Chapter 11

Chapter 11 - Fundraising and Development
A summary of the key concepts in the chapter

The History of Fundraising, University of Kent, UK, March 2020 (30:42) This video provides a more detailed examination of the roots of fundraising and those who played a role in its development as a profession in the UK and the US.


3 ways to be a more effective fundraiser, Kara Logan Berlin, TED Talk, January 2020 (16:08)
“How do you raise money to get an idea off the ground, support a community, or help change the world? Take a crash course on the secret art of successful fundraising with development strategist Kara Logan Berlin as she shows how you can learn to ask for the resources you need -- and get them, too.”
The Role of Philanthropy in Decolonizing Wealth, October 2019 (15:00)
“Edgar Villanueva, the author of Decolonizing Wealth, joins award-winning broadcast journalist, Emily Kasriel, to talk about philanthropy's role in systems change and how philanthropic inequity can undermine democracy.”
Philanthropy Must Be Decolonized – TEDx, December 2021 (11:24) “Michelle Ramos calls for a shift to what philanthropy should have been all along — a resource for all, not just for some, and a force for good that shares money and control equitably, while empowering communities to lead and make decisions in their own best interests.”
Robert Reich: Is it time to rethink philanthropy? February 2019 (30:23)
“Philanthropy is often driven by the idiosyncratic pet notions of the very rich. It is an exercise of power that deserves our scrutiny, not our automatic gratitude. Reich says that philanthropy is at an ethical crossroads in which the heart often leads the head in determining which causes get showered with money while other, perhaps more deserving, ones go without.” (Also, see Box 11.7)
Advisory Board for the Arts: Redefining the Donor Value Proposition
Donor Research Findings for 2020, July 2021 (1:02:01) This video reports the results of member organizations asked about donor priorities and interests. Their website notes that the “Advisory Board for the Arts recently completed a massive research initiative around donor motivations and behavior, with over 5,000 surveys completed by current and former donors to arts organizations from the US, UK, and Canada.”
General Fundraising Resources

[Note: These tools and resources are not an endorsement of the services or products offered by the companies featured.]


Advisory Board for the Arts - Donor Research Findings – Presentation Deck

Here’s the link to a recap of the report noted in the video from the Advisory Board for the Arts on the Media tab.


Advisory Board for the Arts Website

“ABA's distinctive, data and insight-driven, shared learning network includes organizations of all arts genres across six continents. Our goal is a thriving global arts world, helping you build future audiences, future donors, and future artistic excellence.”


Americans for the Arts – Strategic Partners Webpage

“Our organization has a long history of partnering with individuals and organizations in sectors including government, business, philanthropy, and entertainment. From grassroots to grasstops leaders, we work with strategic partners to demonstrate the value of Arts &–whatever the proposition, the Arts can play an integral part in helping craft a solution.”


Candid, which was formed in 2019, incorporates GuideStar and the Foundation Center under one comprehensive website with sources of information about grants and research and access to GuideStar and other relevant resources.

·         GuideStar and GuideStar Pro -

·         Foundation Directory Online by Candid -


Candid IssueLab Webpage

Hundreds of reports and research about philanthropy and arts and culture


Charities Aid Foundation (CAF): “We’re a charity, bank and champion for better giving, and for over 90 years we’ve been helping donors, companies and charities make a bigger impact. Our independence, expertise and reach mean we’re uniquely placed to do this.”


Charity Aid Foundation – CAF Publications From UK Giving to the World Giving Index, our research and insight helps to develop a greater understanding of the charity world.


Chronicle of Philanthropy

“From deeply reported stories on the big ideas that shape the work of charities and foundations to the practical guidance in our online resource center, only the Chronicle of Philanthropy provides nonprofit professionals, foundation executives, board members, and others with the indispensable information and practical advice they need to help them change the world.”


Fundraiser Help - Corporate Grants for Nonprofits Source List

“List of corporate grants for non-profit organizations (501C3) from major corporations in the U.S. This list of corporate grant sources for nonprofits is current and provides links to the correct web page detailing how to submit your grant application.”



