Tricks of the trade: A Report on Contemporary Grantsmanship and Fundraising Practices

 

 

 

Lisa Marie Portugal

 

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Abstract

This paper discusses various issues and challenges facing philanthropy and nonprofit organizations in the United States of America. This report presents effective fundraising strategies and discusses management techniques employed by veterans in the nonprofit sector. Additionally, descriptions of each of the nine major areas associated with foundation funding are summarized, and certain grantsmanship practices are highlighted. Finally, this report will discuss seven basic components necessary for writing a successful grant proposal.

 

 

Introduction

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or many individuals, the grantwriting process is mercurial and oftentimes overwhelming. Moreover, grantwriting workshops and classes are difficult to find in graduate programs and colleges, and few educators at all levels of academia have the training necessary to write successful grants. In 1987, a few universities and colleges started to offer undergraduate courses in philanthropy as a preliminary step towards generating more awareness of the sector’s history as well as because of its significance in the United States of America (Cohen & Young, 1989). Today, an organization known as The Council on Foundations offers grant seekers professional development opportunities and programs to help further the sector’s professionalism and management practices.

With ever-increasing economic challenges, funding sources continue to dissipate throughout the country for those individuals and groups seeking grants. This paper will focus on methods relating to grantwriting management and discuss challenges that fundraisers and grant writers face throughout the nonprofit sector. In addition, this paper will outline necessary components of a well-composed grant as well as highlight specific strategies that can effectively ensure a high degree of funding success.

In the United States of America, there are three sectors of employment. Business and government are make up two sectors, and nonprofit is known as the third sector. Other names associated with the sector include voluntary sector, not-for-profit, independent sector, and philanthropic sector. With increasing economic challenges faced throughout private and nonprofit sectors, fundraising has become more competitive. Some believe it has reached a state of crisis. Salamon (1997) identifies various reasons for diminished funding opportunities available to grant writers which include government spending cutbacks, a constricted view of legitimate charitable purposes, proposed changes in tax policy, a lack of public understanding about what nonprofit organizations do and how they operate, and increased competition from for-profit organizations (p. ix). Grant seekers such as students, researchers, universities, colleges, k-12 schools, symphonies, hospitals, museums, and citizen advocacy groups depend upon grants for their funding. The following discussion will outline various challenges facing the nonprofit sector.

 

Challenges Facing Philanthropy

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hroughout its history, the nonprofit sector has faced some negative public publicity and has suffered from various characteristic imperfections. Many have criticized the sector for being elitist, maintaining inefficient public accountability, and as well as for its lack of responsiveness. Salamon (1999) states, “The upshot has been a crisis of legitimacy for America’s nonprofit sector that has manifested itself in declining public confidence, growing demands for greater accountability, challenges to tax-exempt status, questioning of the sector’s advocacy role, and a growing unease about a whole range of pay and prerequisite issues” (p. 180). Clearly, challenges facing philanthropy seem overwhelming, yet the sector continues to evolve and adapt by re-examining management strategies and techniques.

Philanthropic and fundraising groups have recently addressed some of these issues by using refreshed management approaches, which have proven to be both creative and successful. Seltzer (1989) mentions several differences between grant seeking efforts of the past and grant seeking endeavors maintained currently. He asserts that wealthy philanthropists of the past did not sit on foundation boards and grant seekers generally were “awestruck by the encounter with wealth and power” (1989, p. 2). Today, many foundations have alleviated this problem by recruiting staff members, volunteers, and governing board members from both grantee and philanthropist pools. This practice brings the grantee closer to projects and services that need funding, and fosters grantee interest and familiarity with the foundation’s mission.

Fundraisers understand the need for closer ties with their communities and with grantees. Many nonprofits now publish annual reports documenting revenue expenditures, and these reports may contain public information regarding grant writing application processes. Moreover, many organizations maintain highly visible relationships with grantees by developing social opportunities with creative approaches and inclusive fundraising events. With fierce competition for foundation dollars, grant seekers must continually stay abreast of innovative methods for acquiring funds. Successful grant seekers and nonprofits understand the value of grantsmanship practices and comprehensive management strategies.

