%
Healthcare 37% 56% 3% 2% 2%
Human Services 36% 41% 3% 16% 4%

 

Later posts will explore nonprofits’ funding mixes and their consequences, as well as their options for obtaining grants from private grant makers.

A little innocuous statistical espionage enables potential grant seekers to gauge the competition and to refine their strategic positioning for winning grants.

 

This post explores how many nonprofit organizations exist, in the United States of America, as potential rivals for funding — and their varied mixes of funding sources. Later posts will explore other aspects of US nonprofits’ revenue development strategies as well as their options for seeking grants.

 

Numbers of Nonprofit Organizations:

In An Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector (2009) the Congressional Research Service (CRS), citing data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, reported that out of 987,033 charitable organizations registered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 99,263 (or 10.06%) were in arts, culture, and humanities; 149,411 (or 15.14%) were in education; 4,177 (or 0.42%) were in higher education; 45,882 (or 4.65%) were in environment; 72,410 (or 7.34%) were in health; and 261,984 (or 26.54%) were in human services. (All data are as of July 2009.)

 

Out of the same 987,033 registered charitable organizations, 512,889 (or 51.96%) were large enough to be required to file 990 returns with the IRS. Among these 512,889 organizations, 64,347 (or 12.55%) were in arts, culture, and humanities; 91,113 (or 17.76%) were in education; 2,378 (or 0.46%) were in higher education; 24,924 (or 4.86%) were in environment; 49,357 (or 9.62%) were in health; and 163,885 (or 31.95%) were in human services. (All data are as of July 2009.)

 

Sources of Revenues:

In its Overview of the Nonprofit and Charitable Sector (2009) the Congressional Research Service (CRS), reports that for charitable organizations, private payments for service are the largest category of revenue. Private payments for service may include a wide variety of services, such as payments for medical care and education tuition. In 2005 (the most recent year the CRS reported) charities collected $590 billion in payments for services, which constituted 49% of total revenue.

 

The second largest revenue source for charitable organizations is government grants and payments. In 2005, charities collected $351 billion worth of government grants and payments or 29% of total revenue.

 

In 2005, private contributions (donations) were $143.7 billion, or 12% of total revenue to charitable organizations. Private contributions to charities were their third largest revenue source.

 

Charitable organizations made $81 billion from investments in 2005, which represented 7% of their overall revenue. Investment income included the sales of securities, interest, and dividends. The recent Great Recession greatly reduced revenue flowing into charitable organizations from investment income.

 

Other revenue, of which there were $30 billion in 2005, makes up 3% of overall revenue received by charitable organizations. Such revenue comes from sources such as membership dues, net special events income, and other miscellaneous revenue-raising activities.

 

Later posts will explore nonprofits’ differentiated revenue sources as well as trends in the numbers of grant-making foundations from which they might seek funding.

Future reductions in levels of Federal funding in 2013 and in later years are likely to impact many grant seekers’ funding priorities, plans, and strategies for winning government grants.

 

The Congressional Research Service, which provides technical analysis and support to members of the United States Congress, describes the impacts of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA or the Act) in its eponymously titled report (2011).

 

This post explores the Act’s impacts on the future of Federal domestic discretionary spending, which is that part of the Federal budget that funds many competitively awarded Federal grant programs. Later posts will explore other related trends and legislation and their consequences for grant seekers.

 

Discretionary Spending Trends:

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) sets in statute specific discretionary spending caps on new budget authority between fiscal year (FY) 2012 and FY2021. Under the Act’s caps, discretionary spending is projected to decline from 9.0% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY2011 to 6.2% of GDP in FY2021. Since the first year for which such data are available, FY1962, discretionary spending has only been that low in one other year, which was FY1999.

 

In contrast to past trends and future projections, between FY2000 and FY2009, discretionary spending rose by 8.0% per year, on average, and rose by 8.9% in FY2010. The increases since FY2000 were attributable primarily to a rise in defense spending throughout the 2000s, and an increase in spending as a result of domestic economic stimulus programs since 2009.

 

Impacts of Caps on Discretionary Spending:

Growth in nominal spending levels may understate the effects of BCA discretionary spending caps. One reason is that the population of the United States is projected to rise to 322,742,000 by the year 2020. Consequently, the BCA caps will lead to lower discretionary spending per capita than nominal growth rates would indicate for such functional categories as education, training, housing assistance, and health.

