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Responsive Grants

Responsive Grants are awarded to respond to the expressed needs of the community.

Nonprofit organizations that are interested in applying should be addressing urgent community need, emerging opportunity, testing new ideas, or supporting proven programs. This program is designed to support organizations across the nonprofit sector – regardless of the subject-matter or area of need that they focus on.

Wondering if you should apply for a Responsive Grant? Here are some things to consider.

How this program works

Grant awards made through this program start at $10,000, and the grant term will generally be one year. The Foundation rarely commits to multi-year grant awards.

Organizations can apply any time but are only eligible for one Responsive Grant award per calendar year.

The Foundation's Responsive Grants review team will work together to vet applications as they come in. If you’ve worked in the past with a specific grants program officer please know that those individuals are now part of a collective team of professionals who manage the Responsive Grants program.

What we fund

Responsive Grants are awarded for charitable purposes primarily to nonprofit organizations or occasionally to public entities.

What we won't fund

This program will not fund individuals, event sponsorships, or capital projects.

Grants will not be made to organizations that owe the Foundation a grant report.

Here is the criteria we will use in reviewing your application.

Organizational strength

Your organization has demonstrated a clear mission and vision, sound financial health, capacity to learn from its work, strong board and staff leadership, and evidence of your connection with the community you serve.

Potential for community impact

Your proposal includes a well-defined problem or opportunity and is responsive to community need. You have provided evidence that your organization is well-positioned for the proposed work given experience, partnerships, and technical/content expertise. And, you have a path towards sustainability.

Sound implementation plan

You have provided a feasible and aligned project budget, demonstrate adequate capacity, and have a plan to track progress and outcomes.

Other

Alignment with available funds.

If your work aligns with our funding priorities, but your organization is not a designated 501(c)3, we may still be able to provide support.

We recognize there are meaningful efforts and entities without a 501(c)(3) IRS designation that align with our funding priorities. In these cases, we will consider grant applications from groups utilizing a fiscal sponsor that does have a 501(c)(3) IRS designation. As part of our review of applications from organizations that are using a fiscal sponsor we will:

- Assess the financial and organizational health of the sponsor as the potential (legally recognized) grantee.

- Review a signed agreement developed by the two groups outlining the terms and conditions of the sponsorship. Please include this agreement as part of your application.

For more information and recommended best practices regarding fiscal sponsorship relationships, you may wish to download this document.

We accept and review Responsive Grant applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. In general, the timeframe from submission of your application to funding decision will be six to ten weeks. Please note, decisions regarding applications submitted after October 1 may be made at the start of the following calendar year.

To apply for a Responsive Grant, please follow this process:

Prepare your application

The application package consists of basic information about your organization, a narrative with details about the project and expected outcomes, and a budget. Download a sample application and budget here.

To apply

A complete application package includes:

  • Completed application form, submitted through our online system; and
  • Completed budget form and other requested attachments, also submitted through our online system. The attachments provide us with the opportunity to get to know your organization, and proposal, better.

To complete an application that is already in progress, and to submit, please click here.

Responsive grant reports

If you receive a Responsive Grant, report requirements and deadlines will be described in your award letter. Please log in to your account to submit a grant report.