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Strategic Initiative Grants

Strategic Initiative Grants support organizations and programs that align with the Foundation’s strategic priorities - economic security, educational success, and healthy lives.

For each priority, we have developed a set of impact targets and strategies that our available grant resources can most effectively address. To be sure your work aligns with them, please read more here:

To determine if you should apply for a Strategic Initiative Grant, it’s important to know what we will fund, and what we won’t.

What we fund

We make Strategic Initiative Grants for program support, organizational development and capacity building efforts, and advocacy or systems reform initiatives. We provide general operating support to organizations that are central to progress in one or more of the three strategic priorities described above. We rarely commit to multi-year grant awards.

Grants are awarded for charitable purposes primarily to nonprofit organizations or on occasion to public entities.

What we won’t fund

The Foundation does 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.

Alignment

Your proposal aligns well with our strategic priorities and the specific outcomes and strategies we’re focusing on.

Potential impact

You have articulated measurable outcomes and demonstrated an organizational commitment to learning.

Implementation plan

You have presented a convincing workplan, timeline, budget, and evaluation plan for implementation.

Organizational strength

We seek grantees who have a strong programmatic track record, good business model, strong leadership, sound financials, and solid evaluative and planning practices. We recognize that organizations may be in different phases of maturity, but we want to see evidence that you are mindful of your organizational health.

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 Strategic Initiative Grant applications on a rolling basis throughout the year. In general, the timeframe from submission of your full 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

Stage one

Organizations are required to complete a brief pre-application. Out of respect for your time, we strive to be upfront about our expectations and parameters, and the pre-application enables us to confirm alignment and readiness. After review by the officer assigned to your sector – which may include an in-person conversation – you will be notified by email if you advance to the second stage to complete a full application. A sample pre-application is available for download.

Stage two

If you advance to the second stage, you will receive an email link inviting you to submit the full application within six weeks. The application package consists of basic information about your organization, a narrative with details about the project and expected outcomes, and a budget. For more information on the application expectations, a guidelines document is a available for download.

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

Strategic Initiative grant reports

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