How do I submit a Community Fund Grant application?
All organizations wishing to apply for a Community Fund Grant must submit a full application. Once the application process opens on April 1, 2020, the application form will be available at https://www.grantinterface.com/Process/Apply?urlkey=parkcitycf. All applicants should submit a full application by the deadline of May 7, 2020.
What are key elements of the grant application?
Please see the Review Criteria on the grant guidelines to learn what should be included. The application should include items such as the need being met, strategy to meet the need, goals/outcomes, future plans beyond the grant period, mention of any partner organizations, and amount requested. It is helpful to emphasize why the proposed activities matter, and what drives the passion of the organization to want to undertake these activities.
How many organizations submit applications, and how many then receive grants?
In 2019, 61 organizations applied and 48 received grants. The final number of grants awarded in 2020 is likely to be similar to last year.
How much should we request?
Grant requests may range from $1,000 to $10,000. In 2019, grant amounts awarded ranged from $1,000 to $10,000, with an average grant size of $5,084. Considerations to keep in mind when determining the request size might include the scale of the proposed program, the overall size of the organization, and the likelihood of other complementary funding being available.
How do you allocate the amount granted by sector?
Please see page 3 of the listing of 2019 Community Fund grants for a breakdown by sector. Recent years have seen Health & Human Services and Education together make up over half of the grants awarded. There is no predetermined allocation of grant funds by sector, and the distribution changes from year to year based on proposals submitted and evolving community needs.
Do you use a scoring sheet or rubric to rate the proposals?
To date, the Grants Committee has not used a specific scoring sheet or points-based system. Applications are assessed based on the Review Criteria listed in the grant guidelines.
Are projects funded outside of Summit County?
The focus of the Community Fund is to support programs that serve the greater Park City and Summit County region. Grants may include activities that provide benefits outside of Summit County, but the committee will mostly be looking at the aspects of the proposal benefitting Summit County and its nearest neighboring areas.
What elements of prior proposals have resonated strongly and made them more appealing?
Beyond covering the essential elements of the review criteria listed in the grant guidelines, applications are strengthened when they include a sense of where the passion for the program comes from. What led to these activities being considered important? Why are the organization and its partners committed to this program? How achievable are the proposed goals?
The committee looks for whether all the pieces of the proposal fit together and flow toward the proposed goals and outcomes. Section headings that indicate what criteria are being covered can be helpful in making applications more understandable. It is optional but acceptable to include appendices, quotes, brief stories, and a small number of photographs, if desired. Video links may be included, but given the number of applications, reviewers are not required to watch linked videos as part of the review process. If the grant proposal is a collaboration with another organization, it is often beneficial to get a letter of support from that organization to demonstrate the partnership.
What if the expected number of beneficiaries is relatively small, but the impact is deep?
For proposed programs that affect a small number of people, it is helpful to describe in detail how those people’s lives will be changed. This helps the grants committee better compare applications affecting different numbers of people.
Are general support grants ever made? (Note: we are encouraging general support grants in 2020 in light of the COVID-19 crisis)
Community Fund grants have occasionally been made for general support of organizations whose work is judged to be critical to the community, and where specific project funding might be a distraction from the larger goals of the organization. There is no specific preference given based on the size or age of the organization when a general support request is considered. The Grants Committee has the discretion – though it is rarely exercised – to make a general support grant instead of a grant for the specific project or program that was the subject of the original request.
Are capacity-building applications considered?
The Community Fund Grants program has occasionally awarded capacity-building grants. Examples have included areas such as board development, strategic planning, and communications, among others. These grants are relatively infrequent and make the most sense where an organization can clearly demonstrate how the proposed support will directly affect the scale and/or depth of their impact in the community.
Could a grant be made to help pay for an intern or staff member?
Some past Community Fund grants have included support for staff and/or intern positions. The key question for the Grants Committee is less about which specific line items are the subject of the request, and more about how those line items (staff or otherwise) are critical to the organization’s being able to accomplish the proposed goals and outcomes.
Should we apply for a new program or re-apply for the same program we’ve applied for in previous years?