Recently, those funders have started to assess how they can improve funding practices. Many wealthy philanthropists such as Bill Gates, George Soros, and Ted Turner are interested in social welfare endeavors. Indeed, today, many innovative programs are being funded by philanthropists who are concerned with “capacity building rather than their traditional focus on funding individual programs” (Firstenberg, 2003, p. xii). As such, grant seekers who are associated  with programs that concentrate on capacity building, or which possess the potential for growth will have more success than those seeking funds for smaller, individual projects. This new funding practice is described as ‘venture grantmaking’. Furthermore, in today’s non-profit sector, philanthropists look to build nonprofit enterprises that help individuals on a large scale as opposed to funding projects that only affect a small percentage of the population. Although grant seeking is by its very nature competitive, funders with a concern for social welfare continue to seek out ways by which they may improve communities and are doing so with a business sensibility. The following report explains how one may successfully seek and acquire granting opportunities. Additionally, the report outlines various best practices found throughout the nonprofit sector that have brought about desirable funding outcomes for grant seekers and nonprofit organizations.

 

Grantsmanship

For many nonprofit organizations, grants are a source of revenue for projects and for operating expenses. Grants come in many sizes and so building and nurturing relationships with funders is paramount for successful fundraising management. Grants can be acquired within three specific areas. These include foundations, government, and corporations. Weinstein explains that grantwriting is not the nonprofit’s main source of funding but rather that “82 percent of all contributions come from individuals, bequests account for another 6 percent, corporate philanthropy accounts for approximately 5 percent, and foundation support approximates only 7 percent of private sector annual contributions” (2002, p. 203). With this in mind, grantwriting strategies are a necessary component to the survival of many nonprofit organizations.

The grant proposal is essentially a contract between the nonprofit and the funder. This contract generally includes stipulations for the nonprofit to follow, and the document serves as a roadmap for how the funder can measure results and establish accountability. Grantwriting opportunities are very competitive, and in most cases, there are usually many applicants vying for limited funds.

Many colleges, universities, health organizations, and human service centers rely heavily on contracts and grants provided by the government for research, operational expenses, and providing services to the public or the needy. “In addition to research, the federal government funds a wide array of programs-ranging from art exhibits, to after-school programs for children at risk, to job placement programs, to programs that benefit zoos” (Weinstein, 2002, p. 204). Although grants are highly competitive, the government gives billions of dollars away every year to many important research projects and nonprofit organizations. Generally, grants provided by the government are explained in detail via a request for proposal (RFP). RFPs include pertinent information such as a description of the task, a schedule or specified time frame, instruction requirements and application process, submission deadlines, and criteria for evaluation. Nonprofit organizations can request to be placed on government agency lists to receive notification of RFPs that they are interested in pursuing. Building relationships with agency employees and those individuals who make granting decisions is an important aspect of desirable fundraising practices.

RFPs can be a major source of funding for many nonprofit programs, and extensive information regarding government grants can be found at a website called The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This important website contains information on federal grants provided by the government, and the Internet website is www.gsa.gov/fdac. In addition, most local and state government departments and agencies have information regarding granting opportunities. Nonprofits can request to be placed on RFP lists according to their needs and mission.

Along with government grants, foundation support is another main source of grant funding for nonprofits and grant seekers. Foundation funding consists of nine major areas, which include public charities, general purpose, special purpose, family, community, corporate, private, philanthropic, and operating. One of the largest resources available for foundation support is called The Foundation Center, and this organization can be located on the Internet at www.fndcenter.org. Individual grant seekers and nonprofits can find information regarding granting opportunities at this website as well as helpful literature, professional development classes, specialist consultation, and the most up-to-date fundraising strategies and practices available.  Moreover, relevant grantor details, contact information, and website links are updated regularly and can be accessed via The Foundation Center website.

The following information contains descriptions of each of the nine major areas associated with foundation funding. A public foundation or public charity is an organization that is classified as a 501 (c)(3). This type of entity is not recognized as a private foundation mainly based on two reasons. At least a third of the organization’s support is publicly sponsored by qualified sources and gifts, or it supports other public charities as its main function. If the latter, the entity is known as a supporting organization.

