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Tag Archives: Grant-Making Foundations

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Utah (UT), Texas (TX), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the Southwestern states of Arizona (AZ), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Hawaii (HI), Nevada (NV), New Mexico (NM), Oklahoma (OK), Texas (TX), and Utah (UT). Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
AZ Yes Online, Print
CA No None
CO Yes Online
HI No None
NV No None
NM Yes Online
OK Yes Print, CD
TX Yes Online
UT No None

 

The Southwestern States:

ARIZONA

Arizona Guide to Grants Online. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits, 2017. This subscription-based, online, searchable database profiles more than 2,300 corporations and foundations making grants in Arizona.

Guide to Arizona Grantmakers. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits, 2017. This print directory profiles almost 800 corporations and foundations either located in Arizona or giving in Arizona.

 

CALIFORNIA

California has no current or recently published state directory of grant makers. Northern California Grantmakers has ceased publication of its Guide to California Foundations; it refers researchers to the Foundation Center.

 

COLORADO

Colorado Grants Guide. Denver, CO: Community Resource Center, 2017. This subscription-based, online database profiles more than 750 local foundations, corporations, government agencies, and other entities that make grants to nonprofit organizations in Colorado.

 

HAWAII

Hawaii has no state directory of grant makers.

 

NEVADA

Nevada has no state directory of grant makers.

 

NEW MEXICO

New Mexico Grantmakers Directory. Albuquerque, NM: Center for Nonprofit Excellence, 2017.  This free and searchable database, which is available online, profiles 420 foundations and corporations that are either located in New Mexico or giving in New Mexico.

 

OKLAHOMA

The Oklahoma Foundation Databook and CD. 6th Ed. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2016. This print and CD-based directory lists more than 1,426 foundations either located in Oklahoma or giving in Oklahoma, and includes profiles of the 300 largest foundations.

 

TEXAS

Texas has no state directory of grant makers. The Nonprofit Resource Center of Texas no longer publishes its Directory of Texas Foundations.

Texas Directory of Grantmakers Online. Fort Worth, TX: Funding Information Center, 2017.  This subscription-based, online directory profiles the philanthropic activity of more than 230 grant makers in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Hood, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise counties in Texas.

 

UTAH

Utah has no state directory of grant makers. Henry Dean Publishing no longer publishes the Philanthropic Foundations of Utah Directory, which profiled more than 500 foundations located in Utah and making grants in Utah.

 

The last post in this series for 2017 will cover Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

 

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Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Utah (UT), Texas (TX), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the Northwestern States of Alaska (AK), Idaho (ID), Montana (MT), Oregon (OR), Washington (WA), and Wyoming (WY). Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
AK Yes Online
ID Yes Online
MT Yes Online
OR Yes Online, Print, CD
WA Yes PDF, Online, Print, CD
WY Yes Online

 

The Northwestern States:

ALASKA

Alaska Funding Guide. Anchorage, AK: The Foraker Group, 2017. This subscription-based, online database profiles more than 200 foundations and corporations either located in Alaska or giving in Alaska.

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

 

IDAHO

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

 

MONTANA 

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

 

OREGON

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Oregon Foundation Databook and CD. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2017. This print and CD-based directory lists more than 1,145 foundations either located in Oregon or giving in Oregon, and includes profiles of the 280 largest foundations.

 

WASHINGTON

Charitable Trust Directory Washington State. Olympia, WA: Office of the Secretary of State, 2017. This free PDF file, which is available online, profiles more than 100 grant-making charitable organizations registered with the Secretary of State in Washington State.

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

The Washington Foundation Databook and CD. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2014. This print and CD-based directory lists more than 2,000 foundations either located in Washington or giving in Washington, and includes profiles of more than 450 of the largest foundations.

 

WYOMING

Trends in Northwest Giving 2017. 6th ed. Seattle, WA: Philanthropy Northwest, 2017. This biennial online directory profiles 245 foundations and corporations that are members of Philanthropy Northwest and make grants in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Southwestern States.

 

 

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Utah (UT), Texas (TX), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, online databases, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are

 

This post covers the Great Plains States of Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Minnesota (MN), Missouri (MO), Nebraska (NE), North Dakota (ND), South Dakota (SD), and Wisconsin (WI). Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
IA Outdated Print, CD
KS Outdated Print, CD
MN Yes Print, Online
MO No None
NE Yes PDF, Print, CD
ND No None
SD No None
WI Yes Print, Online

 

The Great Plains States:

IOWA

The Iowa Foundation Databook and CD. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2010. This print and CD-based directory profiles more than 1,270 foundations in Iowa and provides in-depth descriptions of the largest grant makers. The obsolete 2010 edition is the most current available.