 

Decisions on discretionary spending levels are made annually through the Federal appropriations process and it is impossible to know what spending levels the Congress will enact from one future year to the next. Consequently, it remains unknown how the discretionary spending caps will impact any specific program.

 

Discretionary spending under the Act’s caps is projected to decline from 9% of GDP in FY2011 to 6.2% of GDP in FY2021. This decline would reverse the growth in discretionary spending during the 2000s, returning it to the historically low levels of the late 1990s. The BCA makes relatively small cuts to Federal outlays in FY2012; however, discretionary spending cuts will rise every fiscal year thereafter so that the reduction in outlays would be nearly five times larger in nominal terms in FY2021, relative to FY2012.

 

Under the Act, in FY2013, an automatic spending reduction will occur through an across-the-board sequestering of previously authorized budgetary resources. After FY2013, the automatic Federal spending reduction will occur through a sequestering for mandatory spending and through reductions in the overall discretionary caps — rather than by automatic spending cuts — for discretionary spending. The table below summarizes the future reductions in spending.

 

Automatic Spending Reductions in Federal Non-Defense Discretionary Spending:FY2013-FY2021
Fiscal Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Amount $39B $38B $37B $36B $36B $36B $34B $33B $33B
Percentage 7.8% 7.4% 7.1% 6.8% 6.6% 6.4% 6.1% 5.8% 5.5%

 

Perhaps of particular interest to seekers of Federal grants — any cuts to Federal discretionary programs as a result of the Act’s automatic spending reduction process will occur in addition to the cuts resulting from its discretionary caps.

 

Related Articles:

Efficient Gov.Com — Sequestration: Local Governments Brace for Cuts, Broader Implications

The future of Federal funding in 2013 and later years is of considerable interest to many grant seekers and the grant writers who work with them and for them. Perhaps of particular interest are the grant programs whose annual appropriations fall under the category of non-defense domestic discretionary spending.

 

The Congressional Research Service, which provides technical analysis and support to members of the United States Congress, describes the history of Federal outlays for discretionary and mandatory programs in its report titled “Trends in Discretionary Spending” (2010).

 

This post explores historical trends in Federal budget composition and in domestic discretionary spending as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP). Later posts will explore other related trends and recent legislation impacting the future of Federal grant making.

 

Trends in Federal Budget Composition:

The composition of the Federal budget has changed enormously since the early 1960s. Over the past five decades, the share of total discretionary spending in the Federal budget has fallen, the share of mandatory spending has risen, and net interest has held relatively steady.

 

In 1962, out of total Federal outlays, discretionary spending comprised 67.5%, mandatory spending made up 26.1%, and net interest accounted for 6.5%. By contrast, in 2010, out of total Federal outlays, discretionary spending accounted for 37.8%, mandatory spending comprised 56.1%, and net interest made up 6.1%.

 

Fiscal Year Discretionary Mandatory Net Interest Total
FY1962 67.5% 26.1% 6.5% 100%
FY2010 37.8% 56.1% 6.1% 100%

 

Discretionary spending, as a proportion of Federal outlays, peaked in 1963 then fell for three decades from the late 1960s through the late 1990s. By 2000, it had fallen to 34.4% of total outlays, although it ended the decade at 37.8% in 2010. In contrast to the longer term trends, between 2000 and 2010, discretionary spending grew more quickly than mandatory spending.

 

Future discretionary spending as a share of total Federal outlays is projected to decline. By fiscal year 2020, some projections anticipate that it will reach a new historical low of 29.3% of total Federal outlays.

 

Domestic Discretionary Spending and GDP:

Domestic discretionary spending supports the largest number of Federal agencies and programs that are likely to be sources of competitive grants — science and technology research, natural resources, energy, education, and numerous others. None of the individual programs within the domestic discretionary category has approached 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) since 1962. Most such programs spent less than 0.5% of GDP during that period.

 

As a share of GDP, Federal non-defense domestic discretionary spending has had its ups and downs. It was 3.2% of GDP in 1969, hit a peak of 4.8% of GDP in 1978, fell to 3.1% of GDP in 1987 then fluctuated between 3.0% and 3.6% of GDP. In 2009, it rose to 4.1% of GDP – growth attributable largely to new economic stimulus spending and a decade of increases in defense spending from 2000 through 2009.

I’ve been a grant writer since before the first Apple computer hit the store shelves in the mid-1980s, and a consultant for nearly as long. Along the way, I’ve often been asked about whether seeking grants is worth all the toil, trouble, and red tape.

