Increase Funding for Real Costs

The price tag for a nonprofit to fulfill its mission includes both direct and indirect costs. In order to create the outcomes we seek, it is important for both grantmakers to fund the real cost of doing the work, and for nonprofits to articulate what those real costs are. Forefront is developing tools and trainings to help both grantmakers and nonprofits address this issue.

Vision: Charitable organizations clearly articulate -- and foundations cover -- the real costs that are incurred to achieve their stated goals.

Long-term goals:

> 20 foundations in Illinois change their guidelines and practices to cover the real costs of running effective programs and organizations.
> 100 leading charitable organizations in Illinois utilize -- and 20 foundations accept -- budgeting tools that clearly articulate the real costs of doing their work.

Recent results: Last year, developed a comprehensive action plan to implement Donors Forum's Real Costs Initiative, and continued to serve as a national model for this work.

Work in progress: Our goal for this year is to have 100 leading Illinois charitable organizations trained on using budget documents that clearly articulate the real costs of doing their work; six foundations in Illinois initiate changing their guidelines and practices to better cover the real costs of doing better work.


> View our Real Talk About Real Costs video.
> Read our 2014 Statement on Full-Cost Funding.
> Download our Cost-Audit Tools for nonprofits and funders.

> A Graphic Re-visioning of Nonprofit Overhead (via Nonprofit Assistance Fund)

Members of the Funding Real Cost Strategic Initiative Working Group:


James Baldwin
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights

Mike Ban
Chicago Literacy Alliance

Matthew Blakely
Motorola Solutions Foundation

Jan Burdulis
Barat Education Foundation

Phil Carmody
Opportunity Knocks

Anna Carvlin
Respond Now

Johanna Dalton
Goldie's Place

Carla Denison-Bickett
The Cara Program

Emir Hardy
F.U.T.U.R.E. Foundation Inc.

Jennifer Husbands
Schools That Can Chicago

Kara Kennedy

Sybil Keys
Triumph Seminars, NFP

Rich Lalley
Operation Warm Inc.

Rose Mabwa
TCB Oakley Square Apartments

David Marzahl
Center for Economic Progress

Emily Muench
Jewish United Fund/Jewish
   Federation of Metropolitan Chicago


Kate O'Connor
Grant Healthcare Foundation

Mary O'Donnell
The Retirement Research Foundation

Nancy Phillips
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights

Christy Prahl
Crown Family Philanthropies

Jon Quinn
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Amy Rasmussen
Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Sejal Shah-Myers
Springboard Foundation

Christine Smith
HandsOn Suburban Chicago

Unmi Song
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

Diane Sotiros
Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

Nareman Taha
Arab American Family Services

Julia Talbot
City of Chicago, Department of Family and Support Services

Diana White

Lindsey Whitlock
Crown Family Philanthropies

Jill Wohl
Legal Council for Health Justice

David Wu
Pui Tak Center

Laura Zumdahl
New Moms