Please check back in August 2017 for Fall Cycle Dates and Details
Grant Application Guidelines
Exercising Philanthropic Leadership - General Information
The Montgomery County Foundation (MCF) is a community foundation whose mission it is to develop, receive, administer and manage under community control, funds, primarily for permanent endowments, received from public and private sources and to distribute grants for charitable purposes, primarily to meet local needs so as to improve the quality of life for people in Montgomery County both now and in the future. In partnership with donors and grantees, it seeks to build on community assets and meet community needs through responsible stewardship of funds and effective grantmaking. The Foundation reflects the special responsibility of a community foundation to support a broad set of activities that, together, strengthen the fabric of the community. The Foundation's goal in grantmaking is to strike a balance in strengthening the community's assets and meeting the community's needs for the good of all people, primarily in the Montgomery County area. The Grantmaking Policy must address the Foundations three constituencies:
Donors establish permanent funds for a number of reasons, ranging from providing scholarships to supporting specific non-profit agencies or broad charitable purposes. Grants from certain funds may be awarded with the advice from the donor or a committee that advises the fund. Other funds have been earmarked for and are of philanthropic interest such as arts, culture, humanities, human services, community economic development, education, public society benefits and the environment. The donor has entrusted the Foundation with the task of awarding grants that address current or emerging community needs. These grants are awarded through a review process involving input from the Grantmaking Committee of the Foundation and approval by the Board of Directors.
In an effort to address the Foundation's mission and to achieve maximum impact from its donors' dollars, the Foundation is continually reviewing and refining its grantmaking policies. The Foundation itself has collaborated with public, private and governmental funding sources to support research projects that will assist in establishing future funding priorities. As we move forward with our "active" grantmaking strategy, it will mean changes for the grantees.
The Foundation will assess the needs of the community each year and establish giving priorities. These priorities will support the Foundation's mission in the context of current economic, social and cultural conditions. The current climate of needs in the non-profit communities will also be reviewed. The grantees will apply in those areas of need (listed below) rather than submitting requests that address a specific program need within the agency. This active grantmaking lends itself to a community foundation philosophy of funding gaps in services, funding strategic collaborations, funding innovation and in collaboration with other funders and funding where the results of funding have a clear impact. For the year 2015, the focus is operating funds.
The Policy of The Montgomery County Foundation will reflect the Foundation's mission and the current economic and social issues facing non-profit agencies as they seek to build strong communities through their direct services:
- Most agencies are facing enormous changes in funding sources;
- Most agencies are facing pressure to collaborate and raise new dollars in the face of shifting priorities of funders;
- Most agencies are in need of general support rather than funds for new programming;
- Most agencies need technical assistance;
- Most agencies are facing major transitions in service delivery.
(Please be sure to read the Grantmaking Policy above as a pre requisite to the Proposal
The Foundation seeks proposals from agencies that enhance the quality of life for
individuals, families, and adults that demonstrate the following:
- Do not duplicate existing programs and services;
- Empower the disadvantaged or underserved;
- Are collaborative in nature;
- Have potential to become long-term solutions to existing or emerging social issues;
- Respect and embrace the diversity of the Foundation's service area while working
for the overall good of the community;
- Directly benefit the citizens of Montgomery County;
- DETAIL Measurable and Achievable outcomes;
DEMONSTRATE other sources of support, committed and potential;
- Are SUSTAINABLE after the funding period.
The Foundation does NOT provide grants for the following through the General
Distribution or the Special Initiatives or the MBF Center Fund grants:
- State or Federal Government Agencies;
- Organizations outside of Montgomery County, unless evidence is presented that their
work specifically benefits people in Montgomery County;
- Umbrella Funding Organizations for the purposes of re-granting;
- Support for religious indoctrination or activities;
- Capital Campaigns/improvements;
- Deficit financing;
- Support for equipment and supplies except as they are integral to the project/organization budget;
- Fundraising campaigns and expenses, and/or fundraising staff;
- Salary for new staff positions or for individual staff positions except as they
are integral to the organization budget;
- Lobbying, electioneering and activities of political nature;
- Activities that have the potential to support terrorism;
- Political activities of any kind;
- Ads, sponsorships, or special events.
Eligibility for Funding Through General Distribution:
Eligibility is limited to non-profit, tax-exempt organizations serving the citizens
of Montgomery County.
THE GENERAL DISTRIBUTION GRANTS WILL BE "OPERATING FUNDS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION". ONLY ORGANIZATIONS WITH A $3,000,000 OR LESS OPERATING BUDGET ARE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING.
For the year 2017, the General Distribution grant application process will begin with a Letter of Intent.
LETTER OF INTENT PROCEDURES:
The Letter of Intent must be limited to three (3) pages and must clearly define at least one organizational outcome and how it will be measured. These outcomes should be in your Strategic Plan/Business Plan and measurement of the outcome will be detailed there as well.