 

Among the questions that I have been asked — and answers I’ve given — are:

 

(1)  Question: Is pursuing this grant going to be worth our investment in time, energy, funds, and resources?

Answer: In general, the larger the potential grant award, and the stronger an applicant’s organizational commitment to its pursuit, the more likely an applicant will find its investment in that pursuit to have been worthwhile.

 

(2)  Question: Is a grant the best way to go in getting the funding we need for this?

Answer: If a grant is going to distort an applicant’s mission, vision, or goals, the applicant should not seek that particular grant; if it needs unrestricted funds, it should avoid funders that restrict uses of funds to those detailed in a funded grant application; and, in all cases an applicant should adopt and execute a diversified revenue strategy so that it does not depend on repeated success in winning grants as its exclusive source of funding.

 

(3)  Question: How likely is it that we will be funded?

Answer: An applicant is always more likely to be funded if it applies than if it does not apply, but it is certainly not always in its best interest to chase a particular grant; in cases where a funder indicates that it will award fewer than ten grants in a competition, it is a clear signal to applicants that only the most well-positioned and committed organizations should bother to apply.

 

(4)  Question: Will this grant award need to be treated as restricted funding or will we be able to add it to general revenues?

Answer: State and federal grant awards are generally restricted funds and must be expended in ways delineated in an applicant’s funded proposal and consistent with OMB circulars and other regulations; foundation grants may not be quite so restricted if they are awarded for general support or similarly flexible purposes.

 

(5)  Question: How much funding can we request in this grant proposal?

Answer: State and federal funders often indicate a minimum and maximum grant award in their notices of funding availability (NOFAs); prospect research using 990-PFs and other tools will indicate grant award averages and ranges for foundations; prudent applicants budget accordingly.

 

(6)  Question: How much funding should we request in this grant proposal?

Answer: Applicants should ask for no more than they need to accomplish their proposed goals and objectives, and in no case more than the maximums discoverable through meticulous foundation prospect research or careful review of NOFAs.

 

(7)  Question: Can we ask for a grant to support an existing program or initiative?

Answer: State and federal grant programs generally are intended to build an applicant’s capacity (to do what it proposes to do in its grant application) through a short-term infusion of external funding, and they caution that such funding must be used to supplement existing local commitments, not supplant them; foundations are far more variable in their willingness to allow their funds to support an existing program or initiative rather than supplement it in some way.

 

Among questions that I so far have not been asked, but for which I have answers are:

 

(1)  Question: Do we expect the outcomes, if we are funded, to be worthwhile?

Answer: If the applicant itself does not expect that its anticipated outcomes will be worthwhile, if achieved, it is unlikely that funders will be persuaded otherwise.

 

(2)  Question: Should we only seek a grant from a funder with which we already have an established relationship and track record?

Answer: Applicants should seek grants from funders whose purposes and priorities closely resemble their own — or they should not bother to apply; such closeness of fit in selecting funding options is independent of prior contact with a funder or having obtained prior funding from it.

Community foundations are one of four primary types of foundation, the others being independent, corporate, and operating. Concentrated in ten states, they account for about 1% of all foundations and for about 9% of total annual foundation giving. In recent years, the ratio of community foundations that have expected to increase their giving in a subsequent calendar year has varied from 17% to 64%, while the rest have expected either no change in giving or a decrease.

 

This post uses Foundation Center data, published in its annual “Key Facts on Community Foundations” series, to explore philanthropic trends among community foundations. Its context is the United States of America during the period 2006-10.

 

Numbers of Community Foundations:

From 2006 to 2010, the total number of foundations increased by 4,133 (or 5.7%) from 72,477 to 76,610. Over the same period, the total number of community foundations increased by 17 (or 2.4%) from 717 to 734. Their share of all foundations remained under 1% throughout the period.

 

Year Community Foundations All Foundations
Number Percent (%) of Total Number Total Number
2006 717 Less than 1% 72,477
2007 717 Less than 1% 75,187
2008 709 Less than 1% 75,595
2009 737 Less than 1% 76,545
2010 734 Less than 1% 76,610

 

In 2006, eight states had 20 or more community foundations: California (CA), Florida (FL), Indiana (IN), Michigan (MI), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX), and Wisconsin (WI). Iowa (IA) in 2007 became the 9th state on this list, and New York (NY) became the 10th state on it in 2008. Washington State (WA) became the 11th state on the list in 2009, but it left the same list in 2010.

