Call for Papers

Abstracts of up to 250 words are being solicited for Volume 6, Issue 3 of The Foundation Review. This issue, co-edited with Grants Managers Network, will be a themed issue on grantmaking practices, focusing on how grants are made.

Although many grantmaking institutions have refined their grantmaking strategies, few have focused on how their decisions on processes, policies, and compliance issues influence overall success. Efficient grantmaking practices, sound financial controls, and transparent, reasonable reporting requirements can maximize the resources available for mission-related activities and provide the data needed for decision-making. Increased attention on how grants are made can lead to field-wide change that improves the experience of philanthropy for all involved.

Papers are invited on topics including, but not limited to:

  • What are effective grantmaking practices in the application, review, approval, and reporting processes?
  • What evidence supports one practice over another?
  • What are key success factors in assessing and refining grantmaking practices?
  • What barriers prevent grantmakers from adopting effective practices?
  • What opportunities exist for the sector to collaborate on effective practices?
  • How can grantmakers be encouraged to adopt effective practices?

Submit abstracts to by Dec. 16, 2013 extended. If a full paper is invited, it will be due Apr. 1, 2014 for consideration for publication in September 2014.

Abstracts are solicited in four categories:

  • Results. Papers in this category generally report on findings from evaluations of foundation-funded work. Papers should include a description of the theory of change (logic model, program theory), a description of the grant-making strategy, the evaluation methodology, the results, and discussion. The discussion should focus on what has been learned both about the programmatic content and about grantmaking and other foundation roles (convening, etc.).
  • Tools. Papers in this category should describe tools useful for foundation staff or boards. By “tool” we mean a systematic, replicable method intended for a specific purpose. For example, a protocol to assess community readiness and standardized facilitation methods would be considered a tool. The actual tool should be included in the article where practical. The paper should describe the rationale for the tool, how it was developed, and available evidence of its usefulness.
  • SectorPapers in this category address issues that confront the philanthropic sector as whole, such as diversity, accountability, etc. These are typically empirically based; literature reviews are also considered.
  • Reflective Practice. The reflective practice articles rely on the knowledge and experience of the authors, rather than on formal evaluation methods or designs. In these cases, it is because of their perspective about broader issues, rather than specific initiatives, that the article is valuable.

BOOK REVIEWSThe Foundation Review publishes reviews of relevant books. Please contact the editor to discuss submitting a review. Reviewers must be free of conflicts of interest.

Please contact Teri Behrens, editor of The Foundation Review, with questions at or 734-646-2874.

Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's effective practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.

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