FAQS: Nonprofits - The Long Island Community Foundation
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Which nonprofits are eligibile for grants?
Which nonprofits are eligibile for grants?

Most of our competitive grants go to public charities, or to groups sponsored by one. While our focus is on Long Island, we support some organizations headquartered outside the region. For example, our environmental and social work education programs are national. Grantees (or fiscal agents) should have a board of directors with at least five members, and no more than one paid board member.

What types of programs do you fund?
What types of programs do you fund?

We fund programs that promote change in policy or systems, build capacity of organizations, demonstrate solutions that address root causes of problems, serve low-income, underserved, or special needs populations and expand and/or improve direct service.

More information
What don't you fund?
What don't you fund?

We do not make grants to individuals, or for general operating support, capital and building campaigns, endowments, equipment, deficit financing, or religious purposes.

Can I discuss ideas with a program officer to make sure they are a good fit before submitting a proposal?
Can I discuss ideas with a program officer to make sure they are a good fit before submitting a proposal?

Because of the volume of proposals, we are not able to meet with organizations to help them decide on a project before submitting a proposal. Instead, we ask that you read our guidelines to ensure your project aligns with our grantmaking goals, then submit a proposal. Some proposals meet several of our goals. You do not need to determine the program officer(s) who will receive your proposal; we do that.

What happens to a proposal when it is received?
What happens to a proposal when it is received?

It is reviewed carefully. If it clearly does not meet our guidelines, the organization is informed within two weeks. Otherwise, it is assigned to a program officer, and the organization receives an email notifying them that the proposal is under review.

We first check to see if we have funds available in the particular category. The review then assesses the quality of the proposed project, the capability of the organization, and its relevance to our grantmaking guidelines. We often check out the organization with other funders and nonprofits and sometimes request a meeting. We also visit a program we are seriously considering for funding. Finally, staff makes a recommendation to our board.

Should we use a board contact?
Should we use a board contact?

No. Every proposal we receive goes through the same review process. LICF staff meet often to review all new proposals.

Why can't we get general support?
Why can't we get general support?

Our donor-advised grants are almost all for general operating support. Our competitive grants are for projects that allow us to advance the goals our board has set for each grantmaking program.

Do you give grants to individuals?
Do you give grants to individuals?

No.

Can we apply for longer than one year?
Can we apply for longer than one year?

No.

Can we apply for multiple projects in the same year?
Can we apply for multiple projects in the same year?

No.

Can we contact your donors? Will you tell them about our organization?
Can we contact your donors? Will you tell them about our organization?

We do not make our donors’ names and addresses available. However, we do make our donors aware of the great work of our grantees. Our Newsletter, Investing in Change highlights grants made, and is distributed to donors who are encouraged to call us about grantees featured in the newsletter and on our website.

Can we apply for a grant from a specific fund?
Can we apply for a grant from a specific fund?

Generally, no. However, we have several funds that use a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Information on RFPs
How much money should we ask for?
How much money should we ask for?

Our grants usually range from $5,000 to $50,000; an average grant is around $20,000. Often, a grant from LICF cannot fully support a project, so we will want to know where the rest of the money will come from.

Can we apply again if our organization has been turned down before?
Can we apply again if our organization has been turned down before?

Yes, but not in the same year. Only one submission per calendar year. Each proposal is considered on its own merits, but we discourage organizations from resubmitting the same proposal.