 

Share of Total Foundation Giving:

Each year during 2006 to 2010, community foundation giving, as a share of total foundation giving, remained at between 9% and 10%. After rising from 9% in 2006 to 10% in both 2007 and 2008, it fell back to 9.1% in 2009 and moved to 9.2% in 2010.

 

Annual Giving by Foundation Type:

During 2006-10, annual giving by community foundations increased from $3.6 billion to $4.2 billion (and has been estimated at $4.2 billion again for 2011). Total foundation giving increased from $39 billion to $45.9 billion over the same five-year period.

 

Annual Giving by Type of Foundation
Year Independent Community Operating Corporate Total
2006 $27.5 billion $3.6 billion $3.9 billion $4.1 billion $39.0 billion
2007 $32.2 billion $4.3 billion $3.4 billion $4.4 billion $44.4 billion
2008 $33.8 billion $4.5 billion $3.9 billion $4.6 billion $46.8 billion
2009 $32.8 billion $4.2 billion $4.2 billion $4.7 billion $45.8 billion
2010 $32.5 billion $4.2 billion $4.3 billion $4.7 billion $45.9 billion

 

Forecast Changes in Community Foundation Giving:

During survey years 2007 through 2011 — with the big exception of 2008 — two fifths of more of all community foundations expected to increase their giving during the following calendar year (i.e., in 2008 through 2012). The balance of the community foundations in each survey year expected either to see no change in giving or to see a decrease.

 

Year of Forecast % Forecast Increase %  Forecast Decrease % Forecast No Change
2007 64% 25% 11%
2008 17% 74% 9%
2009 41% 42% 17%
2010 50% 34% 16%
2011 45% 35% 15%

 

A later post will explore the significance for grant seekers of the five-year philanthropic trends among corporate, community, and family foundations.

Family foundations are one type of independent foundation. Concentrated in ten states, they account for about 56% of all independent foundations. They also account for about 63% of total annual giving by independent foundations. Over the last five years reported, family foundations have increased annual giving by $4.3 billion, or 26.4%, to $20.6 billion.

 

This post uses Foundation Center data, published in its annual “Key Facts on Family Foundations” series, to explore philanthropic trends among corporate foundations. Its context is the United States of America during the period 2006-10.

 

Numbers of Family Foundations:

From 2007 to 2010, the total number of family foundations increased by 1,232 (or 3.28%) from 37,539 to 38,671. Their share of all independent foundations increased by 0.05% from 56.00% to 56.05%.

 

Year Family Foundations Independent Foundations
  Number Percent (%) of Total Number Total Number
2007 37,539 56.00% 67,033
2008 38,339 56.90% 67,379
2009 38,701 57.43% 67,379
2010 38,671 56.05% 68,992

 

Locations of Family Foundations:

Throughout the years 2006-10, ten states had 1,000 or more family foundations: California (CA), Florida (FL), Illinois (IL), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), and Texas (TX). There was no change in the number or names of states having 1,000 or more family foundations during the entire period.

 

Share of Total Giving:

In 1998, family foundations accounted for 48% of total giving by all independent foundations. In later years, they accounted for 54% by 2002, for 56% by 2007, and for 63% of total giving by all independent foundations by 2010.

 

Larger Amounts of Giving:

Each year during 2006-10, roughly one in nine (from 11% to 13%) of all grant-making family foundations reported giving $500,000 or more. By reporting year the rates were: 12% in 2006, 12% in 2007, 13% in 2008, 11% in 2009, and 11% in 2010.

 

Smaller Amounts of Giving:

Each year during 2006-10, nearly one in two (from 47% to 49%) of all grant-making family foundations reported giving less than $50,000. By reporting year the rates were: 48% in 2006, 48% in 2007, 47% in 2008, 49% in 2009, and 49% in 2010.

 

Total Giving by Family Foundations:

During 2006-2010, total giving by grant-making family foundations has increased by $4.3 billion or 26.4%, from $16.3 billion to $20.6 billion. By reporting year the amounts were: $16.3 billion in 2006, $18.5 billion in 2007, $21.1 billion in 2008, $20.3 billion in 2009, and $20.6 billion in 2010. Amounts of giving by family foundations have not yet recovered the peak of $21.1 billion set in 2008.

 

Annual Growth Rates in Grant Making:

After rising steadily each year between 2005 and 2008, grant making by family foundations fell between 2008 and 2009, and recovered slightly between 2009 and 2010. Rates of change were +13.3% (2005-06), +13.3% (2006-07), +14.4% (2007-08), -4.0% (2008-09), and +1.1% (2009-10). Rates of growth in grant making are no longer keeping up with or exceeding annual cost inflation rates.

