Research Initiatives

woman at diner booth doing work

AFP engages in several research initiatives and projects. Learn more in each section below. 

NEW: The AFP Wilson C. "Bill" Levis Fundraising Research Grant

The AFP Foundation for Philanthropy offers grants for up to $10,000 each year to individuals who wish to undertake research projects directly related to fundraising performance. It is presumed that any nonprofit organization involved in a study will be fully aware of the project and will give permission to the researcher to carry out the project.  Fundraising professionals who wish to submit proposals are encouraged to seek advice from or partner with academic institutions in developing the research design. The next deadline is December 31, 2020.

AFP Compensation and Benefits Study

AFP's annual survey and report provides valuable data about compensation for fundraising professionals in the USA and Canada. 

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

AFP proudly sponsors the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) along with the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.  FEP’s goal is to help nonprofit organizations increase giving at a faster pace, with a focus on “effectiveness” (maximizing growth in giving) rather than “efficiency” (minimizing costs). 

FEP conducts an annual survey, provides useful growth in giving performance measurement tools, and publishes gain(loss) statistics in a yearly report through a partnership between AFP, the Urban Institute, and participating donor software firms. 

Learn more—and access additional FEP reports and tools—on the FEP website at

Nonprofit Research Collaborative

AFP proudly sponsors the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) along with Giving USA, CFRE International, and other organizations.

The NRC studies, through annual surveys, charitable fundraising at nonprofit organizations and the factors that drive success and growth.  NRC research is distinctive because it does not track how much is raised, as other studies do, but focuses on “how” and “why” information, including asking open-ended questions and tracking responses related to specific fundraising methods.

Learn more—and access additional NRC reports and resources—on the NRC website at

Skystone Partners Prize for Research

Each year, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Partners Prize for Research to the author of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior. The Skystone Partners Prize is made possible by an endowment from Skystone Partners, LLC, and includes a cash prize of up to $3,000. 

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