 

KANSAS

The Kansas Foundation Databook and CD. 1st Ed. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2008. This print and CD-based directory profiles more than 500 foundations in Kansas and provides in-depth descriptions of the largest grant makers. The obsolete 2008 edition is the most current available.

 

MINNESOTA

2017 Minnesota Grants Directory. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, 2016. This print directory profiles more than 100 community foundations, corporate giving programs, and private foundations giving in Minnesota.

Minnesota Grantmakers Online Deluxe. Minneapolis, MN: Regents of the University of Minnesota, 2017. This restricted-access online database profiles more than 1,400 foundations and corporations making grants in Minnesota.

 

MISSOURI

Missouri has no state directory of grant makers.

 

NEBRASKA

Foundation Resource Directory: A Guide to Grants for Nebraska Children, Youth, Families, and Communities. Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Department of Economic Development, 2014. This free PDF file, which is available online, profiles more than 140 foundations and corporations either located in Nebraska or giving in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Foundation Databook and CD. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2012. This print and CD-based directory lists more than 930 foundations either located in Nebraska or giving in Nebraska, and includes profiles of the 230 largest foundations. The 2012 edition is the most current available.

 

NORTH DAKOTA

North Dakota has no state directory of grant makers.

 

SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota has no state directory of grant makers.

 

WISCONSIN

Foundations in Wisconsin. 36th Ed. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Funding Information Center, 2017. This print and subscription-based, online directory profiles more than 1,225 foundations in Wisconsin.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Northwestern States.

 

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Utah (UT), Texas (TX), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the Midwestern States of Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Kentucky (KY), Michigan (MI), and Ohio (OH). Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
IL Yes Print, Online
IN Yes Print, Online
KY Yes Print, CD
MI Yes Online
OH Yes Print

 

The Midwestern States:

ILLINOIS

Directory of Funding in Illinois. 11th Ed. Chicago, IL: Donors Forum of Chicago, 2012. This print directory profiles more than 5,500 foundations and corporations giving in Illinois. The 2012 edition is the most current available.

Member Directory. Chicago, IL: Forefront, 2017. This searchable online directory profiles more than 175 foundations, corporations, and other funders that make grants in Illinois.

 

INDIANA

Directory of Indiana Grantmakers. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, 2016. This subscription-based, online directory, which is also available in print format, profiles more than 1,000 foundations, trusts, and scholarship programs that make grants in Indiana.

 

KENTUCKY

The Kentucky Foundation Databook and CD. 5th Ed. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2013. This print and CD-based directory profiles more than 400 foundations in Kentucky and provides in-depth descriptions of the largest grant makers. The 2013 edition is the most current available.

 

MICHIGAN

Michigan Foundation Directory. 18th Ed. Grand Haven, MI: Council of Michigan Foundations, 2017. This online directory profiles more than 1,500 foundations that make grants in Michigan.

 

OHIO

2016-2017 Cincinnati Area Foundation Directory. 13th ed. Cincinnati, OH: MR & Company, 2016. This print directory profiles more than 115 foundations and charitable trusts located in the four Ohio counties and three Kentucky counties that comprise the Metropolitan Cincinnati area.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Great Plains States.

 

 

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Utah (UT), Texas (TX), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the Southeastern States of Alabama (AL), Arkansas (AR), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS), North Carolina (NC), South Carolina (SC), Tennessee (TN), and Virginia (VA). Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
AL Yes CD
AR No None
FL No None
GA No None
LA Yes Print, CD
MS No None
NC No None
SC Yes PDF
TN Yes Print, CD
VA Yes Online

 

The Southeastern States:

ALABAMA

Guide to Alabama Grantmakers. Birmingham, AL: Alabama Giving, 2016. This CD directory for Alabama profiles more than 1,000 funders and describes more than 6,000 recent grants.

 

ARKANSAS

Arkansas has no state directory of grant makers. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension, no longer publishes Funding Sources, which was a free PDF file, available online; that had listed more than 160 foundations and public charities that made grants in Arkansas.

 

FLORIDA

Florida has no state directory of grant makers. Florida Funding Publications no longer publishes The Complete Guide to Florida Foundations, which profiled more than 5,000 corporations and foundations that made grants in Florida.

 

GEORGIA

Georgia has no state directory of grant makers.

 

LOUISIANA

The Louisiana Foundation Databook and CD. 4th Ed. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2012. This print and CD-based directory profiles more than 1,100 foundations in Louisiana, and provides detailed descriptions of the largest grant makers. The 2012 edition is the most recent available.

