Unfunded List FAQs

The Unfunded List is a new and innovative program that gives helpful and candid feedback to unfunded grant proposals. Sometimes, people have questions for us. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions. What is the Unfunded List? The Unfunded List began in 2015 when a handful of volunteers asked social entrepreneurs around the … Continued

A Guide for Breaking into the Grant Consulting Field

As you can guess, the majority of our attention is occupied to giving the best unfunded ideas opportunities for support. On the flip side of this, however, is our desire to see talented young social impact professionals become more involved in grant consulting and evaluation. For one, it’s a great position to be in: you … Continued

“Date Your Donors” and the Rules of Philanthropic Relationships

Aspiring philanthropists and social impact entrepreneurs typically enter the fundraising game with limited guidance. As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a lack of transparent information regarding how funding is distributed and how funding should be managed on a basic level. Once these basics are mastered, however, startup organizations are faced with another challenge: building quality, lasting relationships … Continued

The Most Overused Words in Grant-Writing

Every profession has its fair share of mind-numbing jargon. Whether it’s marketing/business development managing to turn the word “expert” into a three-letter acronym (SME, in case you were wondering), or legalese squeezing the phrase “inflicted serious bodily harm” out of “injured,” everybody loves to finesse the english language to create their own form of career-specific inside-baseball. … Continued

Many Aspiring Social Impact Organizations Lack Key Information

A month ago,  myself – along with Unfunded List evaluation team members Daniel Karpantschof, Frances Holuba and Candice Cook – co-hosted a  session at the Nexus Youth Summit. Our intention was to provide live feedback to several proposals that had been submitted to the Unfunded List over the past several months. At the onset of the … Continued

Wounded Warrior Project and the Ethical Line

The New York Times’ recent investigation into the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has sent rumbles throughout through the philanthropy community. Over the past few years, WWP staff members have treated themselves to nights at five-star hotels, booked first class cross-country flights to attend minor meetings in-person, attended lavish conferences, and spent nearly 40 percent of their donations … Continued

How to get Noticed When Grant Solicitations are Invitation-Only

Foundations are inundated with thousands of grant applications, and the Unfunded List’s mission is to offer recognition and connections to the many organizations who apply for funding and do not receive it. Beyond this immediate issue, however, is another potential obstacle for promising organizations: there are many foundations who do not issue open grant solicitations, and … Continued

Will Arts Organizations be Left Behind?

As the tech boom grows in cities like Seattle and Silicon Valley, data-driven philanthropy continues to gain momentum. Wealthy young individuals from the “big 3” companies in Seattle (Amazon, Microsoft, and Google) are looking spend their money on projects that have have proven effective in solving major social problems. As a result of this trend, arts and culture … Continued

GiveWell and the Concept of Effective Altruism

We continue to focus on the growth of data-driven philanthropy in our latest Wine Grants podcast with GiveWell and Open Philanthropy Project (Open Phil) Program Director Alexander Berger. Much like Ryan Derfler, Berger is part of a burgeoning movement among philanthropists to ensure that money is well-spent on the most effective programs. Both GiveWell and Open … Continued

Disconnect in Silicon Valley

If you’ve listened to our Wine Grants podcast with Ryan Derfler, we recommend that you read his recent article published on LinkedIn, “Silicon Valley Not Taking Advice.” Derfler describes a fundamental disconnect between Silicon Valley philanthropists and the foundations and advisories they seek out for funding recommendations. Many of these philanthropists are finding this advice … Continued