The next type of foundation is called general-purpose, and its function is to award grants in various areas of interest. These foundations are generally independent, private entities. Another governing body is known as the special-purpose foundation. This organization is a public entity that funds grants with special or select interests such as diabetes research or at-risk students in K-12 public schools. The succeeding organization is known as the family foundation, and this entity is governed by a family whose members serve on the board of directors. Grant funds are primarily obtained by members of one family, and these individuals are the deciding factor in how funds are awarded and distributed.

A community foundation is an organization that is publicly supported and makes grants for educational, religious, social, and other types of charitable missions in an assigned region or community. Weinstein (2002) outlines three specific areas relating to community foundations, which include:

1.      Funds are derived from many donor sources.

2.      Retention of donations as endowment usually is encouraged.

3.      Income from endowment/corpus is used is make grants (p. 205).

This type of foundation can be researched via The Foundation Center’s website, and information regarding local cooperating collections from each state is listed.

A corporate foundation is an entity that is founded by corporations to support philanthropic interests such as funding areas where the corporation is headquartered or where it has local branches. The corporation's area of interest can be limiting and generally confines grants to causes associated with the corporation’s self-interests and profit margins. The next entity is known as a private foundation and a 501 (c)(3) group. This organization obtains revenue from earnings on its investments, and it funds grants to other charitable organizations rather than executing its own programs (Weinstein, 2002, p. 206). This type of organization primarily receives funding from one main source.

Trusts and corporations generally create the next type of entity, which is called a philanthropic foundation. These organizations are created with contributed funds by a family, an individual, a community, a corporation, or for the maintenance of a 501 (c)(3) group. Finally, the last of the nine major areas associated with foundation funding is the operating foundation. The Internal Revenue Service classifies this type of foundation as private, and these entities mainly consist of endowments and funds. Although, unlike private foundations, these types of organizations generally support their own programs, and their main focus lies in managing research, promoting social welfare, or participating in programs that the charter or governing body deems appropriate (p. 206). Sometimes these foundations may fund minor, exterior grants, but their overriding agenda is to support their own initiatives.

Each of these types of foundations may be researched at most universities with foundation research materials and libraries. When conducting a foundation center search for grant funding opportunities, it is important to note that one’s project should be closely aligned to the foundation's interests and mission. For instance, a project that researches medical advances in cancer treatments for first stage patients should be sent to petition only those foundations that fund medical research versus those that fund reading strategies for at-risk students.

Another invaluable resource for foundation grant seekers is a book called the Foundation Directory. This printed source contains extensive foundation related information and is used considerably by fundraising veterans and consultants. Finally, successful grantsmanship involves the coordination of a well-written grant proposal. A form of persuasive writing, the grant proposal should accommodate the requirements of the benefactor. The following information discusses useful grant writing strategies outlining seven specific sections as they relate to the grant proposal.

 

The Proposal

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ome organizations are very specific about guidelines and formats for proposal submissions. Others are less rigid. Grant writers need to submit proposals based on the levels of rigidity of each specific organization. Each grant submission should include all of the necessary components of an effective grant proposal. Leading grant writers in the nonprofit sector such as Locke, Spirduso, and Silverman (2000), Miner and Miner (2003), Weinstein (2002) and Brown and Brown (2001) each emphasize the importance of composing an effective grant proposal that should include specific components. What follows are the seven essential components of the letter proposal that are necessary for seeking funding from foundations and corporations.

The letter proposal is written in letter format and submitted to those organizations that do not have specified grantwriting requirements. On some occasions, the letter proposal can be accepted and grants may be awarded. On other occasions, the letter proposal serves as a basic introduction, and organizations may require more details to be submitted in an expanded document. Oftentimes, a granting organization may require a completed application form. In these instances, the letter proposal may serve as an introduction letter for one’s cause and can be more helpful describing one’s needs versus only submitting the required application form. In any case, the letter proposal should be submitted regardless of whether the grantor requires an application, mainly because it can express one’s program more effectively than only sending an application.

In practice, the letter proposal may be much more difficult to write than an expanded proposal since every word must carry weight and meaning and there is less room for wordiness or an abundance of explanation. According to Miner and Miner (2003), the following segment outlines the essential elements of a successful proposal:

Part One: Summary - a one-sentence proposal overview.