 

MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi has no state directory of grant makers.

 

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina has no state directory of grant makers.

 

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina Founation Directory. Mullin, Dawn, ed. 10th Ed. Columbia, SC: South Carolina State Library, 2014. This free PDF file is available online; it profiles more than 180 foundations and public charities that make grants in South Carolina. A new edition is due later in 2017.

 

TENNESSEE

The Tennessee Foundation Databook and CD. 4th Ed. Portland, OR: C&D Publishing, 2013. This print and CD directory lists 1,191 foundations located in Tennessee or giving in Tennessee, and includes profiles of the largest foundations. The 2013 edition is the most recent available.

 

VIRGINIA

Directory of Virginia Foundations. Richmond, VA: The Grants Connection, 2017.  This subscription-based, online database profiles more than 1,000 private, corporate, and community foundations located in Virginia, as well as other foundations giving in Virginia.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Midwestern States.

 

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the Mid-Atlantic States of Delaware (DE), Maryland (MD), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA), and West Virginia (WV), plus Washington, DC. Later posts in the series for 2017 will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
DE No None
DC No None
MD Yes Online
NJ No None
NY No None
PA Yes Online, PDF
WV No None

 

The Mid-Atlantic States:

DELAWARE

Delaware has no state directory of grant makers. The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement no longer publishes the Directory of Grantmakers Funding Programs in Delaware as a free PDF file, available online.

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington, DC has no directory of grant makers. The Foundation Center no longer publishes the Guide to Greater Washington DC Grantmakers on CD-ROM, a CD-based directory of profiles of 2,500 foundations, corporate giving programs, and public charities giving in the Washington, DC area.

 

In addition, Jankowski Associates, Inc. no longer publishes the print directory, Washington Region’s Leading 500 Foundations, which profiled 1,000 foundations in the Washington, DC region.

 

MARYLAND

Foundation Grants. Baltimore, MD: Maryland State Governor’s Office, 2017. This free database, available online, provides information about grant opportunities offered by corporations and foundations making grants in Maryland. Other links provide information about state and federal grant opportunities.

 

Jankowski Associates, Inc. no longer publishes the print directory, Maryland’s Leading 500 Foundations, which profiled 1,000 foundations in Maryland.

 

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey has no state directory of grant makers. The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers provides a link to the Foundation Center’s Online Directory.

 

NEW YORK

New York has no state directory of grant makers.

 

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Foundations Online. West Chester, PA: Pennsylvania Foundations Online, 2017. This subscription-based and searchable online database profiles more than 2,300 foundations that make grants in Pennsylvania. It has replaced the Directory of Pennsylvania Foundations after its 7th edition as a PDF file available online.

 

Pennsylvania Grant and Resource Directory, 2016-17. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus, 2016. This PDF file, available online, profiles state and federal agencies and programs that make grants in Pennsylvania.

 

WEST VIRGINIA

West Virginia has no state directory of grant makers.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Southeastern States.

Directories are great tools for finding new funding sources. As of late 2017, nonprofits, school districts, and other grant seekers in the United States of America can find state and local foundation directories for 32 of the 50 states. The states that do not have current or recently published state-specific, statewide directories of grant makers are: Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Nevada (NV), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Rhode Island (RI), South Dakota (SD), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), and West Virginia (WV). Washington, DC (DC) also has none.

 

State Grant Directories 2017

 

Available directories vary greatly in their quality, coverage, and content. Some are available in multiple formats; most, in one only. Since 2012, the number of state-specific directories has fallen by about 25%. In late 2017, out of 55 identified directories, five are PDF files, 10 are compact disks (CDs), 17 are print compilations, and 22 are online databases.

 

This post covers the New England States of Connecticut (CT), Maine (ME), Massachusetts (MA), New Hampshire (NH), Rhode Island (RI,) and Vermont (VT). It is the first post in the series for 2017. Later posts will cover other regions in the United States of America.

 

State Directory Format
CT Yes Online
ME Yes Online, Print
MA Yes Online
NH Yes PDF
RI No None
VT Yes Online, Print

 

The New England States:

CONNECTICUT

Directory of Community Foundations Serving Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, 2017. This free online directory provides extensive contact information for 21 community foundations giving in Connecticut.

 

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy no longer publishes a subscription-based, online database, which had been called Connecticut Grantmakers Online.

