Research Friday: Research and Policy Briefs

posted by
Ahmad Naboulsi
Master's Student of

Public Administration

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit scholar, student, or professional to highlight current research reports or studies and discuss how they can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice.

Public funding for social programs is in a state of uncertainty due to our country's economic strain. While government-run programs are in direct risk of losing funding, nonprofit funding is precariously reliant on both a legislature driven to increase federal revenue, and philanthropists who expect tax relief for donating to charities. One proposed solution to increase federal revenue is to reduce the charitable deduction for high-income philanthropists. Many philanthropists and scholars oppose this idea, citing concerns about lower overall giving.

This policy brief examines how a charitable deduction cap of 28% of for high-income earners will affect philanthropic giving in the context of upcoming policy changes, current donor demographics, and the breadth and scope of nonprofit services.

Funding your nonprofit: Money’s out there if you know where to look

posted by
Sarah Ashlock,
Graduate Assistant, AzGates
ASU Lodestar Center

I recently moved from the Midwest to attend graduate school for English rhetoric and composition at Arizona State University. I was fortunate enough to be hired at the ASU Lodestar Center to be the specialist in charge of AzGates. AzGates is a unique section of the Center which some of you readers may be unfamiliar with. Essentially, it’s a grant-seeking tool for Arizona nonprofits both big and small.

You might wonder why such a tool is needed. If you work for a nonprofit but your position isn’t to seek grants, or if you simply help out your community in other ways, you may think it’s easy to find grants. When I first started, I thought I’d find them with the twitch of my nose or snap of my fingers and be able to easily pass them along to you. I quickly figured out that, despite the growing number of nonprofits not only in U.S and Arizona, there are very, very few resources that collect nonprofit grant information.

Boosting Arizona's Philanthropic Resources

posted by
Marissa Theisen,
President & CEO
Arizona Grantmakers Forum

In my last post, I highlighted the current status of Arizona's philanthropic sector, based on a research report released by Arizona Grantmakers Forum in January 2011. The report was based on 2008 tax data for both institutions and individuals. While the markets have rebounded somewhat since 2008 and thus individual and foundation assets have grown, it's unlikely that Arizona's relative position compared with other states has changed.

It seems clear that Arizona's philanthropic sector is underdeveloped relative to most other parts of the country. In addition, our low rankings on many social sector indicators suggest that some of the challenges we face are more severe than what other states deal with. Given the recent substantial cutbacks in state government support for many nonprofits, I believe the sector needs to get very creative about expanding revenue sources.

Research Friday: Current Status of Arizona's Philanthropic Resources

posted by
Marissa Theisen,
President & CEO
Arizona Grantmakers Forum

Welcome to Research Friday! As part of a continuing weekly series, each Friday we invite a nonprofit expert to highlight a research report or study and discuss how it can inform and improve day-to-day nonprofit practice. Today, we welcome Marissa Theisen of Arizona Grantmakers Forum to discuss findings from the 2010 Arizona Giving Report.

One never-ending concern for nonprofits is funding. Organizations must continually evaluate which programs get priority, and at times, make tough decisions as to which ones get cut. As a state-wide sector, it can help us to understand what funding looks like across Arizona. Arizona Grantmakers Forum (AGF) released a 2010 Arizona Giving Report earlier this year. It provides an overview of the size and scope of philanthropic activities in our state, based on 2008 IRS data. The findings reveal some interesting facts and raise serious questions about the funding of Arizona's nonprofit sector:

First, Arizona's institutional philanthropic sector is smaller than most states. Total foundation assets were just under $6 billion. Arizona ranked 40th among states in terms of private foundation assets per capita. Given Arizona's severe economic challenges, we don't anticipate any significant increase in the total size of our philanthropic assets over the next several years.


Thank you for visiting the ASU Lodestar Center website.
Please indicate how you would like to proceed.

Don't have an account? Register today!