Part Two: Appeal - the rationale for approaching the sponsor.

Part Three: Problem – the description of a need or gap.

Part Four: Solution – method for solving a problem.

Part Five: Capabilities – one’s credentials to solve the problem.

Part Six: Budget – specific request for funds.

Part Seven: Closing - a check-writing nudge to the sponsor (pp. 63-64).

 

Each of these sections needs to be concise and clear while covering the granting organization’s submission guidelines and requirements. Part one of the proposal must summarize the entire submission in one or two brief sentences. This beginning section of the proposal should outline five main components that include self-identification, organizational uniqueness, sponsor expectations, budget request, and project benefit (p. 64). These components need to be framed in the order outlined above and stated in the first few sentences of part one.

The appeal aspect of the proposal, or part two, must explain the purpose for the appeal to the granting organization. This section is where the grant writer discusses why he or she is requesting funds from the sponsor. It is beneficial to discuss the values the grantor holds in high regard and how those values relate to the grant writer’s project. In addition, it is important to discuss the specific research the grant writer has identified that prompted the submission. Simply stated, the grant writer needs to detail why he or she is requesting funds from the sponsor.  

Part three of the proposal outlines the specific problem that the grant writer needs funded. This section requires discussion of the problem while summarizing the long-term implications of the project. The grant writer needs to address the organization’s mission statement and/or purpose statement in this part of the proposal. The project must address the sponsor’s agenda and should fit into the organization’s overall mission and purpose. If a grant writer has accomplished his or her research appropriately, the sponsor’s overall mission will directly relate to the grant writer’s project. Moreover, researching an organization’s granting history may increase success for a designated project It is therefore recommended that grant writers not simply submit blindly to all funding organizations.

The grant writer should understand the audience he or she is writing for and realize that those reading the proposal may not be well-versed in statistical jargon. Part three of the proposal generally includes all corresponding surveys, statistics, reasoning, and quotations. Whenever possible, one should add easy-to-follow tables, charts, and graphs if statistical information needs to be included. This practice helps the reader understand the information easily and with less frustration. Keep the audience in mind when composing the proposal. Grant writers should be wary of confusing information in the proposal, and understanding how to address the audience is paramount to successful writing technique.

The fourth part of the proposal is where the grant writer describes the approach to the problem or the objective of the proposed project that needs funding. This section of the proposal should outline and discuss specific methodology that will be used throughout the project and should justify why the methodology was chosen. Miner and Miner (2003), suggest using “a one-page attached time-and-task chart” to framework the methodology that will be used in the project (p. 68). Furthermore, part four should discuss the expected outcomes of the designated project and how the problems will be solved and addressed with expertise.

The fifth part of the proposal is known as the capabilities section. In this area the grant writer establishes credentials, expertise, knowledge, and authority to successfully carry out the tasks outlined in the project. This section should summarize three main components, which include the credibility of the grant writer, the credibility of his or her organization, the credibility of the proposed project, and the project’s key supporting staff. The next section of the proposal will outline how much money is needed.

Part six of the proposal details specific dollars amounts that the grant writer is requesting for the project. Make no mistakes;  this amount should be stated in definite terms. In addition, the budget section should outline how funds will be used throughout the project in meaningful terms such as “hours of instruction, numbers of students, or healthy patients” (Miner & Miner, 2003, p. 70). These authors suggest spreading the funds over time, such as several years, if the expenses seem too high. Furthermore, the authors suggest that the grant writer communicates whether the proposal or similar proposals will be submitted to other funders.  

The final section of the proposal is part seven which includes persuading the organization to agree to the terms of the proposal and to delivering funds in a timely manner. The grant writer should identify a point person within the funding organization’s hierarchy so that timely consideration is established as well as an open line of communication between the grantor and grantee. Following the guidelines outlined in this report that details the seven components necessary for writing a successful proposal will create more opportunities for obtaining funds for projects. With the growing instability of economic factors affecting for-profit and nonprofit sectors, grant writers with the ability to successfully and efficiently fund projects will be in demand in all areas of philanthropy and grantwriting. What follows is an outline of various fundraising strategies that can be effectively incorporated into many established philanthropic and fundraising programs.