 

MAINE

Directory of Maine Grantmakers. 10th Ed. Portland, ME: Maine Philanthropy Center, 2015. This print and subscription-based online directory profiles more than 400 foundations and corporations either located in Maine or giving in Maine. It also includes a substantial addendum (2016).

 

MASSACHUSETTS

Grant Makers Directory. Boston, MA: Associated Grant Makers, 2017. This online database describes more than 1,900 grant makers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Directory of Charitable Funds in New Hampshire. Concord, NH: New Hampshire Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, 2016. This free PDF file, available online, lists more than 400 grant-making organizations registered with the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General and having assets of more than $25,000. A notice at CPG Fundraising indicates that it no longer publishes The Directory of New Hampshire Foundations.

 

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island has no state directory of grant makers.

 

VERMONT

Vermont Directory of Foundations Online. Middlebury VT and New York, NY: The Vermont Community Foundation and the Foundation Center, 2017.  This free print and online directory profiles 334 grant-making foundations located in Vermont and 287 other foundations located elsewhere but giving in Vermont.

 

The next post in this series for 2017 will cover the Mid-Atlantic States.

 

The future of competitive grant making, in both public and private spheres, is of considerable interest to grant seekers and to those who work with and for them.

 

This post explores three trends impacting the future of private grant making: grants as investments, social media, and product-driven support. Its purpose is descriptive, not normative. Arguably, although the trends’ context is American, their scope and consequences are potentially global.

 

Grants as Investments:

The notion of grants as investments is a commonplace in venture philanthropy, but it is not unique to it, nor even to the world of private capital. It reflects premises that grant funds represent scarce social and economic resources, that they require careful stewardship and prudent use, and that providers of such resources ought reasonably to expect them to bear returns. The challenge for grant seekers is to demonstrate that their defined problems or needs – and their ideas or strategies for solving or reducing them – are worthy of an initial investment (and continuing or renewed investments in later years).

 

For grant recipients, the challenge is to demonstrate that they have made significant progress in solving or reducing those problems or needs. In the longer term, just as in other settings, if the investment underperforms, and evidence of this progress is weak or absent, the (public or private) investor is apt to invest its funding elsewhere – and to do so sooner rather than later.

 

Social Media:

Perhaps it’s too soon to tell if the emerging practice of awarding grants or gifts-in-kind based on the number of hits or clicks or ‘votes’ on a competition sponsor’s website is a marketing fad or an enduring trend. By hosting and advertising the competition, the sponsor creates a marketing buzz. There is little or no need for the contenders to craft formal proposals so long as they can rally more ‘votes’ than their rivals. Instead, the process replaces any more or less technical review of a proposal’s comparative merits with a popularity contest.

 

Product-Driven Support:

Manufacturing corporations usually seek to realize a profit on what they sell. By making their products available as in-kind gifts to school districts or hospitals or other entities they can create familiarity with their product line and brand. In turn, daily use can lead to loyalty and to a desire and decision to buy more of the products, particularly if they prove their value during use. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that during the 2010s corporate “donations of products are growing at a faster rate than cash.”

 

Sometimes a manufacturer’s product-driven support can be just as good as cash and its products can totally transform the places that receive them. The Apple Corporation once hosted Apple Partners in Education (Apple PIE) and awarded highly competitive grants of hardware, software, and extensive training to partnerships involving Apple, a school, and a college of education. The resources were worth as much as $150,000 over two years.

 

Many other corporations also offer product-driven support. In some circles, such as in health-related philanthropy, the trend of its use is accelerating. The challenges for grant seekers are to be able make effective use of the products they may receive, and to be able to tap other sources for the cash they need to be able to support their users and their ongoing use. If they lack options for obtaining cash, they may well be wiser to forego seeking an award of products.

 

A previous post explored three other trends impacting the future of private grant making: discretionary decline, asset attrition, and social entrepreneurship.

 

 

The future of competitive grant making, in both public and private spheres, is of considerable interest to grant seekers and to those who work with and for them.

 

This post explores three trends impacting the future of private grant making: discretionary decline, asset attrition, and social entrepreneurship. Its purpose is descriptive, not normative. Arguably, although the trends’ context is American, their scope and consequences are potentially global.

 

Discretionary Decline:

The Foundation Center reports that all foundations based in the United States are forecast to have awarded a total of perhaps $48.4 billion in grants during calendar year 2012 – an increase of as much as 3% over 2011. By contrast, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forecasts the Federal government to have awarded $159.53 billion (estimated) in discretionary grants to state and local units of government during fiscal year (FY) 2012 – a year-to-year decrease of $47 billion (or 23%) over FY2011.

