Articles Archive

A Basic Guide to Program Evaluation

CLASSIC ARTICLE - More and more grantmakers are demanding program evaluations as a condition of funding. Management consultant Carter McNamara lays out a framework for conducting these evaluations, and he charts the various methods available for gathering valuable data. Read more about A Basic Guide to Program Evaluation

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Answers to Some FAQs About Program Related Investments (PRIs)

CLASSIC ARTICLE - As an alternative to grants, some foundations use a lending instrument known as the program-related investment (PRI).Here is some basic information about the kinds of activities that they support. Read more about Answers to Some FAQs About Program Related Investments (PRIs)

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Business Planning for Social Enterprises

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Unlike for-profit ventures, social enterprises need a business plan that addresses both financial goals and social goals. Sutia Kim Alter describes the process of creating such a plan. Read more about Business Planning for Social Enterprises

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Dos and Don'ts of Grant Proposals for Tech Funding

CLASSIC ARTICLE - As the needs of nonprofits for technology increase, so do the numbers of grant proposals for tech-related projects and equipment. America Online's Michele Cavataio has pored over thousands of requests for tech funding. Read more about Dos and Don'ts of Grant Proposals for Tech Funding

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Enlightened Investment or Excessive Intrusion?

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Venture philanthropy is a hot topic in philanthropic circles. Is it the future of grantmaking or a passing fad? Is it born of genuine commitment to social change or the arrogance of wealthy young elites? Read more about Enlightened Investment or Excessive Intrusion?

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Getting and Managing a Construction Grant

CLASSIC ARTICLE - The federal government may not be as generous with construction funding as it once was, but many departments still award these grants for various purposes. Federal grants expert Henry Flood tells what's available and what to watch out for when applying. Read more about Getting and Managing a Construction Grant

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Getting the Grant 101

The process of “getting a grant” or “writing a grant proposal” can sound mysterious, like an old family recipe with secret ingredients. For 40 years The Grantsmanship Center has been helping people de-mystify this process and to understand that like a recipe, creating a compelling proposal simply requires common ingredients put together in a logical and understandable sequence using tried and true techniques.
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How to Conduct a Salary Survey

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Salary surveys are a window on the job market. They show what other employers are paying their personnel, and indicate whether your own wage levels are competitive. Here's a nuts-and-bolts guide to designing a salary survey for your own agency. Read more about How to Conduct a Salary Survey

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How to Make Cash Flow Projections

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Over the course of a fiscal year, many nonprofits find themselves tilting back and forth between cash deficits and cash surpluses. Accurate cash flow projection enables management to plan for either situation. Read more about How to Make Cash Flow Projections

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How to Write a Mission Statement

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Every group has a mission, but how do you distill that mission down to a single, concise paragraph? Communications expert Janel M. Radtke has some answers. She also gives several illustrations of mission statements that work. Read more about How to Write a Mission Statement

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Jabberwocky Junkies

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Why are RFPs, grant proposals, and other forms of communication among philanthropic organizations littered with jargon? Tony Proscio takes a wry look at our addiction to buzzwords, dissects a few trendy examples, and suggests some ways to kick the habit. Read more about Jabberwocky Junkies

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Learning to Read Financial Statements

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Balance sheets and income statements may be a mystery to the uninitiated, but board members have a duty to know what they mean. Steven Berger tells what to look for and how to make sense of the numbers. Read more about Learning to Read Financial Statements

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Legal Structures for Business Ventures

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Should a nonprofit corporation form a subsidiary when it starts a business venture? Not necessarily. Creating a subsidiary can protect the parent corporation from liability and might attract new revenue. Read more about Legal Structures for Business Ventures

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Looking for Mr. Goodboard (and Ms. Goodboard and Dr. Goodboard...)

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Recruiting good board members is a persistent challenge for community-based organizations. Grantsmanship Center trainer Judy Gooch suggests a dozen places to start looking for prospective members. Read more about Looking for Mr. Goodboard (and Ms. Goodboard and Dr. Goodboard...)

