Grants, etc.: Originally Published as Grantsmanship and Fund Raising


Armand Lauffer

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Philanthropic Resources

    Part II: Where the Resources are and How to Get Them

    Part III: Fund-Raising Fundamentals

  • Dedication

    To Morah Rickie, an Eshet Chayil


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    There is a great deal of good news for grant seekers and fund-raisers. More and more Americans have larger and larger chunks of disposable income. Individual donations to charity have increased by approximately 10% a year since 1994. New configurations of interests between the public, private, and voluntary sectors result in shared fund-raising and funding efforts and more targeted allocation patterns. These changes may mean that there is more money available to your organization to do its business. New or redirected dollars, however, may also require that your current patterns of doing business will have to change to accommodate emerging funding requirements.

    Parts I and II of this volume are about changes in the funding environment and how best to respond to them. Part III addresses the tools and techniques that successful fund-raisers use to get the resources they need to do business.

    The past 20 years have not been encouraging for many practitioners and administrators in the human services and other nonprofit organizations. Some have lost their positions through cutbacks. Others are carrying especially heavy loads in an effort to maintain the quality of services in the context of shrinking resources. The picture has been especially bleak in certain service sectors, and the situation has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable client populations: ethnic and racial minorities, the disabled, new immigrants, those who are among the structurally unemployed, and those who have been defined by society as deviants rather than as the victims of circumstances. The arts and the environment have also been severely cut. Education has been hurt by reduced levels of support from local, state, and federal sources.

    The largesse of the 1960s and early 1970s seems to have been replaced by a niggardliness of spirit and resource. Perhaps, perhaps not. Certainly the distribution of resources has changed considerably. Also, the balance of responsibility for funding service and cause-oriented programs has shifted back and forth between the public, private, and voluntary sectors. The redistribution of resources and responsibilities has caused strains virtually everywhere in the human services and in many other quasi-public and nonprofit settings. Private philanthropy has been unable to fill the gaps caused by government withdrawal.

    This is not exactly an upbeat way to begin a book on fund-raising. The truth is that there is much to be optimistic about. Individual agencies, even consortia of agencies, may not be able to do much to affect the larger societal forces that have caused this redistribution. They can, however, assure that they and their constituents get their proper share of the resource pie. It is not an unlimited pie. It is probably a good deal larger than it seems (or at least the pie dish can be replenished), even though it may not be as deep as many of us would like it to be. Unfortunately, we do not all have equal or adequate access to the pie.

    That is what this book is all about—increasing your access and increasing the likelihood that you and those you represent can replenish needed resources to stay in business and to do that business better.

    Previous versions (Grantsmanship [1977, 1983] and Grantsmanship and Fund Raising [1984]) addressed twentieth-century challenges—challenges faced by organizations created in this century to address the public's interests under voluntary auspices. We are entering a new century in which the paradigms of an earlier time may not be in place for too long. The privatization of public services has made the fund-raising process much more competitive. This not only requires more sophistication in resource procurement but it also means that we must harness those resources more carefully so as to do the most good (and to assure that we will continue to get the resources we need). That is the reason readers familiar with earlier editions of this book will find this edition to be much different. Many of the chapter headings may be the same, but you will discover that more than 80% of the content is new!

    Why a single volume on gifts, contracts, and grants? Why so much content on program design, marketing, and the context within which fund-raising takes place? Could not these topics be treated separately in different volumes? Certainly, and, as the many references at the end of each chapter suggest, they have been. I have chosen to treat them together so as to go beyond instruction in technique to an exploration of the forces that are likely to shape the success of the fund-raising strategies you choose to employ. In other words, there are many fine cookbooks: Some focus on desserts, others on soups. There are also excellent books on the promotion of family health through proper nutrition. This volume attempts a bit of both, prescribing how to do things, while describing the context within which it is done.

    The book is written primarily with fund-raisers in the nonprofit sector in mind. Many of the principles and processes described, however, are likely to be of equal interest to those working in the private and public sectors for whom getting contracts, grants, or gifts is of central import. Although I use the word agency to refer to the organization seeking support from others, and although many of my examples are drawn from human service agencies, I use this term genetically. By “your agency,” I also mean your school, library, recreation program, museum, concert hall, health service, or public park.

    In each chapter, you will find many excellent suggestions for how to make your fund-raising efforts more productive. For the most part, they are not my own. They come from both new and seasoned fund-raisers—some of them volunteers, others professional fund-raisers, and still others responsible for making the decisions about who to fund and for how much. Wherever possible, I quote those whose work is described. They can say it much better than I.


