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The Insider's Guide to Grantmaking: How Foundations Find, Fund, and Manage Effective Programs by Joel J. Orosz

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Chapter Four

Reviewing Proposals

The job descriptions of program officers in the more than fifty-eight thousand foundations across the United States vary widely, but if there is a single task that all share, it is that of reading, declining, and recommending proposals for funding. Doing this consistently well is at the heart of any program officer's job, but defining what is meant by “well” is notoriously difficult. Proposals are received in a truly infinite array. They can focus on virtually any subject, whether the foundation is interested in that subject or not; they can be terse or verbose, elegant or clumsy, brilliant or vapid, typeset or scrawled in pencil. No two are ever exactly alike, and no one can formulate a one-size-fits-all set ...

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