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Managing Grants Data—The Need for System Integration

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Grants managers often find themselves struggling with two or more unintegrated software systems. Tiffy Barnett has experienced the problem first-hand, and she suggests some ways to address it. Read more about Managing Grants Data—The Need for System Integration

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Managing the Grant

Everyone is elated! All the planning and research paid off and your organization has been awarded its first grant. Whether it’s a $500,000 grant from the US government or a $10,000 grant from a private foundation, now’s the time to lay essential groundwork to ensure grant funds will be spent and accounted for as required and that program obligations will be met. Welcome to the world of grants management.
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New Software Solutions— How Open Source Can Help

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Because of high prices and restrictive licenses, your organization may not be able to purchase all the software it requires. According to computer expert Howard Fosdick, open-source software— free of cost and readily accessible— may be the answer. Read more about New Software Solutions— How Open Source Can Help

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No Mercy from the Margin Police

CLASSIC ARTICLE - When an Oregon-based agency's federal grant application was rejected solely because of a formatting glitch, the incident sparked raillery and outrage. Susan Compo reports on the Case of the Narrow Margins. Read more about No Mercy from the Margin Police

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Nonprofit Mergers: Is Your Organization Ready for the Road?

CLASSIC ARTICLE - In order to improve their finances, their services, or their pursuit of mission, nonprofits may be tempted to merge with other,, similar organizations. But the road to merger can be difficult-even dangerous. Read more about Nonprofit Mergers: Is Your Organization Ready for the Road?

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Nonprofit Mergers: Laying the Groundwork with Volunteers and Staff

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Both volunteer board members and paid employees typically feel a strong emotional attachment to the nonprofits they serve, leading them to see merger as more of a threat than an opportunity. Management consultant Dan H. Read more about Nonprofit Mergers: Laying the Groundwork with Volunteers and Staff

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Responding to a Funder's Advice

CLASSIC ARTICLES - Your agency submits a grant proposal to a longtime funder and the program officer responds with high praise. There's just one hitch-she also wants you to redefine your mission. What's a board to do? Three experts offer their own advice. Read more about Responding to a Funder's Advice

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Salary Management for Nonprofits

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Many nonprofit groups assume that because their cause is noble, their employees should be willing to work for little money. But without the ability to attract and retain good workers, any enterprise is doomed to failure. Read more about Salary Management for Nonprofits

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Selecting Fundraising Software

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Fundraising software performs a multitude of functions. And there are dozens of software packages to choose from. How do you pick the right one for your organization? Technology consultant Corinne Waldenmayer offers a user's guide to software selection. Read more about Selecting Fundraising Software

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Technology Planning for the Development Office

CLASSIC ARTICLE - With new technology, nonprofits are able to connect with their constituents much more effectively. But when a development office relies on poorly configured equipment and inconsistent databases, more money is spent and less money comes in. Read more about Technology Planning for the Development Office

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The Challenges of Becoming a Social Purpose Enterprise

CLASSIC ARTICLE - The principles of "social entrepreneurism" have had a transforming effect on New Economy philanthropists. For the social service agencies that embrace those principles, the effects may be even more profound. Read more about The Challenges of Becoming a Social Purpose Enterprise

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The Future of Relationship Fundraising

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Few concepts have captured the imagination of development officers more completely than "relationship fundraising." But Ken Burnett, who wrote the book on the subject, calls it "just a currently fashionable piece of jargon." In this wide-ranging forum, drawn fro Read more about The Future of Relationship Fundraising

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The Necessary Art of Making Amends

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Every fundraising professional knows how to write a thank-you note, but even seasoned veterans botch letters of apology. Susan Sarver describes what works-and what doesn't-when it comes to saying you're sorry. Read more about The Necessary Art of Making Amends

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Tips for Submitting E-Grant Applications

CLASSIC ARTICLE - More and more grantmakers are making it possible (and in some cases, mandatory) for proposals to be submitted electronically. Contributors to The Grantsmanship Center's Alumni Forum have some suggestions for handling the process more smoothly. Read more about Tips for Submitting E-Grant Applications

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Writing Proposals for Capacity Building

CLASSIC ARTICLE - Grant applications that focus on an organization's internal needs pose special challenges. Grantsmanship Center trainer Susan Chandler offers pointers for writing these proposals more effectively. Read more about Writing Proposals for Capacity Building

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