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How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know About the Many Faces of Foundations Hardcover – April 8, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0787940119 ISBN-10: 0787940119 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"How Foundations Work will provide much-needed dialogue in the foundation community. Anyone who has ever raised funds from foundations can easily relate to Mr. McIlnay's observations. This book gives an insider's perspective to foundations that we have heard about before but rarely seen in print until today." (K. Scott Sheldon, CFRE, director of development and outreach, Arizona State University College of ExtAnded Education)

"McIlnay's book is full of information. His arguments are cogent and well-supported. Common misunderstandings and unspoken truths about foundations are revealed in ways that nonprofit leaders will respond to with warmth. The list of cockamamie ideas submitted as grant proposals brought tears of laughter to my eyes and the description of medieval grant proposals is priceless. It is funny, well-observed and a good read." (David La Piana, principal, La Piana Associates Management Consultants)

"After a dozen years in the field, I was pleased to read this book which helps to demystify philanthropy" (Ruth Shack, president, Dade Commununity Foundation)

From the Inside Flap

Grantseekers spAnd much of their time and energy preparing grant requests. But do they really know enough about the foundations they are approaching to succeed in getting grants? Foundations are some of the nation's most misunderstood and mysterious organizations. Dennis P. McIlnay offers a unique and remarkable look inside foundations, exploring the complex workings of the organizations that so often determine the success or failure of a nonprofit's fundraising ventures.Using case histories of grantseekers and insights from foundations themselves, Dennis P. McIlnay reveals the underlying principles and philosophies that guide grantmaking. He gives the grantseeker an edge in the highly competitive world of foundation grants by both debunking many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding foundations and including more productive strategies for dealing with them.The book is structured around six perceptions of foundations?judges, editors, citizens, activists, entrepreneurs, and partners?and reveals the complex and often contradictory nature of foundations. How Foundations Work suggests that foundations have unique organizational personalities with unique values, languages, cultures, rituals, and behaviors that distinguish them from other organizations. Understanding these personalities is the key to grantseekers' success.Accessible and intriguing, this book provides a thorough understanding of what makes foundations tick and how this affects their interactions with nonprofits. Managers and fund raisers in nonprofits will also find a comprehensive bibliography that provides additional resources.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (April 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787940119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787940119
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,835,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By nadine granoff on April 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Stumped in your proposal writing? Enraged by another rejected grant request? What was the Stupid Foundation looking for that you didn't have? This book will give you answers: some original, others you can find elsewhere.
As a guide to framing your proposal, what good proposals look, sound, and feel like, this book is extremely useful. In the heat of the battle to win funding, it's easy to succumb to tunnel vision, neglecting the foundation's point of view. McIlnay not only reminds the grantseeker that they have to sell their proposal, but explains what foundations seek. It's particularly astute on the political culture and internal dynamics of foundations.
"How Foundations Work" is written in a direct, though often plodding, style. But in a field where too much of the writing is namby-pamby, it gets points simply for uncluttered clarity.
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How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know About the Many Faces of Foundations
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