 

Later posts will explore social trends among other types of foundations.

 

 

Corporate foundations are one of four primary types of foundation, the others being independent, community, and operating. Concentrated in nine states, they account for about 3.5% of all private and community foundations and for about 10% of total annual foundation giving. In recent years, more or less half (50%±) of corporate foundations have expected to increase their giving in a subsequent calendar year; the rest have expected either no change in giving or a decrease.

 

This post uses Foundation Center data, published in its annual “Key Facts on Corporate Foundations” series, to explore philanthropic trends among corporate foundations. Its context is the United States of America during the period 2006-11.

 

Numbers of Corporate Foundations:

From 2006 to 2010, the total number of private and community foundations increased by 4,133 (or 5.7%) from 72,477 to 76,610. Over the same period, the total number of corporate foundations increased by 170 (or 6.67%) from 2,548 to 2,718. Their share of all private and community foundations increased by 0.04% from 3.51% to 3.55%.

 

Year Corporate Foundations Private and Community Foundations
  Number Percent (%) of Total Number Total Number
2006 2,548 3.51% 72,477
2007 2,498 3.32% 75,187
2008 2,745 3.63% 75,595
2009 2,733 3.57% 76,545
2010 2,718 3.55% 76,610

 

In 2006, eight states had 100 or more corporate foundations: California (CA), Illinois (IL), Massachusetts (MA), New York (NY), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX), and Wisconsin (WI). In 2008, Minnesota (MN) became the ninth state to have 100 or more corporate foundations. New Jersey (NJ) joined the list as the tenth state to have so many in 2009, but it left the same list in 2010.

 

Share of Total Foundation Giving:

From 2006 to 2010, corporate foundation giving (excluding operating foundations) held steady, varying only from 11% to 10% then back to 11% as a fraction of total foundation giving.

 

Annual Giving by Foundation Type:

During 2006 to 2010, annual giving by corporate foundations (excluding operating foundations) increased from $4.1 billion to $4.7 billion (and increased further to an estimated $5.2 billion in 2011). Total foundation giving increased from $39 billion to $45.9 billion over the same five-year period.

 

  Annual Giving by Type of Foundation
Year Independent Community Operating Corporate Total
2006 $27.5 billion $3.6 billion $3.9 billion $4.1 billion $39.0 billion
2007 $32.2 billion $4.3 billion $3.4 billion $4.4 billion $44.4 billion
2008 $33.8 billion $4.5 billion $3.9 billion $4.6 billion $46.8 billion
2009 $32.8 billion $4.2 billion $4.2 billion $4.7 billion $45.8 billion
2010 $32.5 billion $4.2 billion $4.3 billion $4.7 billion $45.9 billion

 

Forecast Changes in Corporate Giving:

During survey years 2007 through 2011 — with the single exception of 2009 — slightly more than half of all corporate foundations expected to increase their giving during the following year (i.e., in 2008 through 2012). The balance of the corporate foundations in each survey expected either to see no change in giving or to see a decrease.

 

Year of Forecast % Forecast Increase %  Forecast Decrease % Forecast No Change
2007 54% 29% 18%
2008 51% 28% 21%
2009 43% 40% 17%
2010 52% 31% 17%
2011 53% 31% 16%

 

Later posts will explore similar trends in other types of foundations.

One of the best ways to learn about writing competitive grant proposals is to participate in technical reviews for Federal grant-making agencies.

 

This post explores opportunities — as of October 2012 — to serve as an expert reviewer for Federal grant-making agencies. An earlier post explored serving as a grant reviewer (also called a peer reviewer or an expert panelist) in terms of required qualifications, logistics, and compensation, as well as the potential benefits of reviewing to the reviewer.

 

Review Opportunities:

Procedures for applying to become a reviewer differ among the agencies. Every grant-making agency requires the reviewer to have specialized subject area expertise pertinent to the specific grant program to be reviewed. Other reviewer qualifications commonly relate to citizenship, geography, gender, race/ethnicity, and similar demographic factors, as well as access to certain technologies, willingness to travel (if required), and availability throughout the review process.

 

All opportunities listed here are for Federal grant-making agencies in the United States of America. The list is intended to be illustrative, rather than exhaustive.

 

US Department of Agriculture (USDA):

 

US Department of Education (USDE):

 

US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS):

 

US Department of Justice (DOJ):

 

US Department of Labor (USDOL):

 

Other US Federal Agencies:

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