Re: Re: Forward: success ratios for grant proposals

H. C. Covington -- I CAN America (
Sat, 3 Jul 1999 17:40:36 -0500

Dear Barry:

We totally agree with your comments.  In case there was any confusion, we do NOT
work on a commission or percentage basis.  Our challenge was to suggest that
others work on a set flat fee basis or on a daily fee basis in accordance with
the work required.  I have worked to STOP the practice of percentage based fees
in all the areas we work.  I believe it to be an unethical practice of our
business.  If there is any confusion, please let me know.  The comment in the
recent post was related to the fact that over the past 7 years over 90% of our
grant proposals have been funded.

H. C. Covington
I CAN America
The Rural Resource Collaborative
Lafayette, LA

----- Original Message -----
From: Barry Forbes <bforbes@CIVILRIGHTSFORUM.ORG>
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 1999 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: Forward: success ratios for grant proposals

I felt compelled to respond to the following post concerning "consultants"
who assist organizations in securing foundation and government grants:

I'm shocked and saddened to see that non-profit / mission-driven
organizations are hiring "grant writers" on a percentage basis. I was a
professional fundraiser, a member of the National Society of Fund Raising
Executives (NSFRE), and for eight years I was accredited as a Certified
Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) until I moved into management.

I urge you to hire professional, ethical fundraisers who subscribe to the
NSFRE "Standards of Professional Practice" (attached.)

-- Barry

Standards of Professional Practice
Adopted and incorporated into the NSFRE Code of Ethical Principles November

1. Members shall act according to the highest standards and visions of
their institution, profession and conscience.

2. Members shall avoid even the appearance of any criminal offense or
professional misconduct.

3. Members shall be responsible for advocating, within their own
organizations, adherence to all applicable laws and regulations.

4. Members shall work for a salary or fee, not percentage-based
compensation or a commission.

5. Members may accept performance-based compensation, such as bonuses,
provided such bonuses are in accord with prevailing practices within the
members' own organizations and are not based on a percentage of charitable
contributions raised.

6. Members shall not pay, seek or accept finder's fees, commissions or
percentage compensation based on charitable contributions raised, and
shall, to the best of their ability, discourage their organizations from
making such payments based on charitable contributions.

7. Members shall effectively disclose all conflicts of interest; such
disclosure does not preclude or imply ethical impropriety.

8. Members shall accurately state their professional experience,
qualifications and expertise.

9. Members shall adhere to the principle that all donor and prospect
information created by, or on behalf of, an institution is the property of
that institution and shall not be transferred or utilized except on behalf
of that institution.

10. Members shall, on a scheduled basis, give donors the opportunity to
have their names removed from lists that are sold to, rented to, or
exchanged with other organizations.

11. Members shall not disclose privileged information to unauthorized

12. Members shall keep constituent information confidential.

13. Members shall take care to ensure that all solicitation materials are
accurate and correctly reflect the organization's mission and use of
solicited funds.

14. Members shall, to the best of their ability, ensure that contributions
are used in accordance with donors' intentions.

15. Members shall ensure, to the best of their ability, proper stewardship
of charitable contributions, including timely reporting on the use and
management of funds and explicit consent by the donor before altering the
conditions of a gift.

16. Members shall ensure, to the best of their ability, that donors receive
informed and ethical advice about the value and tax implications of
potential gifts.

17. Members' actions shall reflect concern for the interests and well-being
of individuals affected by those actions. Members shall not exploit any
relationship with a donor, prospect, volunteer or employee to the benefit
of the member or the member's organization.

18. In stating fund-raising results, members shall use accurate and
consistent accounting methods that conform to the appropriate guidelines
adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)*
for the type of institution involved. (* In countries outside of the United
States, comparable authority should be utilized.)

19. All of the above notwithstanding, members shall comply with all
applicable local, state, provincial and federal civil and criminal laws.

For more information:
-> What is NSFRE?

Barry Forbes, Dir. of Community Programs
Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy
818 18th St, NW, #505, Washington DC 20006
Voice: 202-887-0301  Fax: 202-887-0305