Free and paid content related to current funding opportunities


Giving USA Annual Reports

“Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy is a seminal publication reporting on the sources and uses of charitable giving in the United States. For over 60 years, fundraisers, nonprofit leaders, donors and volunteers, scholars, and other individuals who work in or with the charitable sector have counted on Giving USA to provide the most comprehensive charitable giving data available. No other source provides the context for annual giving like Giving USA.” [Note: A free summary of the annual report is available on their website.] makes the public IRS 990 dataset free to any nonprofit with an Internet connection at Also, discover who foundations are funding at For example, enter “American Ballet Theatre” in the search bar, and it will bring up a list of foundations that have supported ABT.


GrantAdvisor Website

“GrantAdvisor is a safe way to anonymously give and receive feedback on grantmaking. Nowhere else can grant seekers find public advice from peers on what it really takes to secure grant funding or where foundations can get free and honest feedback.”


GrantStation - A funder database that includes grant writing tools

(Membership fee but GrantStation has free webinar content available), Inc. offers nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies the opportunity to identify potential funding sources for their programs or projects as well as resources to mentor these organizations through the grant-seeking process.


HowlRound Theatre Commons Website

When Nice Isn’t Enough: How Arts Fundraising Can Evolve

Essay by Jackson Cooper, December 2, 2021

“How do we take the lessons of empathy, understanding, communication, and equity that we reflected on during a time of crisis and hold them close in our fundraising moving forward? It would be counterintuitive for our sector, one based on community and access for all, to lose momentum at a pivotal time such as this. We must also hold true our commitment to creating equitable space for all communities and turn intention into action when it comes to Inclusion, Equity, Diversity, and Accessibility (IDEA) efforts.”


Investopedia - Donor-Advised Funds: The Benefits and Drawbacks

By Mark P. Cussen - Updated March 28, 2022, reviewed by Margaret James and fact-checked by Kathrine Beer

“The percentage of rich people in America has risen substantially over the past several years. According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute Global Wealth Report 2021, which was released in June, by the end of 2020, nearly 22 million individuals with a net worth of $1 million or greater lived in the United States. According to Wealth-X’s Very High Net Worth Handbook 2021, philanthropy is the top interest, passion, or hobby of very-high-net-worth individuals in North America, cited by 31.2% of them.”


National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

“Elevating the art and science of charitable gift planning.”


National Philanthropic Trust

Publishes an annual update about Donor Advised Fund giving (DAF). It allows donors to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax deduction and then recommend grants from the fund over time.) 

General DAF Information:

Donor-Advised Fund Report:


Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity (PRE)

Offers a free document entitled “Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens.”


Race Forward

“Mission: Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture.”


San Francisco Ballet – Ballet Critical Relief Fund – March 2020

Here is an example of a successful online fundraising initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI)

“The Science of Philanthropy Initiative (SPI) is a research and outreach project that utilizes rigorous quantitative methods and partnerships with the philanthropic community to explore the motivations behind charitable giving.” (NOTE: The content on this site is for archival purposes only.]


Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)

The Four Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership (March 2021)

In the face of increasingly pressing systemic inequities, nonprofit boards must change the traditional ways they have worked and instead prioritize an organization's purpose, show respect for the ecosystem in which they operate, commit to equity, and recognize that power must be authorized by the people they're aiming to help.


Women’s Philanthropy Institute, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

“The Women’s Philanthropy Institute exists for that reason: to conduct, curate, and disseminate research that grows women’s philanthropy.”

Journals and Other Websites
Chronicle of Philanthropy – (Subscribe for full access and there are free daily email updates available.)
“From deeply reported stories on the big ideas that shape the work of charities and foundations to the practical guidance in our online resource center, only the Chronicle of Philanthropy provides nonprofit professionals, foundation executives, board members, and others with the indispensable information and practical advice they need to help them change the world.”

Inside Philanthropy
Free daily updates are available and there is a subscription required for full access to the website content.

Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing – (Subscription required or pay per article)
“Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing (previously International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing) provides an international forum for peer-reviewed papers on the latest techniques, thinking and best practice within non-profit and voluntary sector marketing. The journal provides a forum for those who are interested in the interface between marketing and philanthropy in its broadest sense (giving, benevolence, welfare, altruism, prosocial behavior and ‘doing good’).”

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly -Sage Journals (Subscription required or pay per article)
“Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), peer-reviewed and published bi-monthly, is an international, interdisciplinary journal for nonprofit sector research dedicated to enhancing our knowledge of nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and voluntarism by providing cutting-edge research, discussion, and analysis of the field.”

