What is the approval process?

In general, there are three steps to the approval process. All applicants will be notified of the status of their request at the conclusion of each phase. The Board of Trustees meets quarterly, so there are four grant cycles in which applicants can participate.

Step 1: Concept Letter

A brief concept letter (1200 words or less) should be submitted through the Foundation's website. To access the Concept Letter portal, applicants must first answer the qualifying questions and then create login credentials. The concept letter should explain the specific project for which funds are needed and the results anticipated if the funding is received.  If available, also provide the amount requested. Concept letters are considered on a first-come/first-served basis, therefore, it is advantageous to submit concept letters prior to the following deadlines to allow sufficient time for the application process.

Concept letters will be reviewed and either declined or approved for additional consideration. If declined, the applicant would be notified and would not gain access to the grant application portal. If approved, using the log-in credentials created, the applicant will be given access to the full grant application portal.

Deadlines for Concept Letters
  • March 15 -- May Board Meeting
  • June 15 -- August Board Meeting
  • September 15 -- November Board Meeting
  • December 15 -- February Board Meeting

Step 2: Grant Application

Organizations whose projects interest the Foundation will be invited to submit a full grant application online. Upon receipt of the requested application, some or all of the following steps must be completed by our office: staff review, executive committee review, an interview with the applicant including those who would play a significant role in the project if funded, a possible site visit, and reference check. Review of the full application can be expected to take as much as four weeks. Through the online system, applicants are not expected to complete the application in a single sitting, but may return to the application multiple times prior to submittal. In addition to a more complete description of the request, applicants will be asked to upload documents such as Form 990 tax returns, a project budget, financial statements, annual audits, and supporting materials.

Step 3: Approval of Application

Select applications will be forwarded to the Trustees for study prior to the quarterly meeting. The Board must approve any grants to be funded by the Foundation. Generally, applicants will be notified of their grant request status within 24 hours of the completion of the Board of Trustees’ meeting.