Submitting a Successful Proposal

All grant requests of $100,000.00 or more will only be considered at the Foundation's third-quarter board meeting.

All grant requests of $50,000.00 or more will require a site visit by Grigg Lewis Foundation Inc. staff and members of the Board of Directors

Please plan accordingly, refer to the Application Tip Sheets, and contact the office with questions or concerns.

Basic application process principles:

  • Proper Email Etiquette – Much of our correspondence will be via email. All emails are saved in your file for future reference, and may be shared with the Foundation’s board members. They help staff to gauge the applicants professionalism, the ability to answer questions and provide information in a timely manner, and the applicant’s willingness to adhere to the grant process. We found the following link from the Naukri Blog to be very informative and relevant. It may provide some helpful tips to be sure you that you are leaving the best impression on the Foundation’s staff and board. – Tips for Email Correspondence.
  • Professionalism and Timeliness – Grigg Lewis Foundation Inc. staff relies heavily on our gifting timeline. Adhering to our document submission and Application Deadlines not only demonstrates professionalism, it enables our staff to perform their jobs efficiently and gives us adequate time to review your project in depth. Complete applications submitted promptly are greatly appreciated. Professionalism and timeliness may be a deciding factor when your grant competes for available funding.

Make your proposal stand out:

  • A successful grant proposal includes the presentation of an outstanding cause to fund, your ability to convey your passion for your organization’s mission, and the benefits of the project/program that you are requesting funding for.
  • Assume that Foundation staff and board are unfamiliar with your subject. No one is as fluent in your project as you are. You will need to pack a lot of information into short, hard-hitting sentences that keep the reader engaged and to adequately explain your project.
  • The Foundation invests in projects that will produce the greatest return/results for the community and the dollars granted, and we evaluate proposals based on that concept.

Identify other funding sources:

  • Please be sure you have researched, identified, and applied to other sources of funding for your program/project before you submit a Letter of Inquiry to us.  We will require a list of other funders committed to your project, or an explanation as to why other sources have not been sought. If you need help identifying potential funding sources, please email 
STEP ONE - Letter of Inquiry
  • Send a Letter of Inquiry as an introduction to your project which will help us to determine if there is a potential connection and interest for the Foundation to request a more in-depth proposal from your organization.
  • The one-or two-page letter suggests how your project fits into our gifting guidelines, the need for your project/program, the funding amount requested, all relevant collaborations, and all other funding sources sought.
  • If your request fits into our funding scope for the current quarter, we will send you an invitation to apply and instructions on what documents to include with your application.
  • Please do not skip this step. Your Letter of Inquiry helps to save you from preparing an application for a request that may not fit into our funding scope.
STEP TWO - Application
  • If your Letter of Inquiry is accepted, and you will be asked to submit a full Application via our website.
  • Please review the Application Tip Sheets below for a step-by-step guide through each process. 
STEP THREE - Supplemental Documents
  • A complete budget for the project or program – The budget should reflect the narrative section of the proposal and should make sense to anyone who reviews it, even if they are unfamiliar with your organization or project. We should be able to quickly review your budget and understand it. When developing a budget, outline the expenses planned for the term of the project and what the funds will be used for. Include line items that identify direct and indirect costs such as in-kind services. Your budget should also include an itemized list of anticipated income sources, such as approved funds, pending requests and any income you expect to receive during the grant period. If you are planning a campaign to raise funds for your project, explain your fundraising plan and the likelihood of success based on past experience. Make sure your budget is realistic and can be accomplished within the proposed amount and time frame. Verify that the budget is consistent with the project’s proposed activities and that the costs are reasonable. Although your costs are estimates, carefully calculate your figures. Try not to underestimate your expenses, otherwise you might be awarded a grant that is insufficient to fully fund your project. Do not inflate your budget to where the costs appear extravagant. Nonprofit Works provides many valuable templates for planning and budgeting on their website. Please take a few moments to review their Resources tab, or reach out to our office if you need more guidance.

  • The current/proposed operating budget of your organization – An organization’s operating budget is required for all capital campaign requests. 

  • A Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet or an Income/Expense Report – These financials pertain to your entire organization. Please make sure that the information contained coincides with your program budget. They will be reviewed together and must be consistent and supported by data.

