"Nonprofits are often built with remarkable resourcefulness—but a lack of sufficient funding is a serious threat to their ability to deliver social good."

-Philanthropy CA Full Cost Project-

Donor’s Resources

This page contains a substantial body of information that is barely known by the general public and should be. (Please share this information widely)! On this page, you will find videos, podcasts, and articles. These presentations come from knowledgeable sources including academia, organizations that support philanthropy, institutional funders, thought leaders, and those working in nonprofits.

Videos and Podcasts

The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong: Dan Pallotta is a controversial but none-the-less “must read” leading advocate for nonprofit capacity building. Anybody familiar with this topic knows about Dan Pallotta. You may not agree with him point-by-point but will hopefully appreciate his views on supporting nonprofits, not just their programs. Watch this video

Busting the Charity Overhead Myth: Most people believe that supporting anything other than programs is at best a necessary undesirable that should be kept to a minimum. This “overhead myth” video makes a persuasive case that overhead and running programs are inseparable, and that underfunding operational costs reduces core mission support plus weakens a nonprofit’s ability to deliver “high-caliber” programs. The author concludes by saying, “the strongest organizations are those with strong core mission support. Watch this video

A Proposal for Change, Talent-Investing: Rusty Stahl is the Executive Director of Fund the People. In this podcast he also discusses the overhead myth along with the scarcity mentality. Stahl talks about the talent investing framework, highlighting the importance of the intentional deployment of capital support. Listen to this podcast. You can find other podcasts by Rusty Stahl here.

Let’s Kill the Idea of Nonprofit Overhead: Amy Eisenstein is an author, speaker and CEO at the Capital Campaign Toolkit. She speaks powerfully on numerous topics including advising nonprofits to ask their donors to measure them based on impact, not overhead. Watch this video

The True Cost of Fundraising: The Nonprofit Council (NC) released this video featuring two women, Suzanne Wade, President at H-E-B, a for-profit company, and Susan Osborne, Executive Director at a nonprofit called CAMP. Wade explains that we cannot presume that people will know about her business, with the intention to demonstrate that the same need for marketing applies to nonprofits. Osborne refers to CAMP as “the best known secret” in San Antonio Texas, which should not be the case. Watch this video


Find more articles about paying what it takes here.

Pay What it Takes Philanthropy: This Social Science Innovation Review paper reports that the rigid 15% compensation from foundations for indirect costs does not match the 21-89% cost provided from nonprofits surveyed. Read this article

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle: This article was published by the Bridgespan Group. The authors state that nonprofits with a strong infrastructure are significantly more likely to succeed than those without. However, most nonprofits do not have this kind of support. Read this article

Find more articles about the nonprofit starvation cycle here.

Field Stories, Pierce Family Foundation: Donors might appreciate understanding the perspectives and processes of a family foundation that focuses heavily on talent investing practices with their grantees. Read the article

Case Making, Top Reasons to Invest in Nonprofit Talent: One key arguments presented here is that the business sector well-understands the importance of providing needed assistance, acquiring talent, and training staff. However, this is much less the case with foundations. It is worth noting that as of 2017 (somewhat dated) for-profit businesses spent $120 per employee compared to nonprofits that spent $29 per employee. Read the article

Guide to Investing in Grantee Talent: Fund the People provides a guide for donors with means who are interested in learning how to fund nonprofits extensively. Read the guide

Blog Post

Your Broken Chair is Not Your Badge of Honor: Vu is a strong, well-read, and known advocate for nonprofit capacity building. Read this blog post

  • Introduction

    Welcome to this series of mini courses. We hope to give individual donors a quick lay-of-the-land

  • 10 Ways To Fund A Nonprofit

    1. Program Funding: This type of funding is given to cover the costs of running programs, which

  • Donor’s Perspectives

    Many leaders in philanthropy support organizations (PSOs) believe that nonprofits could achieve a considerably greater impact

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