As the Montgomery County Foundation continues to seek to make a strategic impact in the non-profit sector, these grants will be directed towards maintaining viable organizations which will in turn strengthen the communities they serve.
These grants may not be used to fund a deficit (also see Guidelines for other exceptions).
LETTER OF INTENT MUST ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING: (Narrative must be limited to three (3) pages and must clearly define at least one organizational outcome and how it will be measured)
- Type of Organization
- Target population
- Number of unduplicated persons served in Montgomery County & Overall.
- Other funding sources
- Outcomes for the organization
- How the outcomes will be measured
- Describe financial situation in detail
IN ADDITION TO THE 3 NARRATIVE PAGES, YOUR LETTER OF INTENT MUST INCLUDE A COVER PAGE WITH THE FOLLOWING:
2. Name of organization
8. Hours of operation
9. Executive Director
10. E-mail Address
12. Name of Person responsible for the Application
15. E-mail Address
Your Letter of Intent will be reviewed and some organizations will be invited to provide a full proposal. If you are chosen to submit a full proposal, please read the section entitled Procedures to Apply for a General Distribution Grant. If invited,
Full Proposals will be judged on the basis of such things as:
- The capacity and past reputation of the agency for successful achievement of outcomes;
- The clarity and measurability of the outcomes;
- The completeness of the plans to fund the organization beyond the grant period;
- The feasibility of the time frame for the completion of the organizational outcome;
- Costs are commensurate with the benefits;
- Completeness of Proposal.
No grant application will be accepted without a follow-up report, if the applicant has received a grant in a recent grant distribution.
Particular attention will be given to programs that address low-income constituencies. Particular attention will be given to organizations that are already collaborative in nature. Particular attention will be given to organizations that have other funding streams. It is unlikely that new programs without a history will be funded at this time.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOUR AGENCY HAS RECEIVED GRANTS FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS, YOU MUST TAKE AN ENTIRE YEAR OFF. YOU MAY APPLY AGAIN THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
FOR THOSE AGENCIES WITH SMALL BUDGETS, GRANTS WILL NOT EXCEED 20% OF THE BUDGET.
General Distribution grants can range between $500 and $4,000. Grants usually range in the $1,000 to $3,000 area.
The General Distribution will address organizations whose focus is in the areas below:
- Current Issues for Children, Youth or Elderly;
- Preventative Services for Children;
- Youth or Elderly;
- Community Building;
- Education/Training for Children, Youth or Adults.
- Housing Issues
- Food Issues
These areas are currently and purposely broad in scope. As the Foundation refines its grantmaking priorities the broad issues may narrow in focus. The following categories of agencies may apply for grants: Arts, Culture and Humanities; Education; Environment; Human Services; Public Society Benefit; and Community Economic Development. When preparing your grant proposal, please indicate which one of the areas most closely matches your application.
THE FOUNDATION EXPECTS......
Grantees are expected to use their grants for the purposes described in the grant application, and to notify the Foundation immediately in writing if their needs or circumstances have changed.
Fulfillment of the Foundation's administrative requirements, including the availability for site visits and submission of follow-up reports regarding use of the grant and status of the funded project are expected.
Successful grant recipients are to inform the Foundation regarding the specifics of how they will announce and publicize their grants. These may include but are not limited to: announcements in newsletters and/or annual reports, presentation of grants at organizations' board meetings, or recognition of the Foundation at Special Events.
PROCEDURES TO APPLY FOR A GENERAL DISTRIBUTION GRANT: IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO SUBMIT A FULL PROPOSAL:
- Call or e-mail us for a grant application. Please make note of the Foundation's new address and phone numbers.
- No handwritten, emailed or faxed copies of Grant applications will be accepted.
- Do not send any materials other than those required documents listed in the application.
- Grant applications must be complete to be considered.
- Grant Applicants must provide services to Montgomery County.
- Grant applications will not be accepted if follow-up reports on previous grants are outstanding.
- Grant applications should pay close attention to Outcomes and how those Outcomes will be measured.
The complete grant application must be accompanied by the following:
- List of Current Board members names, addresses, and occupations.
- Board approved organizational budget including income and expenses for the 2017 year.
- Development plan.
- September 30, 2017 Profit & Loss Statement, Certified by the Agency Treasurer.
- IRS determination letter providing verification of 501(c)3 status (current copy).
- BCO (Bureau of Charitable Organization) license. It must be a current license. If Exempt, the official letter from the BCO stating that fact must be submitted.
- The audit of the most recently completed year including the opinion/management letter.
- Copy of the most recent IRS Form 990.
- If a school or library, please send a copy of the document that shows governmental status.
Please remember that if a grant has been approved, the funds will not be available until
ALSO PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED GRANTS 3 YEARS CONSECUTIVELY, YOU MUST TAKE THE FOURTH YEAR OFF.
Application does not imply funding nor does receiving a grant imply continued funding. Following the no application year, the three year cycle begins again.