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Revised in mid-2016, this post covers guidance about revenue sources in common grant application (CGA) forms. Its context is the United States of America.



At least 19 state and regional associations of grant makers or other organizations in the United States publish a common grant application (CGA) form online. This post explores CGA budget information sections in terms of the applicant’s various possible sources of revenue.


An earlier post explored CGA requirements for elements of proposals ranging from Cover Letters to Attachments. Later posts will explore other elements of common grant application forms. The end of the post explains the abbreviations that it uses.



Descriptions of  funding sources indicate how an applicant plans to leverage other resources. A funder generally expects an applicant to leverage resources in order to maximize the chances for long-term sustainability and in order to broaden the potential impacts of its funding across a pool of applicants.


Applicant Sources of Revenue

Out of 19 state and regional common grant application forms, six (or 31.6%) of them — CA, CT, ME, MO, NJ, and WI — offer no budget forms or budget templates and/or no specific or detailed guidance to applicants about identifying income sources or other project budget resources.


  Common Grant Application Forms
Government Grants X   X X X X   X X X X X X   X X X X X
Government Contracts X   X X X X   X X X X X X   X X X X X
Foundations X   X X   X   X X X X X X   X X X X X
Corporations X     X X X     X X X X X   X X X X X
Federated Campaigns X     X X X   X   X X X X   X   X X X
Individuals X   X X X X   X X X X X X   X X X X X
Fundraising Events X   X X X       X X X X X X X X   X X
Fundraising Products       X X       X X X X X   X X     X
In-Kind Support     X X X     X X X X X   X X X X   X
Earned Income X   X X X     X   X X X   X   X X X X
Investment Income X     X           X X X X   X       X
Membership Income X     X X       X X X X X   X X X   X
Workplace Giving     X                             X  
Other Support X       X     X X X X X     X X X   X


All CGA States



Out of 13 common grant application forms that furnish project budget or income source guidance, 12 (or 92.3%) mention government grants, government contracts, foundations, and individual contributions; 11 (or 84.6%) mention fundraising events; 10 (or 76.9%) mention corporations, in-kind support, and earned income; nine (or 69.2%) mention federated campaigns (e.g., United Way), membership income, and other support; seven (or 53.8%) mention fundraising products; four (or 30.7%) mention investment income; and two (or 15.4%) mention workplace giving.


Among the uniquely identified applicant income sources mentioned on common grant application forms are: religious institutions (NNG); endowed income (AZ); business (CO); an in-kind support types list (DC); interest income (MA); miscellaneous contributions (NY); miscellaneous revenue (NY); program service fees (NY); fundraisers (OH); board contributions (TX); and interest income (TX).


Of the 13 state and regional common grant application forms that do provide some manner of explicit and/or detailed guidance to applicants, the most minimally differentiated guidance — and thus, potentially, the least useful for users — is found in the common grant application form for OH. For example, it uses the term ‘Other Funders’ without further elaboration about possible types.


It may be worth noting that most of the 14 common grant application forms distinguish between government grants and government contracts and between fundraising events and fundraising products, and half of them distinguish two or more types of ‘income.’



Below is a list of abbreviations used in this post. The common grant application forms are found on their providers’ websites.

  • 1.  AZ: Arizona Grantmakers Forum
  • 3.   CA: San Diego Grantmakers
  • 4.   CO: Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • 5.   CT: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
  • 6.   DC: Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
  • 7.   IL: Forefront (Chicago area)
  • 8.   ME: Maine Philanthropy Center
  • 9.  MA: Associated Grantmakers
  • 10. MI: Council of Michigan Foundations
  • 11. MN: Minnesota Community Foundation
  • 12. MO: Gateway Center for Giving
  • 13. NJ: Council of New Jersey Grantmakers/Philanthropy New York
  • 14. NY: Grantmakers Forum of New York
  • 15. OH: Ohio Grantmakers Forum
  • 16. PA-1: Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia
  • 17. PA-2: Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania
  • 18. TX: Central Texas Education Funders
  • 19. WA: Philanthropy Northwest
  • 20. WI: Donors Forum of Wisconsin



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