    I learned about grantsmanship and fund-raising the way most people do—by doing it. It was not without encouragement, however, first and foremost from five deans at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Fedele Fauri, whose spirit continues to infuse the school with social commitment and intellectual honesty, told me when I first arrived at Michigan to “take a few months, get to know the state, and then start building a program, but make sure that the faculty are behind you.” He knew well that professional and career interests, when supportive of institutional directions, are a strong combination. He said, “To win at horse racing, you not only have to have horses that can, but will run.” To maintain the institution of horse racing, you need consumer publics (race fans and others who have interests in supporting the institution), suppliers (of horses and goods), and collateral service providers.

    To win at fund-raising, you also need access to knowledge about the programs for which you are seeking support and technical competence in planning and design. I gained a good deal of both from Bob Vinter, who taught me to be rigorous in program design and meticulous in budgeting. Phil Fellin continued in the traditions of his predecessors, knowing when to rein in a feisty colt and when to let him have his head. Harold Johnson permitted me the freedom to write when he might have preferred to have me out there hustling—practicing what I teach. Paula Allen-Meares gave me the license to put some of my writing aside for a few years while building relationships with community institutions to make it possible for a new academic program to succeed.

    I continue to owe a debt to Wyatt Jones, Professor Emeritus of Brandeis University, who taught me that to write effectively you have to think more about who will be reading or using your material than about the material itself. The dozens of community leaders and human service practitioners and nonprofit administrators whose words and experiences are related in these pages are its real authors. I have tried to provide them with a way to communicate directly to you. I am referring to government and foundation officials, nonprofit agency board members, industrialists, planners and administrators, community activists, direct service practitioners, professional fund-raisers, and others whose knowledge and skill I have tried to include in each chapter.

    I owe a personal debt of gratitude to two consummate professionals—Marty Kraar, chief executive officer of the Council of Jewish Federations, and Bob Aronson, executive of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Each taught me that successful fund-raising requires genuine respect for donors. Stanley Frankel, Larry Jackier, and Conrad Giles—an attorney, a developer, and a physician, respectively—taught me that donors are often the best fund-raisers, especially when helping peers articulate their deepest aspirations.

    I also acknowledge the contributions of several former students. Deborah Lynn Kroopkin searched an often fugitive literature for examples of innovations in grant seeking and fund-raising. You will find her work reflected throughout each chapter. Anita Morse, a professional librarian (often a fund-raiser's best friend), searched the Internet for information on funding sources. You will find her work summarized in Appendix A and in the Michigan Web site: Finally, a special thanks to the students at Michigan and UCLA who read and commented on a first draft of this book. Their honest and critical comments saved you all from some painful moments.

  • Appendix A: Grants, Etc.

    A University of Michigan Web Site for the Human Services and Other Nonprofits1

    To reach the Grants, Etc. home page, use a graphical browser such as Netscape, Mosaic, or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Each has its own set of instructions. For example, on the Netscape Web page, you click the Open button on your tool bar and then type in the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for GRANTS, ETC. at the University of Michigan.

    You can read it via COMNET at

    and then click on


    or directly via

    Note that all URL addresses are case sensitive, so be sure to type in caps or in lowercase as shown in this guide.

    Grant and Fund-Raising Information Resources on the Internet
    Why the Internet

    Information is the fund-raiser's primary resource. The Internet provides you access to the World Wide Web (WWW), a global network of information. Through the Web, you will be able to find out where the money is and how to access it. Every Web site is accessible through a home page, which serves as its front door and as an entryway through which to access other sites.

    Moving Around the Internet

    Once you have accessed a home page, such as Grants, Etc., you can jump from one document or Web site to another by clicking on the underlined or otherwise highlighted words, phrases, or addresses. For example, if you need a Primer on the Internet, which is located at

    click on the boldface words and you will move directly to the location. In the pages that follow, I will guide you to

    • finding fund-raising resources on the Internet;
    • accessing information sources on funding;
    • exploring tax implications of fund-raising for donors and nonprofit organizations;
    • locating other fund-raising resource sites on the Internet;
    • learning about the Internet;
    • starting up your own Web page.
    Finding Fund-Raising Resources on the Internet

    1. The Philanthropic Advisory Service is a service of the Council of Better Business Bureau providing reports and an online complaint service for hundreds of nonprofit organizations that solicit nationally.

    2. The Standards for Charitable Solicitations from the Council of Better Business Bureaus are model standards for charitable organizations seeking donations. The standards emphasize voluntary disclosure of information by nonprofits that prospective donors should consider, such as organization activities, finances, fund-raising practices, and governance. An explanation of disclosure and reporting rules applicable to Section 501(c)(3) organizations under the Internal Revenue Code is provided.