Successful Fundraising – A Monthly Report of Successful Fundraising Ideas, Strategies, and Management Issues
(Subscription required at

Journal Articles
 “The Social Bases of Philanthropy” by Emily Barman, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 43, 2017 - (Requires purchase to access this article)
Philanthropy—private giving for public purposes by individuals, corporations, and foundations—is a widespread activity. Scholarship on philanthropy is long-standing and can be traced to competing theorizations of gift-giving, wherein the gift has been framed as a case of altruism, self-interest, or reciprocity. Much of the resulting scholarship, in the disciplines of anthropology, economics, evolutionary biology, and psychology, has retained a focus on emphasizing actors’ motivations for the scope and scale of philanthropy. Although sociologists have entered into the study of philanthropy more recently, they nonetheless have made important contributions to its understanding by drawing attention to the social bases of philanthropy. Sociologists have done so through the study of the micro-, meso-, and macro-level factors that explain variation in philanthropy; the specification of the institutional and legal arrangements that permit philanthropy; and the delineation of the social contexts that shape the direction and consequences of philanthropy.

“Charitable Giving in Arts and Culture Nonprofits: The Impact of Organizational Characteristics”
Kelly Krawczyk, Michelle Wooddell, and Ashely Dias (Payment is required to access this article)
Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2017, Vol. 46 (4), pp.817-836
Considerable research examines the impact of nonprofit organizational characteristics on charitable giving. Unresolved questions remain, however, about the impact of specific revenue sources on charitable giving, and whether or not organizational characteristics affect various categories of private donations in different ways. This study addresses these questions utilizing an empirical model of organizational-level determinants of charitable giving that includes new revenue sources, and that examines the impact of government revenue in a more nuanced way. We also disaggregate charitable giving in arts and culture nonprofits into specific sources: individuals, trustees, corporations, and foundations. Using a large database of arts and cultural nonprofits and generalized least squares analyses, we offer a new contribution by illustrating the impact of additional organizational characteristics on charitable giving, and by empirically testing the established framework with the addition of new elements. Findings allow arts and culture nonprofits to make more informed fundraising decisions

“What motivates online charitable giving among unaware and not-so-involved publics?”
Moon J. Lee, Liu Xi, Public Relations Journal, Vol.11 (1), June 2017
We investigated whether providing social information, recommended contribution level, statement about gift impact, mission, and financial disclosure information influences unaware or not-so-involved college students’ online charitable-giving. An experiment was conducted with 224 college students. The findings suggested that providing information on gift-impact and organization’s mission statement had the most significant impact on latent publics’ willingness to donate online.
Link to PDF:

“Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding,” Cheryl Dorsey, Peter Kim, Cora Daniels, Lyell Sakaue and Brett Savage, Stanford Social Innovation Review, May 2020
Racial bias—both personal and institutional, conscious and unconscious—creeps into all parts of the philanthropic and grantmaking process. The result is that nonprofit organizations led by people of color receive less money than those led by whites, and philanthropy ends up reinforcing the very social ills it says it is trying to overcome.
Chapter 11 Case Study

Fundraising Challenges & Ethics

NOTE: There are often multiple ways to respond to a case study, although some approaches

may be better than others. Feel free to explore perspectives and points of view as you ponder

how you might resolve these situations. Ambiguities and missing facts in the case study are

intentional, and we seldom have the luxury of having all the facts at our disposal when trying to

make decisions.

Reading of the Will

You have been Director of Major Gifts for the Susan Nyman Performing Arts Center for 15

years, during which time you have become friends with a number of the Center’s faithful

donors. The Center has an operating budget of around $12 million, and you have been able to

build a solid donor base that brings in approximately $3 million a year in gift income.

Sadly, Randall Actwell, one of these friends you became particularly close with, recently died.

Actwell was a well-known philanthropist in the community. In fact, one of your performance

spaces is named the Randall Actwell Theater. It took you five years of hard work to get Actwell

to commit to a naming gift of $1 million, and it was one of your proudest moments.