Fundraising Strategies

Beyond the well-written proposal grant, writers must be adept at the business of fundraising management. Warwick (2000) assesses five specific strategies that he believes are essential for successful fundraising endeavors. Those five strategies have been creatively coined as “GIVES” and include:

1.      Growth,

2.      Involvement,

3.      Visibility,

4.      Efficiency, and

5.      Stability (p. VII).

As a leading fundraising consultant and author in the nonprofit sector, Warwick further discusses his fundraising management strategies and identifies how to avoid daily setbacks and obstacles. He posits that a fundraiser should be aware of problems associated with growth and competitive positioning. For instance, growth can be counterproductive if an organization’s growth strategy undermines its relationship with donors by stretching staff to thin.

When an organization operates on a skeletal structure versus a number of individuals able to perform necessary tasks, growing too fast can result in negativity and frustration at all levels. As in any company,  by internal strife and poor management often affect donors. Another factor affecting fundraising management techniques is the community at large, donor prospects, volunteers, and effective partnerships. 

            Involvement strategies relate to volunteer programs such as lobbying, grassroots, direct mail campaigns, public participation, and telephone fundraising efforts. Fundraising management relies heavily on how well an organization involves not only those individuals that have been identified as donors but also the community at large. According to Warwick (2000), “Study after study shows that volunteers give at three times the rate of non-volunteers. They give more often and more generously” (p. 18). Individuals and groups that maintain close ties to an organization’s mission and purpose can be the best advertising for an organization’s prosperity. Forming alliances and partnerships are major responsibilities that fundraisers should be aware of, and this type of campaigning is necessary for the growth and success of an organization. Funders are more apt to give dollars to those individuals they know and respect. Building alliances builds trust and familiarity. The next strategy necessary in fundraising management involves visibility efforts.

            Visibility strategies include brand identification, media coverage, marketing, publications, broad public awareness, name recognition, favorable public opinion, and an overall sense of familiarity with the organization’s mission. A successful fundraiser should balance each of these components with the intention of communicating the organization’s needs throughout the community. Moreover, successful visibility campaigns may affect the organization’s involvement and growth strategies. Name recognition and favorable community awareness leads to more volunteers and grant funding opportunities.

Many organizations will spend time, money, and resources employing visibility strategies if they are in early stages of development. Brand management can be costly, yet the successful fundraiser will be efficient and understand the value of maintaining cost-effective leadership. Organizing volunteers in every area of a nonprofit can help minimize costs while maximizing visibility efforts. In the 1970s, attention was focused on the development of volunteer administration as a profession; and in the 1980s, more attention was centered on the concept of nonprofit management (Van Til, 1988, p. 199). Organizing volunteers is yet another strategy in securing efficiency for a nonprofit’s success. Additionally, managing volunteers can be more complex than managing employees, and one should be cognizant of volunteers’ motivations and underlying sense of purpose. Aside from employing visibility strategies, successful nonprofits will develop efficiency strategies to maximize funding opportunities. 

Efficiency strategies involve the organization’s initiatives that include resourcefulness, expense-consciousness, conservative management, grant-seeking opportunities through planned giving, major gifts foundations, corporate, government, and agency funding, workplace giving, and established monthly giving programs. Each of these areas, when managed well, help an organization’s fundraising efforts run efficiently and can yield higher funding margins. Conversely, efficiency strategies need to be addressed over time as an organization matures. Strategies that proved helpful in a nonprofit’s early stages of development can become outdated or inefficient with time. Other factors involved with efficiency strategies include the notion that long-term financial stability, growth, and public visibility can be hindered at the expense of overly cautious management. An effective fundraiser should manage efficiency strategies with attention to timeliness, ethical standards, and government regulations. An organization’s efficiency strategies can help or hinder the stability of its mission and purpose.

