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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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The Five Steps in Setting Priorities

Step one: Identify a niche. In some cases, a foundation's area or areas of interest are determined by the will of the donor, and there is no need to consider any other area of work. In the case of the donor giving the foundation wide leeway (as did Carnegie and Rockefeller), the first step the foundation must take is to identify areas that need work or possible niches where the foundation could make a difference. Are there places where a little extra effort might achieve a breakthrough? Areas of promise that have been ignored by others? Preliminary work that could lead to greater things later on?

Step two: Review the literature. Once a possible niche has been identified, the foundation will need to learn what ...

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