A new working paper released in June calls into question a key assumption that many proposal writers have made for years--that foundations don't want to pay for administrative costs.

The paper is titled "Paying for Overhead," and it's based on research conducted by Patrick Rooney, the director of research at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Heidi Frederick, the assistant director of research at the same institution.

According to its abstract, the paper "examines the impact of foundations' overhead funding policies on educational and human-services organizations." The authors surveyed foundations and educational and human-services organizations and...

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