    Accessing Information Sources on Funding
    Charitable and Corporate Foundations

    The Foundation Center—79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003-3076; phone: (212) 620-4230—provides library services nationwide through its national collections in New York and Washington, DC, field offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, and San Francisco, and more than 200 cooperating libraries in all 50 states and abroad. The center offers proposal writing seminars throughout the year (call 1-800-424-9836 for registration information) and publishes annual compilations on national foundation and corporate giving as well as individual publications geared toward funding for specific groups or interests. Membership in the Foundation Center Associate's Program entitles fund-raisers and grant seekers to specialized search services, fund-raising materials, and current information on grant makers. The Foundation Center Web page includes information on the center, addresses of participating library locations, links to grant makers and government resources, a searchable database of its publications. The Philanthropy Digest, and information on the proposal development process.

    Government Grants and Contracts

    1. Grants and Contracts, from the Documents Center, University of Michigan, includes links to resources of the federal government. You will find the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, a searchable database of federal government programs including grants, loans, scholarships, and other financial assistance. There are also links to the Commerce Business Daily, the Federal Register, the GSA grants database, and other sources on government grants and contracts.

    2. The Federal Web Locator Service provides links to over 350 federal government agency information sites, searchable by table of contents, keywords, or highlights of latest links.

    3. The United States Government Manual provides background information and contact names, addresses, and phone numbers of government agencies and branches.

    Private-Sector Giving

    1. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) home page is an archive of corporate information. New users should start with General Information: Retrieving Data. Experienced users can use the hypertext link for the Search the EDGAR Database for keyword searching by company name or a central index key (CIK), which SEC uses to identify individual filers.

    2. Involve: Corporate Community Involvement is a project of the American Leadership Forum that gives links to resources on how to bring corporations into philanthropy and community giving. Titles include Winning Strategies for Corporate Community Involvement and Resource Guide for Corporate Community Involvement.

    Proposal Development

    1. The National Network of Grant Makers (NNG) includes links to common grant application forms accepted by participating grant makers. Get the membership directory from the National Network of Grant Makers at 1117 Kettner Boulevard, Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92101; phone: (619) 231-1348. The NNG Cover Letter form asks for summary information on the requesting organization, type of request, organization mission, project or grant request, organizational budget, and funding need.

    2. The NNG Application form provides a standardized format for submissions of project proposals.

    3. The NNG Budget form categorizes total project expenditures and revenues for grant request into salaries, wages and fringe benefits, fees, travel, equipment, supplies, printing and copying, and telephone. Sources of revenues include government, foundations, corporations, earned income, United Way or other combined campaigns, individual corporations, membership income, in-kind support, and other support.

    4. A Proposal Writing Short Course from the Foundation Center suggests the following: explain how the project fits into the mission of your agency; set forth the nature, timetable, anticipated outcomes, and staffing needs of the project; and detail the financial needs of the project. Components of a proposal include an executive summary, a statement of need, the project description, organization information, and conclusion. A proposal is usually no more than seven or eight pages in length plus appendices.

    Exploring Tax Implications of Fund-Raising for Donors and Nonprofit Organizations

    1. Foundations and Other Non-Profits, by Louis H. Hamel, Jr., advises donors and fund-raisers about Internal Revenue Code requirements that nonprofit agencies must meet to qualify as a tax-exempt organization to which a donor may make a qualifying charitable deduction. Both the charitable organization and the donor are subject to reporting requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. Donors should be advised of the tax consequences of specific types of charitable donations.

    2. Charitable Deductions, by Susan Valente Marandett, is a primer on estate and gift tax consequences of charitable deductions.

    3. Name a Charity as Beneficiary, by Michael Fey, explains the advantages of soliciting planned giving of annuities and other retirement funds from donors.

    4. Charitable Contributions of Securities, by James A. Brink and William A. Caldwell, advises tax planners and charitable organizations that some donors may find it to be an advantageous tax strategy to donate securities to a charitable organization. Tax planners advise donors to give the charity decision-making power over disposal of the gift so that full benefit is received.

    5. Give Deferred Income to Charity, by A. Silvana Giner, explains the tax planning strategies of charitable contributions.

    6. Charitable Planning is a searchable database operated by the National Network of Estate Planners. Gift and estate planning is subject to both federal and state law. Features include a searchable database of financial planners organized by state and separate searchable databases on estate planning and charitable planning.

    7. Tips on Tax Deductions for Charitable Contributions, a publication of the Council on Better Business Bureaus, explains the difference between tax-exempt and tax-deductible organizations that solicit charitable contributions and how to find out an organization's status. IRS Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations, is an annual list of tax-exempt organizations to which a donor can make deductible charitable contributions. Information is included on deductibility limitations of donations to specific types of organizations that solicit donations and on specific types of gifts, such as volunteer services, goods and services, and gifts for which the donor receives any benefits in return.

