Challenge: Funds that are given to encourage the support of other funders. If a foundation issues a $25,000 challenge grant, an organization must obtain the same amount, or more, from other sources before the grant is officially awarded.
Concept Paper: A one to two page document that briefly describes a project, the community's need, and budget. In other words, it's a condensed version of a larger grant proposal.
Evaluation: The use of research methods to study a program's function, effectiveness, and performance. Designed properly, an evaluation should yield factual, objective information. It is intended not only to show a program's strengths and weaknesses but also to help staff make informed decisions about changes or improvements.
Grant: A monetary award given to an organization for a specific purpose, such as a program or capital expense. Grants are given by entities such as private or family foundations, corporate giving offices or foundations, and governmental agencies.
Gift: A monetary award typically given by an individual or family, which may or may not be dedicated to a specific program or capital expense.
Guidelines: Information regarding a grant opportunity that includes instructions for writing the project's narrative, required documentation (such a detailed budget, audited financial statement, and 501 (c) 3 letter), deadlines, and other pertinent information.
In-kind Donation: Any item or service with a monetary value that is "donated" to a project.
Letter of Inquiry: A letter submitted to a foundation that introduces a proposed project. This is often used so that a foundation can determine whether it wishes to see a full proposal.
Matching Funds: Funds that are given to secure the support of other funders. For a $10,000 grant from a foundation, a one-to-one match would be $10,000 and two-to-one would be $20,000. A foundation may either require that a match be obtained from another funder or, when asked, serve as the funder providing the match.
Narrative: The written text that describes your project.
Request for Proposal (RFP): An announcement about a grant opportunity that typically includes the amount of funding available, eligibility requirements, scoring criteria, and deadline. This is most common with government grants.
Stewardship: The responsibility that an organization has to use a grant award for the program or effort for which it was given, to submit all reports required by the funder, and to honor all agreements connected to the grant award.
Area of Interest Definitions
Arts and Humanities: The foundation supports programs that give people the chance to create and enjoy the arts and humanities through different expressive forms.
Community Development: The foundation supports programs that improve the quality of urban or rural life, increase how quickly nonprofit agencies can respond to community needs, and promote private philanthropy.
Education: The foundation supports programs that encourage learning and development from early childhood to postgraduate education.
Environment: The foundation supports programs that maintain the balance, beauty, and health of the natural world.
Human Services: The foundation supports programs that meet the various physical and emotional needs of people - from food, shelter, and clothing to positive recreational activities.
Medical/Health: The foundation supports healthcare education and programs that give people the medical care they need.
Type of Support Definitions
Bridge: Funding to help an organization through a financial challenge or crisis. (An organization must show that it can sustain itself after the funding ends.)
Capital: Funding for (1) new construction, major renovation, or the purchase of permanent assets/equipment or (2) endowments.
Event: Funding to support a gala, fundraising event, or special community-wide activity. Expenses associated may include property rental, publicity costs, refreshments, and honoraria.
Operating: Funding to cover the ongoing needs of an organization and its infrastructure. Allowable costs may include staff salaries and benefits, office leases, and utilities. (Typically, foundations prefer not to support such requests. Organizations are expected to obtain this funding through individual and corporate donations or generated income.)
Program/Project: Funding to cover the expenses associated with a particular initiative. Allowable costs may include staff salaries and benefits, supplies, equipment, travel, office leases, utilities, and training.
Scholarship: Funding to attend an educational institution or training
Seed: Funding for a start-up or emerging organization or, in some cases, a new and potentially risky initiative at a more mature organization
Unrestricted: Funding for any expense the organization wishes to cover. (Typically, foundations prefer not to support such requests. Organizations are expected to obtain this funding through individual and corporate donations or generated income.)