Grants FAQs

We can help you with answers to some of the Community Foundation’s most frequently asked questions.

GETTING STARTED

What internet browser do you recommend I use?
Can I e-mail or fax my proposal?
I can’t find the application I’m looking for.
Do I need to be a 501(c)(3) in order to apply?
Is an EIN or Tax ID Number required?
Can I apply for more than one project at a time?
Can I submit the same application to multiple grant cycles?

THE APPLICATION

Do I have to complete my application all at once?
Is there a spell check feature?
Why are there character limits to the application questions?
Will the Foundation follow-up with me if my proposal needs clarification?
What time do I need to submit my application by?

ATTACHMENTS

What file formats will be accepted for attachments?
I do not have the required attachments in electronic form? Can I make other arrangements to deliver them to you?

FINANCE & BUDGET

What is “in-kind” support?
Do I have to use the provided budget page?

TROUBLESHOOTING

Help! Why did I lose my edits?!
Why am I having problems uploading files?
How do I print my application for my records?


GETTING STARTED

What internet browser do you recommend I use?

Google Chrome 14 or higher, or Safari 4 or higher. You may use Internet Explorer or Firefox, but you may experience some technical issues and we do not recommend them.

(NOTE: At present, users of Safari 5.1.x may experience some technical issues. You should revert to Safari 5.0 or upgrade to Safari 6.)

Can I e-mail or fax my proposal?

No. Our grant applications are only available online. Please contact grants@gscf.org if you have questions.

I can’t find the application I’m looking for.

After you have logged into our online grants manger, click the “Apply” link on the left. This will take you to the list of Community Foundations. Find the Foundation in which you would like to apply, then put the corresponding access code in the Access Code box in the upper right and push the button. Scroll down below the access code list and a list of currently available applications will display.

If you can’t find an application here, its deadline may have already passed, or it might not have opened yet. Most of our applications appear online six to eight weeks prior to the deadline.

Do I need to be a 501(c)(3) in order to apply?

No. The Community Foundation will consider grant requests from all 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, government/public entities, educational institutions and churches.

Other organizations such as for-profit entities, volunteer groups, and individuals will only be considered if the request is for a charitable community grant. We encourage all other organizations to find a non-profit fiscal partner. If that is not possible, you will need to practice expenditure responsibility including submitting receipts.

Is an EIN or Tax ID Number required?

Yes. In order for the Community Foundation to consider your request, you must have an EIN or Tax ID Number. If your organization does not have either number, please contact grants@gscf.org before you apply.

Can I apply for more than one project at a time?

Yes. The online grants manager allows you to start multiple applications to the grant cycle for which you want your proposals to be considered.

Can I submit the same application to multiple grant cycles?

No. It is not possible to submit the same proposal to multiple grant cycles.

THE APPLICATION

Do I have to complete my application all at once?

No. At the bottom of the application is a “Save as Draft” button. We recommend you save your application often and before logging out. You can log in at a later time to continue working on your application. We recommend that you cut and paste your application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

Is there a spell check feature?

Yes. The system will check for misspelled words but will not check for sentence fragments or grammatical mistakes. We strongly suggest that you cut and paste into Microsoft Word.

Why are there character limits to the application questions?

There are limits on the amount of text you can submit. This helps to control the amount of reading necessary by the advisory committee members who are all volunteers.

You will see a character counter displayed below the entry field. This will actively tell you how many characters you have entered and will let you know when you are approaching the limit. You will not be able to save a draft of your application if you exceed the character limit.

You are not required to reach the character limit and your grant application will be considered regardless of number of character used.

Will the Foundation follow-up with me if my proposal needs clarification?

Yes. We suggest that you ask a friend or colleague to review your application before submission. Do they understand the project/request?

What time do I need to submit my application by?

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (CST) on the day of the deadline. You will not be able to submit your application after that.

ATTACHMENTS

What file formats will be accepted for attachments?

We prefer that you attach files in a PDF format (.pdf). We will also accept files in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx). Unacceptable formats include files with “exe”, “com”, “vbs”, and “bat” extensions.

I do not have the required attachments in electronic form? Can I make other arrangements to deliver them to you?

No. The online system will not allow you to submit your application unless you attach the required materials. If you do not have the documents electronically, you can scan the information into a PDF file. If you do not have a scanner at your organization, you can scan your documents at a copy shop or a public library.

You can also use the ‘Fax to File’ option located under ‘Tools’ section to the left of your application. Follow the instructions.

FINANCE & BUDGET

What is “in-kind” support?

In-kind support means items or services that are provided for your project at no cost, and items that your organization will contribute to the project. For example, if a consultant has agreed to provide free services for the project, you should list the fee that s/he would normally charge for the same service. If a business or landlord has donated office space to your organization, you should list the rent you would normally pay. The dollar amount you list here should be the actual or estimated cost of obtaining the same item/service.

Do I have to use the provided budget page?

Yes. Your application will not be considered if you submit any other budget form.

Here is a sample budget as an example.

TROUBLESHOOTING

Help! Why did I lose my edits?!

There are a few common reasons why this can happen:

  • If you stay on one page for an extended period of time without saving, your account may “time out” without warning.
  • A weak internet connection may momentarily disconnect your computer while you are working on the application.

As a safeguard, we recommend that you:

  • Save your application often
  • Cut and paste your application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore your edits, try:

  • Re-loading your internet page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of your page.
  • Logging out, wait a few minutes, and then log back in and re-open your application.

Why am I having problems uploading files?

Double check that there are no symbols in the file name, the file type and size are OK, then try one or more of these suggestions:

  • Sometimes the problem can be a corrupt file. Try saving a new, renamed version of the document.
  • Try saving your file as a different type. For instance, if you tried to upload a (.pdf)  file, try uploading the original Word or Excel version of this document. If it is a Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx) document, try saving it as a (.pdf) file and then uploading this version. If you scanned a document to create a (.jpg) file, try saving it in a (.pdf) format instead.
  • Use a different computer to do the upload

How do I print my application for my records?

If you would like a paper copy of your application for your own records, login to the application portal and choose the Application Packet link. This will create a PDF of your application. You can print or save this document. You will always have access to your application by logging back into the application portal, even after you submit it.

Upcoming Grant Deadlines

There are no upcoming events.