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July 2010 (4 posts)

The Elusive "Open" Grant and RFPs
July 22, 2010

Every once in a while I get a call or an e-mail from a subscriber asking about where to find "open" foundation grants. "The grants database is fine for finding grants that have already been made," they say, "but where can I find grants that I can apply for now?" 

Apparently I'm not alone; my colleagues at the Foundation Center's Washington, DC, library get the same inquiries. Katrina Brown, our DC reference librarian, has posted an explanation on the Philanthropy Front and Center blog responding to these inquiries, and I thought I'd share her explanation here:

At the Foundation Center we often are asked, "Where can I find a list of open grants from foundations?" We explain that foundation grants generally don't work the same way that government grants do. There is no master list of "open" foundation grants that nonprofits or individuals can apply for. In most cases you need to do research to figure out who funds what and how to apply.


But "open" foundation grants are not a complete myth! Unlike Bigfoot. (Sorry, folks -- I just don't buy it.) Some foundations on occasion will set aside funds to address a specific issue or to fund a certain program area, and they publish Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to announce these open grants and to invite applications.

You can find current RFPs from U.S. foundations listed in a special section of our Philanthropy News Digest site. This allows you to browse for RFPs by subject areas, like Arts and Culture, Environment, or Human Services, or to search using keywords.


You also may want to register for our RFP Bulletin. This free e-newsletter is sent out weekly and lists the new RFPs open to nonprofits and/or individuals that have been released during that week. It's an easy way to track down those mysterious, elusive "open grants."

Read Katrina's full post.

I would just add one more option to this: Foundation Directory Online Professional Power Search lets you pull RFP results from Philanthropy News Digest directly into your search results. Just enter any search word or phrase into the Power Search field and you'll get matching RFPs along with your results from the other FDO and Foundation Center databases.

Philanthropy Chat Podcast
July 16, 2010

Podcast_logo Do you want to learn more about interesting, current topics in philanthropy and fundraising, and hear it directly from the grantmakers? The Foundation Center has a podcast just for you. Philanthropy Chat is a series of interviews conducted by Foundation Center library staff with leaders in the field from all over the country. 

Recent episodes include the Foundation Center's own Steven Lawrence discussing foundation growth and giving estimates; author Tom Adams on topics including challenges related to founder transitions and diversity in leadership development; and discussions with representatives from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Cleveland Foundation, and many, many more. 

Philanthropy Chat is available on iTunes or as an RSS feed that you can follow in the podcast reader of your choice. 

July 15, 2010

Are you familiar with PubHub? What's PubHub, you ask?

PubHub is the Foundation Center's source for foundation-sponsored reports. This online catalog contains annotated links to 5,187 research reports, case studies, issue briefs, literature reviews, and annual reports published or funded by U.S. foundations.

Kyoko Uchida manages PubHub, and she blogs every week for the Philanthropy News Digest blog PhilanTopic. In her most recent post, Kyoko discusses several recent reports on global economic development:

At a time when good news is scarce, one recent report highlights some welcome findings: We seem to be making progress toward achieving the  United Nations Millennium Development Goals. With an eye to exploring strategies aimed at further reducing global poverty, this week in PubHub we are featuring reports in the international affairs/development category, with a focus on economic development in conflict areas and developing countries.

Read the full post at PhilanTopic.

And remember, PubHub reports are one of the nine databases that Foundation Directory Online Professional subscribers have access to via Power Search. You can always visit PubHub from the Foundation Center's home page, but Power Search lets you pull PubHub reports into one convenient set of search results along with news, RFPs, nonprofit literature, jobs, and the FDO grantmaker, grant, company, and 990 databases.

A Flip Chat With... Nancy Lublin of DoSomething.org
July 07, 2010

The Foundation Center's Regina Mahone sat down with Do Something CEO Nancy Lublin, founder of Dress for Success and author of the new book Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business.

Read Regina's full post on PhilanTopic, and learn more about Nancy Lublin here.