About a month after Actwell’s death, one of the board members mentioned to you that there is

going to be a reading of the will for the family and close friends this week. You have no reason

to attend the 1:00 pm reading on Tuesday, and so you were surprised to get a phone call this

morning from one of Actwell’s lawyers giving you a heads-up that you’re named in the will. The

lawyer calls you back in the afternoon with the official news. Actwell left you a piece of choice

property in the community, which after a quick online search, reveals it has an estimated

market value of $180,000. The lawyer also tells you that the Performing Arts Center will receive

the remainder of Actwell’s estate once all the beneficiaries are paid. The Center will likely get

about $750,000.

Unknown to you, one of your less than discrete board members attended the reading of the

will. That evening, this same board member attends a garden party, and in casual conversation

with a group of people, including a local reporter, she mentions that Actwell had you in his will.

The reporter texts you the following day and wants to interview you that afternoon about the

Actwell will and the contribution coming to the Center. She says she is working on a more

comprehensive story profiling Actwell for the Sunday paper arts section, and her deadline is in

two days.

Rather than text, you call her and tell her your schedule is jammed up today (which it is), and

you can’t fit in a meeting. You give her a statement acknowledging the generous gift to the

Center and express your surprise about being named in the will. The reporter asks what you will

do with the money, and you deflect her question by saying you are exploring your options.

After you end the call, you begin to ponder what you should do again. Ethically, you know you

should not be profiting from your relationships with donors, and in fact, it looks terrible that

you were named in the will. However, you remind yourself the Center will get a big gift, which is

excellent news. You suddenly realize that you haven’t kept the Executive Director and your

boss, the Development Director, in the loop about this whole thing. Whoops. Emailing them is

probably not the best thing to do. The matter requires a quick strategy meeting. Maybe they

will have some ideas on how this bequest to you should be handled

You are still puzzling over why Randall willed you a piece of property. In normal circumstances,

it would be perfectly fine to accept this bequest. But as a development officer, you know you

are not supposed to benefit from your work with donors. You also worry if other wealthy

donors may have included you in their wills. What if this type of situation pops up again? This

kind of ethical gaffe could be a real problem. Besides discretely, how do you approach donors

to check they haven’t left you in their wills or estate plans?

Should you sell the property and donate the proceeds to a charity? Should the charity be one

you support or one that was Actwell closely associated with? Or you should take the proceeds

from the sale and donate the money to the Center? Is there an opportunity to turn this

problematic bequest into a win for the Center and get some PR value out of this donation?

Should you call the reporter back and give a more definitive statement about what you will do?

Your initial response could be interpreted to mean you are considering keeping the eventual

proceeds of the property sale.

Alternatively, you could take a less ethical path, sell the property, pay taxes, and invest the net

proceeds. You wonder if maybe there is a way to avoid taxes on the sale of the property.

Perhaps you could put the sales proceeds into an IRA? After all, ethics aside, you could use this

money to boost your retirement portfolio. What’s your risk tolerance level if your fundraising

colleagues find out what you did?

You step back and realize you can’t possibly think about keeping the money. How would this

look to other staff, your board, and other donors in the community? What a mess. (Adapted

from Marilyn Fischer’s Ethical Decision Making in Fund Raising, p 114.)

Case Study Post-Mortem

When you think about this case study, it’s crucial to expand your view of the issues it raises by

zooming out a bit. Here are a few things to consider:

Assuming the Director of Major Gifts (DMG) takes the path of publicly acknowledging that they

will not be benefiting from this bequest, the property will be sold, and the net proceeds

donated to the Arts Center, what steps do you think need to be taken to ensure this doesn’t

happen again? For example, if the DMG was following the ethical standards of the Association

of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), then why did Actwell bequeath the property to the DMG?

Shouldn’t Actwell have known that this would be a problem? Was Actwell not informed by the

DMG about the “rules of the road,” so to speak? The AFP Code states fundraisers should not

benefit from their professional relationships with donors.

Does it matter if the DMG wants to take the land sale proceeds and donate them to a charity

they support or that Actwell supported? Should the DMG have that discretion? Does the Arts

Center have any leverage over the DMG in how these funds are distributed?

What are some of the other issues that need addressing about how professional relationships

are managed between staff and donors? For example, whose job is it to provide oversight of

the Center’s fundraisers? Is it collaborative and collegial oversite of peers monitoring peers, or

should the supervisor be checking on the staff’s compliance with ethical standards?