    8. Taxes from the Documents Center, University of Michigan, provides links to tax forms and the Internal Revenue Code.

    Locating Other Fund-Raising Resources on the Internet

    1. Philanthropy Journal Online is a meta-index of nonprofit organizations, nonprofit job opportunities, foundations, and corporate giving on the Web maintained by the Philanthropy Journal of North Carolina, a nonprofit newspaper for the nonprofit sector.

    2. Guide to Internet Resources for Non-Profit Service Organizations is an encyclopedic guide to resources publicly available on the Internet organized by subject and searchable by keyword. It includes Gopher sites, WWW sites, and mailing lists.

    3. Libraries and Locations from the Foundation Center gives the addresses of Center Libraries and is searchable by main, regional, state, and cooperating collection locations.

    4. The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles provides information on training programs, publications, and information on TGC Online, a subscription service with comprehensive funding information accessible over the Internet.

    5. Federal Laws from the Documents Center, University of Michigan, is a full-service site for access to federal laws, with links to recent public laws, the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Federal Register. These are essential resources for finding federal government grants, contracts, and assistance. For example, the Internal Revenue Code is Title 26 of the United States Code. The Federal Register is a daily publication of the federal government in which you will find legal notices of federal agency meetings, proposed and final rules and regulations of government agencies, and presidential documents. The Code of Federal Regulations is an annual subject compilation of final rules and regulations first published in the Federal Register. For example, the Internal Revenue Service implements the Internal Revenue Code in federal regulations contained in Title 26 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Learning about the Internet

    1. Guide to Cyberspace, by Kevin Hughes, introduces new Internet users to the history and terminology of the Internet such as hypertext links and URLs. Also included is information on how to obtain browser software for your computer.

    2. Frequently Asked Questions About the Web, by North American Internet Service, answers questions about the Web. This includes information on obtaining browser software for your computer, authoring home pages, and using Web servers.

    3. InfoSeek Search permits subject searching on keywords of a search question to find useful document sources. It can also be accessed by opening the Net Search button on the Netscape toolbar.

    4. Lycos is an Internet search engine for WWW documents from the Carnegie Mellon University that allows searching on document titles and contents.

    5. Argus Clearinghouse for Subject Oriented Internet Resource Guides provides links to Web page guides organized by broad subject headings, such as health and medicine, social services, and social issues.

    6. Local Public Library Web Page provides public library Web sites in the United States with information on where to find Internet guide books, other “how-to” resources, and Internet access for community users.

    Starting up Your Own Web Page

    1. Creating Web Services: Starting up and maintaining a Web page takes careful planning and a commitment of time and money. You can learn about hypertext markup language, the standard used for Web documents, from Netscape.

    2. Michigan COMNET is an example of a community server for social services agencies. It includes public service information, bulletin board services, and links to other resources for nonprofit organizations in southeastern Michigan and the metropolitan Detroit area.

    These URLs are up to date as of September, 1996. The following is a hint if the URL has been changed: Cut back the address to the basic stem address—for example,

    and look in the directory for what you want.


    1. The GRANTS, ETC. Web site was developed by Anita Morse of the University of Michigan's School of Information for a course taught by Armand Lauffer and has been expanded for community access.

    Appendix B: Proposal Checklist

    Tips for Use

    To decide what to include in your proposal, use this checklist. Then, to make sure you have covered all the bases, use it again before sending the proposal to a potential sponsor. This is a generic list, so if the funder's guidelines indicate specific concerns, make sure these are addressed clearly in the proposal. Use the funder's language and, if appropriate, a writing style similar to that found in the sponsor's own literature. Keep your writing terse and interesting. Put supplementary information in an appendix. Use subtitles or other means to highlight what is important to the funder.

    About the Author

    Armand Lauffer is Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. He has written more than 20 volumes on resource development, social marketing, planning, and community organizing. He is founding coeditor of the Sage Human Service Guides and the Sage Sourcebooks for the Human Services. He is a frequent flyer who splits his time between Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Jerusalem—where he consults with government, municipal, and voluntary agencies. A partial list of his books includes Strategic Marketing for Not-for-Profit Organizations; Understanding Your Social Agency; Careers, Colleagues and Conflicts; Social Planning at the Community Level; Doing Continuing Education and Staff Development; The Aim of the Game; and Assessment Tools. Grantsmanship and Fund Raising (1984) was a Behavioral Science Book Club selection.

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