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Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy

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 Prize for Research is made possible by an endowment from Skystone Partners to encourage advanced research that extends the knowledge of fundraising and philanthropy.

An invitation

Authors of published works on research in fundraising and philanthropy are invited to submit books or monographs for the Skystone Partners Prize for Research on Fundraising and Philanthropy. Other individuals or organizations can nominate appropriate publications.

To be considered for the Prize, works must be:

  • A book or monograph of 50 or more pages.
  • Published by a commercial publishing house or a professional organization during the 23 months preceding the current deadline (November 1 of each year).
  • Based on either applied or basic research.
  • Reflect a standard publisher selection process without regard to the source and sponsorship of the research.

The jury will not consider unpublished theses or dissertations, self-published works, directories, op-ed pieces, editorials, or articles.

Prize winners receive a cash award of $3,000 and are honored at the AFP International Conference on Fundraising.

Judging Criteria

The following criteria are used by the Research Prize Jury in evaluating the submissions.

1.      Research-related content: 0 to 3 points (30%)                                                 

  • Qualifies as research by one of the following:
    • Contributing new insights, concepts, or practices based on rigorous investigation
    • Providing a more accessible or deeper understanding of existing findings
    • Applying known concepts in a different or under-developed domain
  • Is not merely the author(s)' opinions or an unsupported statement of well-known lore
  • Makes appropriate use of existing literature in the field

2.      Potential for significant impact on practice: 0 to 3 points (30%)                   

  • Is topically relevant and has widespread applicability for members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Adds value to the current body of knowledge by providing useful and practical information
  • Is engaging and thought provoking, either through original discovery or by synthesizing the work and experience of others

 3.      Presentation: 0 to 3 points (30%)                                                                      

  • Is written in an enjoyable, readable, and technically correct style
  • Clearly states and realizes its objectives
  • Follows a logical structure with logical arguments and content
  • Clearly and accurately references sources where appropriate

 4.      Bonus: 0 to 1 point (10%)                                                                                  

A discretionary bonus for reviewers related to overall quality or if the book makes a specialized contribution that is important, but does not fit into the previous categories.

Application Deadline

For the 2016 Prize: Details coming soon.

Previous Research Prize Winners


Penelope Cagney, CFRE and Bernard Ross, Global Fundraising: How the World is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy


Noah Drezner, Expanding the Donor Base in Higher Education: Engaging Non-Traditional Donors


Brian Sagrestano and Robert Wahlers, The Philanthropic Planning Companion


Robert M. Penna, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolbox: A Complete Guide to Program Effectiveness, Performance Measurement and Results


Michael Rosen, Donor-Centered Planned Gift Marketing


Rachel M. McCleary, Ph.D., Global Compassion: Private Voluntary Organizations and US Foreign Policy Since 1939


Paul Brest and Hal Harvey, Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy


 Leslie R. Crutchfield & Heather McLeod Grant, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits


Emily Barman, CONTESTING COMMUNITIES: The Transformation of Workplace Charity 


Marybeth Gasman & Katherine V. Sedgwick, Uplifting a People: African American Philanthropy and Education


Richard P. Chait, William P. Ryan and Barbara E. Taylor
Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonrofit Boards


Lawrence J. Friedman and Mark D. McGarvie
Charity, Philanthropy, and Civility in American History


Diana S. Newman, CFRE
Opening Doors: Pathways to Diverse Donors


Lilya Wagner
Careers in Fundraising


Marilyn Fischer
Ethical Decision Making in Fund Raising


Katelyn Quynn and Ron Jordan
Planned Giving: Management, Marketing and Law

Honorable Mention:

Brian O'Connell
Civil Society


Robert Fry, Jr.
Nonprofit Investment Policies: Practical Steps for Growing Charitable Funds

Honorable Mention:

David C. Hammack
Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States


Kathleen Kelly
Effective Fund-Raising Management

Honorable Mention:

Dean R. Hoge
Money Matters: Personal Giving in American Churches


Dwight Burlingame and Dennis Young
Corporate Philanthropy at the Crossroads

Honorable Mention:

Virginia Hodgkinson and Murray S. Weitzman
Nonprofit Almanac: Dimensions of the Independent Sector

Albert Anderson
Ethics for Fundraisers


Douglas White
The Art of Planned Giving: Understanding Donors and the Culture of Giving

Honorable Mention:

Mary J. Oates
The Catholic Philanthropic Tradition in America

Dennis R. Young and Richard Steinberg
Economics for Nonprofit Managers


Mike Martin
Virtuous Giving: Philanthropy, Voluntary Service and Caring

Honorable Mention:

Robert H. Bremner
Giving: Charity and Philanthropy in History

Wesley K. Willmer
Winning Strategies in Challenging Times for Advancing Small Colleges


Lucy Rose Fischer/Kay Banister Schaffer
Older Volunteers: A Guide to Research and Practice

Joseph Mixer
Principles of Professional Fund Raising

Honorable Mention:

Kirsten Gronbjerg
Understanding Nonprofit Funding: Managing Revenues in Social Services and Community Development Organizations


Roger Lohmann
The Commons: New Perspectives on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action

Honorable Mention:

Peter Dobkin Hall
Inventing the Nonprofit Sector

Kathleen McCarthy
Women's Culture: American Philanthropy and Art, 1830-1930

Diana Tittle
Rebuilding Cleveland


Henry Rosso
Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising

Honorable Mention:

Eleanor Brilliant
The United Way: Dilemmas of Organized Charity

Fisher Howe
The Board Member's Guide to Fund Raising

James P. Shannon
The Corporate Contributions Handbook

Corporate Philanthropy Report
The Directory of Japanese Giving


Bruce Hopkins
The Law of Fund Raising

Honorable Mention:

R. Mark Dillon
Advancing Advancement: A Study of Fund-Raising Effectiveness Among Protestant Seminaries in the US

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
The Politics of Knowledge

Nancy R. London
Japanese Corporate Philanthropy


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