Cover: Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs

A Guide for Foundations and Nonprofit Organizations

Published 1986

by Rick Eden, David W. Lyon, Judith E. Payne, Alan Brink

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Indirect costs are costs for activities that benefit more than one project and for which it is difficult to determine how much each project should pay. When a nonprofit organization applies to a foundation for support, misunderstandings concerning indirect cost policies can arise between grantmaker and grantseeker. This report is intended to help parties on both sides of the grantmaking process to better understand the policy issues associated with indirect costs. It examines the range of foundation and nonprofit concerns, practices, and policies regarding indirect costs; develops a common perceptual framework for understanding indirect costs; and provides guidelines for presenting and reviewing indirect costs in proposal budgets. The report is based on interviews with representatives of community, corporate, and private foundations and with representatives of various grant recipients, including service organizations, teaching colleges, research institutions and universities, and arts and performance groups.

This report is part of the RAND report series. The report was a product of RAND from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.