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letter of inquiry

How to apply — the first step is to submit a brief Letter of Inquiry. After a review, selected organizations will be invited to submit a full proposal.

For related information see: grants philosophy and process, grantee responsibilities, Responsive Grants overview, and grant cycles.

types of grants

Capacity building: Organizational initiatives that focus on building infrastructure to support an organization’s long-term growth and development to better fulfill its mission (e.g. strategic plans, board development, software upgrades, racial equity audits, revenue-generating staff positions).

Program: Continuing improvements to proven programs or projects, new initiatives, pilot projects, bridge funding, and capstone funding to show long-term impact. We encourage collaboration.

to submit

Submit your responses and documents on ECF’s online application system*. Download the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) or review all documents and deadlines. Please submit a Letter of Inquiry by Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 11:59pm

*please note we are now using a new grants system 

LETTER OF INQUIRY: ORGANIZATION INFORMATION
1. What is your organization/group’s mission and scope of work?
2. The Evanston Community Foundation is committed to an Evanston that is equitable for all residents. We expect our grantees to share in this commitment. Please answer the following:
  a. Does your organization or group have a written diversity/equal opportunity policy? If yes, please attach.
What year was the policy adopted? What year was the policy last amended?
  b. How does your organization’s leadership reflect the demographics of the community you serve to ensure diverse perspectives needed at decision-making levels? You may provide a rationale or action plan with steps toward diversity.
  c. Do you collect demographic information of constituents? If so, how? If not, what are the barriers to doing this?
  d. What progress have you made in the past year, pertaining to the above questions? (1200 characters)

LETTER OF INQUIRY: PROJECT INFORMATION
3. Grant type:
  a. Capacity Building: Organizational initiatives that focus on building infrastructure to support an     organization’s long-term growth and development to better fulfill its mission (e.g. strategic plans, board development, staff development, technology upgrades, revenue-generating staff positions).
  b. Program: Continuing improvements to proven programs or projects, new initiatives, pilot projects, bridge funding, and capstone funding to show long-term impact. We encourage collaboration.
4. Please provide a two sentence summary that captures the scope of the project. If your grant receives funding, this summary may be used in ECF publications. (350 characters)
5. For what are you seeking funding? If applicable, include how this qualifies as a program enhancement for an existing program. (2200 characters)

LETTER OF INQUIRY: TWO-YEAR GRANT REQUESTS ONLY
6. Why would a two-year implementation plan better suit this project than a one-year plan? (1200 characters)
7. If the funding request is NOT approved for a two-year funding period, for what amount would you like to considered for a one-year grant (maximum of $20,000)?

LETTER OF INQUIRY: CAPACITY BUILDING GRANT REQUESTS ONLY
8. How will this grant help develop your organization?
9. With this increase in capacity, how will your organization be positioned to better serve Evanston?

LETTER OF INQUIRY: PROGRAM GRANT REQUESTS ONLY
10. Why are you undertaking this specific program? What impact in Evanston do you hope to realize?
11. Who will be served by your program? How many are Evanston residents?
12. How will you strive to ensure access and break down barriers of participation in Evanston? How do you give voice to program participants in determining your current and future programming?

LETTER OF INQUIRY: FINANCIAL INFORMATION
13. Please attach:
  a. Project Budget (see template)
  b. Optional: a brief budget narrative to address any significant variances
  c. Current Fiscal Year-to-Date Budget to Actual, and Prior Fiscal Year Budget to Actual
  d. Page 1 of two most recent 990s (if your organization has been in existence for two years)

process

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