Frequently Asked Questions
I understand that the Trust has started a strategic planning process and will change its geographic focus beginning in 2014. How will this affect my current application?
Letters of Inquiry and invited proposals requesting funding for 2013 will be reviewed according to the Trust’s current grantmaking guidelines. New grants awarded in 2014 will focus on organizations serving individuals in the Western Region of the United States and British Columbia, Canada. The Trust defines the Western Region to include: California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii. Changes in the Trust’s geographic focus will start with new grants awarded in 2014.
When will we know more about changes to the Trust’s program areas?
Part of the Trust’s evolving strategic plan is to steward future grantmaking into a few, more targeted issue areas. These areas are still under development and generally reflect a narrowing and refinement of the Trust’s current grantmaking interests. We anticipate sharing more details about the Trust’s new direction in fall 2013.
How do I initiate the application process?
The Trust has a two-stage application process. All new and past applicants must first submit an online Letter of Inquiry (LOI). After review of the LOI, the Trust will contact the applicant with the status of the inquiry. Selected candidates will be invited to submit a full proposal by mail. The Trust does not accept full proposals from organizations that have not been invited.
What is the application deadline?
There is no application deadline. Letters of Inquiry are accepted at any time.
How do I submit my Letter of Inquiry?
It is preferred that applicants complete an online Letter of Inquiry through this web site. If you have difficulty accessing the online form, please refer to the Tips for Using the Online Application System. If you are still having problems after reviewing this guide, contact the Grants Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-332-0166 for assistance.
How long does it take for a decision on my application?
Decisions regarding Letters of Inquiry to the Trust can take up to six weeks and decisions regarding full proposals can take between three and five months.
Can I fax or email my full proposal once I have been informed that I am eligible to submit one?
No. We only accept proposals sent by regular or express mail services that do not require a signature upon delivery.
How many copies of the full proposal do you need?
What should I do if I am having trouble using the online Letter of Inquiry system or logging into my account?
Can I set up a meeting with someone from the Charitable Trust?
An organization is expected to fully describe and justify its project in its letter of inquiry and full proposal. The staff at AdminiTrust is available to assist organizations that have questions by telephone or email. The Trustees or staff may request a presentation from a grantee, but do not host meetings to discuss prospective or pending proposals.
Can I apply for a grant if my organization has received past funding?
Yes. The Trust accepts new grant requests in the form of a Letter of Inquiry only after the current grant has been expended and a final report has been submitted and approved. Keep in mind that each funding request is considered individually and should contain all required items, even if your organization has submitted the items previously.
Is there a form to use for progress and final reports?
Narrative and financial descriptions of how grant funds were spent should be submitted according to the Guidelines for Grant Reporting included with grant award letters and installment payments.
What size grant should I request?
There are many factors that influence the Trustees’ decision on grant size including the size of grants awarded by other foundations. An applicant should request an amount that they feel is appropriate for their project and organization.
The Trust considers significant government funding to be over 50% of total revenue, and prefers to fund organizations receiving less than 30% of total revenue from government sources. Government funding includes all direct or indirect funding received by your organization from government sources. For example, it includes grants, earned income, and contracts from federal, provincial, and local government agencies – including public school districts and arts councils – and indirect funding including medical or social service reimbursement programs.
If my organization receives significant government funding, but the program for which we’re seeking funding receives no government funding, can we still apply?
No. We measure government funding at the organization level. If your organization receives significant government funding, it does not meet the Trust’s eligibility requirements and, therefore, the programs administered by your organization are not eligible for funding.
When an organization has secured funds from a broad base of diversified funding sources – including institutional donors, individuals, and local entities – and has been implementing a program that has demonstrated consistent, positive results for at least two consecutive years, it is likely to be viewed by the Trust as an established organization that has moved beyond its start-up phase.
Is the Trust interested in funding a new program that an organization has never implemented before?
Typically, the Trust prefers to fund an organization’s well-established programs, those which it has demonstrated experience implementing to achieve sustained, positive results. However, the Trust encourages creative approaches, especially those based in, or refined to take advantage of, new research findings or practical evidence. Therefore, the Trust will consider requests for new programs from organizations which are able to demonstrate the expertise to support a new program and past success in implementing similar programs.
What geographic areas do you fund?
The Trust makes grants to organizations delivering services in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong. Some special initiatives, which are by invitation only from the Trust, allow for grants in developing countries.
How does a non-U.S. organization demonstrate that it meets the requirements to be treated as equivalent to a nonprofit organization that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and not classified as a private foundation under Section 509(a) of the Code?
A foreign charitable organization can submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to the Trust through the online application system, as long as the organization and program meet the Trust’s guidelines. After the LOI is reviewed and a proposal is invited – during the proposal review stage – Staff will request an Affidavit and Schedule of Financial support from the foreign organization to determine whether or not it can be treat as equivalent to a U.S. public charity. These are Trust forms designed to verify the charitable purpose of the organization and the amount of public support it receives. As this process is quite involved, Staff respect the applicant’s time and, therefore, wait until there is strong interest in an organization before requesting the completion of the forms. Please note that Staff’s request that the forms be completed does not imply that an organization will be funded.
What type of organizations are eligible for tuition assistance grants?
The Trust will continue to provide tuition assistance through certain entities, including scholarship organizations, alliances, and regional funding organizations, although given the reduced budget for tuition assistance funding, grantmaking in this area will become even more competitive. Also, certain schools that serve either a 100% disabled population, or schools that receive less than approximately 25% of their total income from families, will continue to be eligible to apply for tuition assistance grants.
Do you make grants to individuals?
No. The Trust only makes grants to tax-exempt organizations which qualify as public charities.
What are the chances of receiving a grant?
A large number of worthy organizations approach the Trust for support. The process is highly competitive. Even if a project fits within the Trust’s guidelines, it may not necessarily be funded. On average over recent years, 60% of funding requests have been denied.
Should my organization still submit a Letter of Inquiry if we do not meet the Trust’s guidelines?
No. We encourage organizations to use resources wisely and focus fundraising efforts on funders with which their programs are aligned.
If my organization has been denied funding in the past, can we submit a new Letter of Inquiry (LOI)?
Organizations are eligible to submit just one LOI to the Trust in a calendar year, therefore, an organization must wait until at least the next calendar year to submit a new LOI. If an organization’s most recent request has been denied, we highly recommend a call to a Program Officer before putting the effort into submitting a new LOI. Unless an organization’s programs or circumstances have changed significantly, it is unlikely that a new application will be funded.
Can you suggest other funding sources?
The Foundation Center maintains a comprehensive listing of U.S. foundations and their areas of interest.
I have a question that is not answered in these FAQs. What should I do?
If the answer to your question cannot be found in the other sections of this web site, you may contact the Grants Manager, at 415-332-0166 or email@example.com.