 

The reduction in Federal grant making in the United States nearly equals the forecast total of all foundation grant making there. Most of the Federal decline ($32 billion, or 68%, of it) is expected to occur in discretionary grants for education, training, employment and social services. Private grant making is unlikely ever to make up anything near the amounts involved.

 

Beyond funding forecasts, other trends during the 2010s are also impacting the private grant making. Among them are asset attrition and social entrepreneurship.

 

Asset Attrition:

Study any 990-PF filing and one can see how much private foundations depend upon returns on stock investments to sustain their capacity to make grants each year. As measured using the Dow Jones Industrial Average, in August 2012, the stock market was performing at the same level (at 13,000 points ±), as it was four and a half years earlier. It takes some time before a foundation translates the values recovered in its investment portfolio into more or larger grant awards. Meanwhile, during the same 54-month period an annual rate of inflation change of 6.4% is likely to have eroded the real value of its investments.

 

Social Entrepreneurship:

A recent empirical study by EIM and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs explored social entrepreneurship as an enduring trend in economic development. It found that social entrepreneurs tend: to be mission-driven in seeking to deliver a social value to the underserved; to act entrepreneurially; to act within entrepreneurially-oriented organizations that value innovation and openness; and to act within financially independent organizations that plan and execute earned-income strategies. Their objective is to deliver an intended social value while remaining financially self-sufficient. Among their goals in blending social and profit-oriented activities is that of reducing beneficiaries’ reliance on donations and government funding.

 

A later post will explore three more trends impacting the future of private grant making: grants as investments, social media, and product-driven support.

In examining a 990-PF filing, if grant seekers know what to look for and how to interpret what they see, they may improve the results of their prospect research.

 

This post covers several useful aspects of 990-PF filings, such as but not limited to contact information, application procedures, and grants awarded.

 

Reporting Period:

On Page 1, near its top, are blanks for the period a Form 990-PF filing is to cover. By definition, a calendar year starts January 1 and ends December 31. Many foundations use it as their fiscal year. If a foundation’s fiscal year is not a calendar year, the blanks will state different start and end dates. The fiscal year governs the timing of a foundation’s grant-making activities and thus may affect the timing of an applicant’s proposals.

 

Contact Information:

Page 1 asks for the foundation’s current name and address (Section G), and its telephone number (if it has one) (Section B). Potential applicants should crosscheck the specifics with the foundation’s website, if any, since the information may not be up to the moment.

 

Foundation Assets:

On Page 1, Section I states the fair market value of the foundation’s assets as of year-end. This figure is one indicator of the foundation’s size. In general, each year, by rule, foundations must expend 5% or more of their assets in making qualified contributions, gifts, and grants. Consequently, at a bare minimum a foundation’s assets should be at least 20 times greater in value than the applicant’s possible grant request.

 

Foundation Staff:

In Part I, Lines 14-15, reports employee salaries, wages, and benefits. Sums significantly larger than zero imply that the foundation has at least part-time staff (one or more) to handle applicant queries.

 

Grants Awarded:

In Part I, Line 25, Column D gives the total contributions, gifts, and grants the foundation paid during the year of filing. This amount reflects the foundation’s recent actual grant-making activity. It should be several multiples larger than the applicant’s possible grant request.

 

Foundation Management:

In Part VIII, Section 1 names the officers, directors, trustees, and foundation managers, among others. The list represents who manages the foundation and who makes decisions about grant proposals. Researching their biographies may reveal possible connections between the applicant’s Board or staff and the foundation’s Board or staff; it may also disclose possible leads for initial contact and/or proposal selling points.

 

Charitable Activities:

Part IX-A lists the foundation’s four largest direct charitable activities during the tax year. The list is one source of possible insights into the foundation’s priority beneficiaries and program areas. Review of the foundation’s website and publications, if any, may verify whether these priorities remain in effect after the reporting period ended.

 

Application Procedures:

In Part XV, Section 2 summarizes the foundation’s application submission procedures: to whom to address the application (Line A), what type and content of application are required (Line B), submission deadlines (Line C), and restrictions and limitations (Line D). A checkbox, if left blank, will indicate that a foundation accepts unsolicited requests for funds. Again, applicants should crosscheck the particulars by reviewing a foundation’s website, if any.

 

 

Grant-Making History:

In Part XV, Section 3 lists recipients – and amounts awarded – of grants and contributions made during the year or approved for future payments. The more that the details (e.g., type of recipient, location of recipient, amount awarded) match those describing the applicant and its contemplated grant proposal, the stronger the foundation should be as a lead for future funding.

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