  • A copy of your 501(c)3 determination letter – If you do not have a 501(c)3 determination, you may contact our office to verify that you are eligible to apply. Churches, schools, and governmental entities are eligible for grant funding and are not required to submit this documentation.

  • A list of officers and directors and relevant affiliation – Please include a list of your current board of directors.


  • All price quotes pertaining to your request – Price quotes must make sense when compared to the dollar amount you are requesting. They must coincide with your budget,  and adequately describe the work being done or the products or materials being purchased.


Upon receipt of all of the above documents, your request will undergo the review process. Grigg Lewis Foundation staff will prepare your request for consideration by our Board of Directors at a quarterly grant review meeting. If there are any questions or points needing clarification, you will be notified, and may be asked to submit additional information.

A representative from the Foundation, a board member, executive director, or staff member may call you from time to time, request a site visit, schedule an interview, or require additional financial documentation. Grantees may be subject to periodic evaluations.

Following our quarterly grant review meeting, we will contact you within a week with the Board of Director’s  decision. If/when your request is approved, a formal agreement and check will be mailed to you. The act of cashing/depositing of the check binds you to  conditions which may include:

  1. The Grantee shall expend grant funds exclusively for the stated purpose described below:
  2. The grant period will begin on the date posted on the enclosed check and will end one year from such date.
  3. Funds may not be used to influence public election, voter registration, to carry on propaganda or attempt to influence legislation.
  4. The Grantee has provided the Foundation with verification of the Grantee’s public charity status under Sections 501(c)(3), 170(b)(1)(A), and 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and agrees to notify the Foundation of any change in the Grantee’s status.
  5. The Grantee agrees that the grant funds will not be expended, transferred, or used for any purpose or in any fashion that is prohibited by State or Federal Law.
  6. The Grantee shall maintain accurate accounting records and retain records of receipts and disbursements related to the expenditure of grant funds and will keep such accounting records for at least two years after the end of the grant period. The Foundation may, on reasonable notice to the Grantee, inspect, audit, or copy the Grantee’s records pertaining to this grant.
  7. Using the Grigg Lewis Grant Follow Up Report and the instructions regarding its submission, which can be found on the Foundation’s website at, the Grantee shall provide the Foundation with a final report 60 days after the completion of the project or program supported by the grant, or 60 days after the end of the grant period. Please review the instruction sheet, and feel free to call our office with any questions. This completed Follow Up Report must be approved and on file before another grant to your organization will be considered. We look forward to hearing your success story related to this grant, and we reserve the right to share this information publicly.
  8. The Grantee may acknowledge the Foundation’s support of this project withholding the dollar amount in any or all announcements and written materials. You may describe the Foundation as “a private foundation established in 1968 through a gift by Henrietta Grigg Lewis, and whose areas of greatest interest include Arts & Culture, Community Improvements, Education, Elderly, Health & Wellness, History/Preservation/Tourism, Human Service, and Youth, with a heavy focus on benefitting the residents of Eastern Niagara County.” A copy of any announcements, including newspaper or magazine articles relating to this project must be submitted with Grantee’s final report.
  9. The Grantee agrees that if any part of the grant funds are not used for the stated purpose of the grant, if there is a change in charity status, or if there are unexpended grant funds remaining at the expiration of the grant period, the remaining funds shall be returned to the Foundation. Please contact the Foundation for instructions on how to proceed.

The Grigg Lewis Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to make funds available to charitable organizations with services or programs that benefit the residents of Eastern Niagara County. We want to see your organization making a difference in our community and our primary goal is to help you attain the best possible outcome for your organization. If we are unable to assist you financially, we will do our best to connect you to other funding sources and/or link you to services that may be beneficial to your mission.

If you have questions or concerns our office staff is available to assist you. Please call us during business hours: Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 4:00pm, or email us directly at

2023 Board Meetings & Information Deadlines:

Letter of Inquiry to be received no later than: 

January 27, 2023
April 21, 2023
*July 14, 2023
October 6, 2023

Application Deadline:
February 10, 2023
May 5, 2023
*July 28, 2023
October 20, 2023
Board Meeting Dates: 
March 28, 2023
June 15, 2023
*September 22, 2023
December 12, 2023

*Third Quarter – all grants of $100,000.00 or more will be reviewed at our third quarter meeting. Smaller grants will also be considered.