Stability strategies involve an organization’s ability to endure, create a broad financial base, create endowment opportunities, diversify funding efforts, establish sound financial cash reserves, and adopt a long-term perspective. Warwick (2000) stresses that an organization should be diversified in its fundraising programs and should “not overly depend on one or very few sources of funds” (p. 43). In addition, the needs of donors should be maintained and regularly evaluated to ensure continued support. Stability and endurance are keys to an organization’s success, and finding new and multiple funding sources is always an on-going challenge for fundraisers.

A broad financial base can be attained via an endowment fund that produces investment revenue. Widely diversified fundraising efforts are paramount to an organization’s stability and longevity. In many cases, stability efforts can compromise a fundraiser’s agenda in the areas of visibility and efficiency. Oftentimes, this may be a necessary direction in the short-term for an organization’s overall survival.

Finally, successful fundraisers manage growth, involvement, visibility, efficiency, and stability while maintaining perspective on setbacks and obstacles. Moreover, the insight to know when and how to adjust an originally conceived roadmap and to be flexible concerning stated goals is a desired ability in a fundraiser. Along with effective fundraising strategies, the fundraiser should be mindful of various management principles that can affect an organization’s funding pursuits and overall stability. The following information details various fundraising management practices currently used throughout the nonprofit sector.

Fundraising Management

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urviving increasing cutbacks in philanthropic giving is often a deciding factor in whether a nonprofit remains viable. The business of fundraising management has become a challenging endeavor, and nonprofits must make the connection that the donor is giving to people in need rather than an institutional need. Nonprofit sector veteran, Stanley Weinstein (2002) outlines his six major fundraising principles that include:

  1. People give to people to help people,
  2. People give relative to their means,
  3. Those closest must set the pace,
  4. Successful fundraising,
  5. The 80/20 rule is becoming the 90/10 rule, and
  6. The need for balance (p. XVII).

 

The first principle affirms the notion that individuals give to projects and investments that help other individuals. Funders rarely are concerned with an organization’s bottom-line or deficit. In addition, donors identify with agendas that enhance services for individuals in need (p. 2). An important factor to note is that individuals give based on their relationships as well as their personal interests. With this in mind, nonprofit employees and governing board members should understand that fostering key relationships with volunteers can lead to prosperous funding opportunities.

The second principle maintains that individuals give according to their means and in relationship to what others are giving. In fact, Weinstein argues that most individuals “give in ranges between two extremes” (p. 2). Grant writers and fundraisers must be aware of this principle and should not only ask for support from modest donors but also from pace-setting leadership investors. This term is associated with those individuals who can and do donate at extreme levels. Furthermore, successful fundraisers understand that donors give in relationship to what others are giving. Creating various levels of funding opportunities ensures that more individuals have a chance at contributing a significant bestowal according to one’s relative means.

The third principle argues, “Those closest to the organization must set the pace” (p. 4). This concept delves into the notion that those individuals, who are closest to the project, should be the project’s most ardent supporters. Financial leadership in nonprofits needs to be addressed throughout the organization and should begin with the staff, board, and volunteers personally aiding in funding efforts for the designated project. This concept is true in every case of fundraising management and includes areas such as education, grass-roots groups, museums, cultural arts groups, human services, advocacy groups, hospitals, etc. If those closest to the project are completely available and accountable to the project’s success, credibility is readily established, and other donors will follow suit with generous contributions.

The next principle explores the concept of successful fundraising and raises the issue of who in the organization should be appointed to the duty of requesting monetary assistance. Generally, if there is a grant writer, that individual coordinates efforts within the organization and assembles the proposal. However, the organization’s leader should sign all documents. In addition, the leader, executive director, board president, or celebrity supporter of the project should be approachable and assessable to the public and/or the funders. Weinstein stresses that successful fundraising is about approaching the right individual or funder for the project versus blindly requesting money from those who have no interest or relevant connection to the project’s idea and concept. For instance, a university petitioning funds for the English department from an alumnus who is a literature enthusiast will do far better than the university requesting operational maintenance support. A successful grant writer and organization will have a much better chance at attaining funds if prospects are targeted appropriately and in relationship to the designated project. Random selection of funders will never be as successful as when funders are targeted since then  funder interest tend to be inspired by the project. Moreover, targeting strategies that are specifically based on meaningful and relevant connections will have higher success rates.

