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Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose: Challenges and Opportunities in Grant Application and Reporting

April 1, 2008

Are nonprofits drowning in paperwork and distracted from purpose as a result of grantmakers' application and reporting requirements? Do the same practices that grantmakers use to increase effectiveness end up over-burdening both grantmakers and grantseekers—and diminishing their effectiveness? This research report commissioned by Project Streamline addresses these questions by examining current application and reporting practices and their impact on grantmakers and grantseekers alike. In short, we found that the current system creates significant burdens on the time, energy and ultimate effectiveness of nonprofit practitioners.

Toolkit for Racial, Ethnic and Tribal Funds and Foundations

May 1, 2007

Diverse communities are molding and stretching models of giving to fashion something new. Funds and foundations are a promising and growing tool used to organize racial, ethnic and tribal giving. Sometimes called "ethnic funds," these are typically public foundations that mobilize the giving resources of a community for that community's benefit. This involves organizing groups of donors to invest in the foundation, pooling resources, developing giving priorities and a process, and making grants.  The form used depends on the culture and needs of the community, its financial profile, and what other philanthropic players are present. No one size fits all, and each community has multiple choices. This toolkit is designed to provide community leaders or potential hosts with the tools and outlines they need to start a racial, ethnic or tribal fund.  This section reflects lessons and experience gathered from existing funds and foundations in Black, Asian, Arab, Latino and Native-American communities.  

Donors of the Future: Scanning Project Report

March 1, 2006

The report is the result of a Donors of the Future scanning project with the goal to make the subject more accessible for leadership discussion, learn what resources and tools exist to help identify and engage future donors, identify data sources, create some initial resources for understanding and reaching donors of the future, and spell out the implications of the findings for regional associations and community foundations, and suggest possible next steps. The report outlines the definition of "donors of the future" used in the scan, describes the activities undertaken, and summarizes major focus areas and findings.

Value of Relationships Between State Charity Regulators & Philanthropy

March 1, 2006

This publication seeks to help enhance the accountability and effectiveness of foundations and their oversight by state charity regulators by highlighting the value of ongoing, productive relationships between regulators and the philanthropic sector, and demonstrating how such relationships can be successfully achieved. The publication is intended for people working in both charity regulators' offices and the charitable sector.

Power of Rural Philanthropy

September 1, 2005

The Power of Rural Philanthropy, a new report commissioned by New Ventures in Philanthropy, an initiative of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, reveals rural philanthropy is a growing trend across the United States, generating billions of dollars for health care, education and other community needs. The report is accompanied by a series of materials for community foundations, private foundations, rural residents and others to help them learn more about the opportunities presented by rural philanthropy.

Scan of Regional Associations of Grantmakers' Principles & Practices

April 1, 2005

This report summarizes the results of a scan of the state of regional associations' (RAs) development, adoption and promotion of guiding principles and recommended practices for grantmakers. It is based on a detailed analysis of current RA principles and practices, as well as on phone interviews with representatives from eight RAs that have developed principles, two RAs that are in the process of developing principles, and seven RAs that have not yet developed principles. The report was developed to provide background information to the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and its Effectiveness and Accountability Task Force, and to serve as an information resource for RAs.

Philanthropic Connections: Mapping the Landscape of U.S. Funder Networks

April 1, 2003

This is a formal examination of grantmaker associations and networks in the U.S. The report, together with its directory and maps, is the first time the field has had a nationwide picture of the myriad and diverse ways grantmakers convene, collaborate, communicate and collectively act across this country. That picture is striking in its size and variety. More importantly it is encouraging - in its potential to serve as a robust nationwide but grassroots-based "web" through which grantmakers can collectively seize opportunities and respond to challenges.

A Plan of One's Own: A Woman's Guide to Philanthropy

January 1, 2003

The book offers practical advice on how women from all age groups and economic backgrounds can create a charitable giving plan and use their financial resources to effect lasting social change. The guide examines women's roles in philanthropy and features "how to" sections on creating and using a variety of forms of charitable giving, as well as working with professional advisors. It was developed by the Baltimore Giving Project (a project of Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers) in partnership nationally with New Ventures in Philanthropy (a project of the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers), and locally with Allfirst Wealth Management.

Chris Farrell's Sound Money Guide to Sharing the Wealth

September 6, 2000

All across the country, Americans get together to share their concerns and passions, especially when it comesto improving their communities. The philanthropic spirit moves people to support the arts, contribute to theiralma maters, construct low-income housing, improve education and tackle all kinds of social ills. America'scharities, nonprofit organizations, and religious congregations are remarkably diverse, ranging from smallgroups of volunteers working out of basement offices to national fraternal organizations with several hundredthousand members to multi-billion dollar enterprises with skyscraper headquarters and global ambitions.Generosity, whether measured in time or money, is on the rise after stagnating for almost a quartercentury following the economic turmoil of the 1970s. Americans gave some $190 billion, or 2.1 percent ofGross Domestic Product, to charities in 1999, according to figures compiled by the American Association ofFund-Raising Counsel. That's up from $124 billion and 1.5 percent of GDP in 1997 (see chart on page 4).Volunteerism is strong, too. Among adults age 18 or over, more than half volunteer their time. In a sense,the nonprofit community is the nation's largest employer with some 109 million volunteers donatingan average of 3.5 hours a week.This guide is designed as an introduction to the major options available for giving money away.

Organizational Assessment and Development Guide for Regional Associations

June 30, 1997

This publication was originally a product of The Regional Initiative, a 1992-1995special project cosponsored by the Council on Foundations and twenty-four of the nation's regional associations of grantmakers (RAGs). The purpose of the Initiative was to enhance the capacity of regional associations to meet their members' needs, by building both management and program effectiveness. The Initiative's long-term goal was to strengthen regional associations as agents of organized philanthropy in American life.