There is no specific preference given toward new or repeat program requests. For a repeat request, some elements that might be helpful to include are what (if anything) is different this year; whether the needs the program has been meeting are as important as ever; evidence of success in achieving outcomes; and what the future outlook is for the program to possibly develop other sources of support.
For a large statewide program that includes many funders, is it best to apply for a specific piece of the program, or to ask for a contribution to the program as a whole?
Either approach is acceptable. As stewards of funds donated to benefit the local community, the Grants Committee generally prioritizes applications that include clear local benefits. For a large, statewide program, the reviewers would want to know: How does our funding fit into the whole? How will our funding benefit the people of Summit County?
Are applicants required to have 100% financial support from their board members?
The application process requires applicants to state what percentage of their board members donate financially to the organization. Being able to show 100% financial participation by board members can be an indication of board commitment to the organization’s goals. If an organization has less than 100% board financial participation, it is helpful to explain why – for example, the board may intentionally include very-low-income members who are unable to contribute financially. A specific percentage of board members making financial contributions is not required for the application to be considered.
Are multiyear grants available?
Most applicants should submit one-year grant applications. Park City Community Foundation provided four multiyear grants in 2017, another four in 2018, and another two in 2019. These multiyear grants can cover two to three years and it’s anticipated that a few more will be added in 2020. A handful of organizations that have received consistent grant support in recent years will be specifically invited to apply for multiyear grants. If a multiyear grant is awarded, continuation of funds beyond year one will be contingent upon an annual site visit, progress toward intended goals, and any other factors the grants committee considers relevant.
What kind of pdf format do you prefer, and how large can files be?
The only format accepted for document submission on the online grant application form is pdf format. The preferred pdf type for the application narrative is to convert the file directly from Word, Excel, or other software. Scanning application narratives to pdf files is not preferred, as that results in image files that do not allow easy copying-and-pasting of text; if direct conversion to pdf is not available, applicants may submit scanned versions. Scanned pdfs are acceptable for copies of the IRS 990 and similar supporting documents that may not be available in their original text form. File size limits for uploaded documents will be noted on the application form once the form is available online.
What are the reporting requirements for Community Fund Grants?
Community Fund Grants require a site visit about six to eight months after grant issuance. Grantees are encouraged to invite key staff and/or board members to the site visit; participants from Park City Community Foundation may include grants committee members, staff, board members, donors, and other interested community members. A site visit outline is available on the foundation’s Apply for a Grant web page. No written or financial reports are generally required of Community Fund grantees.
Over what period of time can grant funds be spent?
While there is no specific required spending period, Community Fund Grants are generally expected to be spent within twelve months of issuance. For the small number of multiyear grants issued, the spending period will extend to two or three years, with funding provided in annual amounts based on the original budget and/or other considerations.
Where does the money come from for Community Fund Grants?
Park City Community Foundation raises unrestricted donations through the Community Pass donation program and through unrestricted gifts from individuals, families, businesses, and donor-advised funds. The foundation has set aside $225,000 in unrestricted funds for the 2020 Community Fund Grants program. In addition, there are sometimes other donor funds that provide funding through the Community Fund Grants process; in 2019, $64,250 in additional funds were provided in this way, allowing for more full funding of some applications.
How do funds get allocated from donor-advised funds?
Donor-advised funds are directed by donors or others authorized to direct grants, and approved by the Park City Community Foundation board of directors. Foundation staff occasionally provide information to donor advisors on what nonprofits are active in particular areas of interest. Certain donor advisors may be invited to co-fund certain Community Fund Grants, at the discretion of the Community Fund Grants Committee and Community Foundation staff.
In light of the encouragement to apply for unrestricted funding due to the COVID-19 crisis, will award timing be fast-tracked to get funding to where it needs to go sooner? We are currently considering possibly notifying applicants around mid-June of their Community Fund Grant funding, and sending the grant checks at that time. This schedule will be finalized in the coming weeks. Any complementary funding through our Giving Together funding would be announced later, and we still hope to have our annual Community Fund Grants celebration in mid-December.
Will the site visit questions be different next year if an organization receives unrestricted funding in 2020? Not really. We will still be interested in your overall organizational progress, how you’ve adapted to the crisis, and you’ll be very welcome to highlight a specific program as well. The site visits have significant leeway for