The U.S. economic recovery has been slower than a snail’s pace, and news about foundation giving over the past year hasn't exactly been the most uplifting news. What seems to be good news—the Foundation Center’s June 2012 report states that “giving by the nation’s more than 76,600 foundations totaled $46.9 billion last year, up 2.2 percent—is overshadowed by the fact that "after accounting for inflation, foundation giving was down slightly from the prior year.” It reminds me of jobs reports.
Cultivating relationships with private foundations takes time. According to eCivis’ Vice President of Grants Professional Services Dr. Bev Browning, “At least six months or more of introductory emails, telephone conversations, face-to-face meetings, invitations to public events, and more need to happen” before an applicant approaches a private foundation. That kind of effort can seem like a disincentive for local government grant writers given that they already have tried and true grant opportunities to pursue at the state and federal level (not to mention that grant writers often wear several hats, regardless of job title).