Another Weinstein principle outlines the 80/20 rule that is quickly becoming the 90/10 rule. This concept is certainly not new and has been evident in business and nonprofit enterprises for many years. The notion is based on the idea that 80% of all funds raised generally, are acquired by the top 20%. This notion has now become a 90/10 rule whereas the top 10% are now donating 90% of the revenues gained by nonprofits. The top 10% and 20% are known as leadership givers, and these funders are recognized as pace setters.

The last principle maintains that grant writers and nonprofits need to create balance in their fundraising efforts so that stability can be achieved. Fundraising programs that include major gifts as well as broad-based support will enhance the overall success of any fundraising endeavor. Weinstein (2002) stresses that a comprehensive approach is respectful and inclusive of major donors as well as modest givers (p. 6). Efficient fundraising programs should provide giving opportunities for top, middle, and bottom donors. The author persuades that “Mature fundraising programs rely on a three-part strategy: treat all donors and prospective donors with the utmost respect, broaden the base of support, and nurture personal relationships with major current and prospective donors” (Weinstein, 2002, p. 6). Although targeting funders is a necessary strategy for successful fundraising management, allowing for various levels of participation is certainly a strategy that enhances stability and should be considered seriously. If an organization loses a large donor, such as one who contributes millions of dollars, having a broad base of support can help an organization’s stability if that donor decides not to reinvest. Furthermore, prospecting for many large donors should be part of one’s fundraising agenda. Similarly, having a multitude of smaller donors is beneficial good fundraising practice.

Weinstein’s six fundraising management principles can harmoniously affect an institution’s bottom-line when followed and maintained. Fundraising managers need to be cognizant of strategies that can efficiently identify avenues for funding opportunities as well as effectively managing staff resources. In times of economic strife and major cutbacks in contributor support, effective management is needed in the nonprofit sector. Fundraisers and grant writers who understand the intricacies of fundraising management will be more adept at preserving the mission and goals of their nonprofit organizations. Additionally, well-managed nonprofits have a better chance at remaining viable and salient. Although career opportunities in grantwriting and fundraising management have been dwindling in recent years, those individuals armed with management strategies and grant writing best practices will find employment throughout the nonprofit sector.

As the North American economic situation fluctuates, the nonprofit sector will invariably experience hardships and cutbacks. Nevertheless, talented grant writers and fundraising managers have a valuable place in society, and these individuals will continue to positively influence this important sector. Moreover, noble causes packaged in realistic and well-organized programs that benefit the needy or that inspire the public should be pursued.

Idealistic endeavors supported by sound research, accountability, and measurable results will receive philanthropic dollars when fundraising strategies and grant writing skills mentioned in this report are followed. Foundations and philanthropists have interests and concerns for the welfare of others throughout all levels of society. Although funding opportunities continue to dissipate in the United States, many grants are still available for resourceful grant seekers.

 


 

References

Brown, L. G., & Brown, M. J. (2001). Demystifying grant seeking:  What you
really need to do to get grants.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 

Cohen, L., & Young, D. R. (1989). Careers for dreamers and doers: A guide to
management careers in the nonprofit sector.
The Foundation Center.

Firstenberg, P. B. (2003). Philanthropy's challenge: Building nonprofit
capacity through venture grantmaking.
The Foundation Center.

 

Locke, L. F., Spirduso, W. & Silverman, S. (2000). Proposals that work: A
guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals (4th ed.).
Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Miner, L. E., & Miner, J. T. (2003). Proposal planning and writing (3rd ed).
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Salamon, L. M. (1999). America's nonprofit sector : A primer (2nd ed.). The
Foundation Center.

Salamon, L. M. (1997). Holding the center: America's nonprofit sector at a
crossroads.
The Foundation Center.

Seltzer, M. (1989, July 1). Approaching foundations – 101: Knowing how
foundations operate [Electronic version]. Fund Raising Management, 20(5),
22-26.

Van Til, J. (1988). Mapping the third sector: Voluntarism in a changing
social economy.
The Foundation Center.

Warwick, M. (2000). The five strategies for fundraising success: A
mission-based guide to achieving your goals.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Weinstein, S. (2002). The complete guide to fundraising management (2nd
ed.).
New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530