All large requests are reserved exclusively for third-quarter review. We encourage you to submit your Letter of Interest as soon as possible to allow for possible discussions on the best way to present a strong proposal. Once you have been invited to apply, early submission of your Application and supporting documentation is appreciated. It allows the Foundation the time needed for proper review and budgeting considerations.
With large grants, the application process becomes more involved. Our staff will guide you throughout the proposal process, provide feedback and suggestions for revisions.
If you have not sought other funding options or need help identifying other funding sources, we suggest reaching out to us early so we have time to research and plan around all other funding deadlines.
Planning for a Presentation to our Board of Directors:
All large grants will require a site visit tour of your location or a presentation to our Board of Directors in the Foundation offices. We will advise you as to which will be needed once all information is submitted. This is a standard procedure for all requests of $100,000 or more. It gives us a chance to get to know you and your agency better and to make a more personal connection. Please plan to have one or more of your board members and any frontline staff available to answer questions at this visit. Site visits and presentations are scheduled over the last two weeks of August. Further details will be specified in your Application Invitation, and you will be notified regarding your exact date and time slot by the end of July.
- Site Visits / Tour of your agency – Foundation board members and staff will be in attendance, so please plan for up to 11 visitors. We will be on-site for 60 minutes at a maximum and will maintain a strict schedule. The tour should consist of a brief overview of your agency and operations, with a more focused explanation of the program or project in question. Please be sure to highlight any major accomplishments or progress made in the last year, any obstacles that you have overcome, and any stories that can attest to the impact you are making. Touring your space, meeting your team, and seeing how your programs are managed is our ultimate goal.
- Board Presentation – We will host your team in the Foundation’s offices. Please be sure to bring a board member and a frontline staff member that will be involved in your project to help support your presentation. You will have 30 minutes to present your project and 15 minutes for a Q&A. We will wrap up promptly within 45 minutes. Please be sure to print your financials and any other materials you would like our team to review.
If you have any other questions regarding the Site Visit / Tour or Board Presentation, please feel free to call our office at 716-478-0002.
Completing your Application
As you begin working on your application, please be sure to save your work elsewhere as a backup. We suggest copying/pasting your answers from a Word document so that you have all of your information saved if something goes wrong. If you begin entering information and need to “Save and Continue Later,” an email link will pop up. You must save that link in order to gain access to your Application in the future. If you do not save this link, you will have to start over. We are not able to recover it for you.
- Please provide basic Contact information. We want the contact information of an Executive Director, CEO, principal officer, or trustee who is authorized to sign for the agency, even if you are applying as a grant writer or Program Director. The Executive Director will be responsible for the overall administration of the program/project and the distribution of grant funding. They should be aware of this grant request and approve all documents before their submission.
- The data requested in this section should come directly from your 501c3 determination letter, your Profit & Loss and Balance Sheets, and your program’s business plan. Please provide your Mission Statement, as it is written in your bylaws. Thoughtfully respond to the question regarding upcoming opportunities and challenges. Present a clear picture of where you are headed and how you plan to address any obstacles you may face.
Whether you are talking about your agency or your project/program plans, please assume that we know nothing about your organization or the work that you do.
We ask you to start this section with some basic facts. The Program Title, Amount Requesting, Program Budget, Start Date/End Date, and Hours of Operation.
The rest of this section asks you to explain the program in more detail.
- Is this a new program/project for your agency? If it is new, please tell us how the idea came about. If it is an existing program, please elaborate on why you need funding at this stage.
- Who will be supervising the program/project? Please tell us a little about your program director or project supervisor. How long have they been with your organization? What will be their role going forward?
- How many eastern Niagara County residents will this program/project target annually? The Foundation’s main focus is to support programs/projects that are improving the lives of eastern Niagara County residents. Whether your agency has brick-and-mortar in Niagara County or if you are bringing programs in, we want to know how many individuals your program will be affecting annually.
- What are the eligibility requirements to participate in the program/project? Are there membership, age, or ability requirements? Will participants be able to drop-in to this program, or will membership or registration be required?
- Please provide a description of the program/project and why it is needed. Include a summary of your request that identifies the project need and how you plan to address it. Be sure to include goals and objectives that are reasonable and credible. Write the summary after you have laid out other sections of the proposal, and consider having someone who is unfamiliar with the project review your summary to see if it succinctly explains the importance of your request. It will be very important to describe how your program/project is different from others that currently exist and why it addresses a significant community need. The needs statement presents a compelling argument for why your project is necessary.
- Please provide a list of all other funders that have been identified and the amount that has been requested/received for this project.Detail what other funding sources you have applied to and all funding you have received for this project. Please include all grants, donations, pledges, in-kind support, and public grant campaigns.
- How will the community/participants learn about this project/program? How will it be marketed? Explain how you plan to inform the community about your program/project or how you plan to increase participation. What marketing tactics do you currently use, and what other avenues do you plan to explore?
- How is this program different from other programs offering similar services in the community? Explain what sets your program apart from similar services being offered in the community or how it may enhance those already existing.
- Please provide a list of any other organizations collaborating on this program/project: Tell us about any other nonprofit organizations involved in your project or other nonprofit organizations you work with regularly.
- Will this program/project be able to sustain itself going forward, or will the agency seek additional funding to continue it? Describe how you plan to sustain your program after receiving this grant and whether you anticipate a future request. Explain alternate plans for revenue. Elaborate on whether you have the proper personnel to carry out the program.
- How does the agency plan to address the above needs and measure the impact this program/project will make on the community? How will you determine that your program/project is making an impact? What metrics will you use to measure your success?