Frequently Asked Questions
Although the questions and answers below may be helpful, we encourage you to reach out to the Foundation staff with any questions about the application process or to discuss your proposal.
My organization does not yet have it’s 501C3 designation, but we are currently undergoing that process. How should I go about applying if we do not yet have this but plan to secure this designation in the near future?
The Foundation can only fund organizations that have received their 501©(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service. If your organization is undergoing this application process during the time in which you submit a grant proposal you, will need to work with another nonprofit organization who is willing to serve as a fiscal sponsor.
Should I submit a hard copy of my proposal? May I send additional supporting documents?
We only accept proposals that are submitted through the grant portal, and no additional documents are accepted unless we request them for clarification.
I’m not sure which focus area my proposal will best fit as it could fit within more than one focus area. Should I list multiple areas or the area in which it is a stronger fit?
The Foundation focuses its grantmaking in five focus or program areas: 1) Education; 2) Neighborhood revitalization; 3) Arts and culture; 4) Environment and green spaces; 5) Positioning strategic assets. A more thorough description of these focus areas and the desired outcomes around each can be found under each focus area’s tab on the Foundation’s website. If your proposal could fit in more than one focus area, we recommend that you apply under the area that your grant aligns with the most in terms of outcomes and goals.
I’m not sure if my organization fits within the geographic service area, since we have multiple sites across the state. What kind of programs or organizations are generally funded under “The State as a Whole” umbrella?
The “State of Alabama as a whole” generally refers to organizations who are conducting advocacy work that fits within a focus area that benefits the state of Alabama as a whole. Some examples of these grants include VOICES for Alabama’s Children, A+ Education Partnership, and Alabama ARISE.
Our program budget for the project in which we are requesting funding does not involve many other funders or groups in which we are requesting funding. Will the Foundation generally fund projects as the sole or strongest funder?
The Foundation rarely makes grants for programs in which it is the sole funder. Support from diverse revenue sources is more sustainable over time, and the Foundation invests in initiatives that strive to be sustainable and effective over the long term. If you are seeking funding from the Foundation as the sole supporter of your project or program, we suggest identifying several other partners/ funders before applying.
My organization has had proposals declined in the past, but I feel that our current project fits well within the Foundation’s grant guidelines. Is there a mandatory waiting period before I can reapply?
An organization may only apply for a grant once in a twelve month period. If you have applied in the past and been declined, a Foundation staff member will be happy to discuss your proposal and how it aligns with the Foundation’s current focus areas.
Does the Foundation offer other means of support outside of the grants process, such as program related investments or other avenues of support?
Yes, in certain circumstances the Foundation may make a program related investment (PRI) or a mission related investment (MRI). These are considered to be recoverable grants and require a reasonable expectation of repayment. Examples of past PRIs/MRIs include short term loans and loan guarantees. If you are interested in exploring the possibility of accessing a PRI and MRI, you must contact a Foundation staff member before submitting a proposal.
Our organization is newer and we are seeking start up, partnership, or capacity building support. Does the Foundation offer grants of this nature to organizations that fit well within the grant making parameters?
Newer grantee organizations are more likely to be successful when applying for a program grant. Grantees who have had a previous relationship with the Foundation may choose to apply for a single or multi-year operating grant.
Once a proposal is submitted, how long does it take to go through the approval process and to receive funding?
The Foundation Board meets quarterly to review grant proposals. Grant applications are generally due six weeks prior to the board meeting. Funding of the approved grants is generally available approximately eight weeks after the grant application deadline.
Do I need to submit a grant evaluation or report?
Yes. Through the grants portal, you will automatically receive a Grant Status Report to submit prior to the anniversary date of the grant you have received. A completed Grant Status Report must be submitted.