1. Ethics for Grant Writers & 2. Evaluating The Implementation of a Fundraising Program

Sections of this topic

    The Ethics of Percentage-Based Compensation for Grant Writers – Part I

    by Lynn deLearie.

    Not too long ago, I met with a prospective client to discuss helping them start a grant program for their organization. As we were concluding the meeting, the question of compensation came up, and I was asked if I would accept a percentage of grant income that I raised.

    I paused, searching for an acceptable answer. My short answer is an unqualified, “No,” but I managed to say, “I follow the AFP ethical guidelines and they do not allow percentage-based compensation.” The prospective client responded, “I don’t see how this is unethical. A lot of professions accept percentage fees.” I responded, “I’ll look up the information and get back to you.”

    I did look up the AFP code of ethics on their website and found Point 21A relating to compensation, “Members shall not accept compensation or enter into a contract that is based on a percentage of contributions; nor shall members accept finder’s fees or contingent fees.”

    I also looked up the Grant Professionals Association Code of Ethics and found Point 19B that states, “Members shall not accept or pay a finder’s fee, commission, or percentage compensation based on grants and shall take care to discourage their organizations from making such payments;” AND the American Grant Writers’ Association Code of Ethics with Point 11C that states, “Members shall not accept compensation that is based on a percentage of contributions or contingent upon award of a grant.”

    So, it is very clear that fundraising professional ethics do not allow percentage-based compensation, but WHY not? Why is this so strongly discouraged? (See Part II, on February 12th)

    A http://www.afpnet.org/Ethics/EnforcementDetail.cfm?ItemNumber=3261
    B http://grantprofessionals.org/about/ethics
    C http://www.agwa.us/ethics

    Lynn deLearie Consulting, LLC, helps nonprofit organizations develop,
    enhance and expand grants programs, and helps them
    secure funding from foundations and corporations.
    Contact Lynn deLearie.
    Look for Lynn’s ebook on Grants & Grantsmanship.
    It’s part of
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks
    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)
    Order Lynn’s Book on Grants and Grantsmanship before February 14,
    and get $1.00 off the sales price – use coupon code NZ95K

    Tracking The Progress Of A Fundraising Program – Part I

    by Tony Poderis

    I thought that I had heard all there was ever to hear from beleaguered development professionals whose bosses are constantly on them for “not bringing in enough money.” But, there is this note, which came to me recently from the Director of Development for a social services agency.

    She reported: “We are being asked to justify the ‘slowness of the process’ in having started a new fundraising process for the organization. Are there any stats or information you know of on how long it takes to get ‘up and running’?”

    I responded that it is absolutely impossible to come up with such a statistic or an “ideal” timeframe based on what other organizations have done. No one keeps such stats – they simply cannot be compiled.

    Just think of all the variables at work going into any fundraising campaign, be it for a new organization, a new purpose, or even yet another annual fund campaign for an organization which has been around for awhile: clerical resources, other staff persons, research and rating of prospects, volunteers, board leadership, etc.

    If it’s a “new” fundraising effort, then chances are the campaign is off from a standing start. Just how hard then, can the fundraising “accelerator” be pushed, and to what speed?

    The only way to assess the progress of any fundraising process is when that process has every step and component listed on a timeline … one that was agreed to by everyone before starting the process.

    Not just a fundraising plan, but a formal Calendar & Action Plan that stipulates Who Does What By What Date.

    Then, on an ongoing basis, with regular progress evaluations, it will be clear to all regarding which step has or has not be taken at the time it was scheduled to happen.

    It’s really that simple.

    [Want to see a sample of a Calendar & Action Plan, Check this space next Wednesday]

    Have a question or comment about the above posting?
    You can Ask Tony.
    There is also a lot of good fundraising information on his website:
    Have you seen
    The Fundraising Series of ebooks ??

    They’re easy to read, to the point, and inexpensive ($1.99 – $4.99)

    If you would like to comment/expand on either of the above pieces, or would just like to offer your thoughts on the subjects of this posting, we encourage you to “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this page.