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Know the West

Mostly you need faith

  Grassroots Grants: An Activist's Guide to Proposal Writing belies its title by first listing all the reasons why nonprofits should not chase grants. That's because only 12 percent of nonprofit funding comes from foundation or corporate grants, compared to 88 percent from individuals, writes Andy Robinson, who lives in Tucson, Ariz. To make matters worse, he adds, grants often come with strings attached and are seldom renewable. Why bother? Because the money is there and it forces an organization to get organized, says Robinson, a community activist for the last 16 years. He includes advice on understanding foundations, researching grant-makers, writing proposals and administering the money once it's granted. He also offers plenty of advice for battle-weary activists: "I've learned that real social change takes generations, and unless we're in for the long run, we just skim the surface and nothing really changes ' You need both balance and humor to survive, but mostly you need faith - faith in the power of change and your ability to create change."

For a copy of the 194-page book, send $25 plus $4 for shipping to Chardon Press, P.O. Box 11607, Berkeley, CA 94712 (510/704-8714); e-mail: [email protected]