About The Project
The basic premise of The Foundation Project is that a focused initiative of national
scope will result in a group of stations, both individually and collectively,
developing proposals and "making an ask" that would otherwise not happen. Increased
cultivation of foundations, followed by more and better proposals, will produce more
grants and larger sums. We also believe that the power of collaborative proposals
will open doors to entirely new sources of funds for public radio.
The Foundation Project is an effort to help stations build grant opportunities into
their long-term plans, foster collaborations among stations and other partners to
create more compelling grant targets, and provide technical assistance in proposal
There are important obstacles to overcome.
Most SRG members have limited experience in planning, applying for, and administering
grants of significance.
Grant opportunities are rarely integrated into organizational plans.
Proposal development skills are weak.
Research and cultivation work needed for successful foundation fund raising is
time-consuming and costly.
Individual station projects often do not deliver the impact and visibility needed to
attract attention in the foundation community.
To gain foundation support at significant levels, public radio must advance projects
of significant scale. Stations, acting singly, generally cannot reach a scale that
attracts commitments from major national foundations. By developing projects that
bring together the resources and impact of multiple stations and other organizations,
SRG members can gain access to important resources that are now simply out of reach.
SRG will itself begin making the case for foundation support for groups of licensees.
This will involve both developing partnership projects that create a new capacity
among the participants and "packaging" existing activity at SRG stations in ways that
raise the profile for presentation to prospective donors.
To shape our foundation work, SRG contacted virtually all its members
to better understand our collective experiences and aspirations. The findings are
reported as Station Report: Where We’ve Been &
Where We Might Go.
We also know that one key to foundation support is strong, clear ideas for public
service. We began collecting suggestions from stations, which we report as
An Idea List: Collaborations and National Projects.