Frequently Asked Questions About Our Granting
How do you make the grant payments? We issue a check for the full amount of your grant award.
Do we mention our collaborators? Yes, you need to list the organizations that you are collaborating with and what their role is in your project.
How much should we ask for, especially when our needs are so great and we want to ask for the maximum? We understand that our grants are small and often times cannot pay for the total cost of your project. It is important for you to select specific items that can be supported by the amount of money that you are asking for. We encourage collaboration, many of our grants provide seed money for organizations to procure other funding for their project. Some examples of this are; funding bioswales that cost much more than our grant, funding costs associated with starting new organizations dedicated to recycling and repurposing of materials or funding specific costs of a larger project.
What is an acceptable cost for the fiduciary agent (fiscal sponsor) to charge us? Some local organizations do not charge anything for being a fiduciary agent especially if the grant money is to be used for a single event such as a conference or hosting a speaker. Oftentimes, these are small microgrants. The fiduciary agent is responsible for how you spend the money. They would like assurance that you know how to manage the money, so is important for you to negotiate with them to learn what their requirements are and how you can help make their job easier by supplying the needed information. You will need to include this information in your interim and final reports to us. Some examples are a record of your expenses with receipts, any invoices for items that you have paid for, any records of payments made for personnel etc. The fiduciary agent is responsible for making sure that the money you receive is spent on the budgeted items that you submit to us. If for some reason your circumstances change after you receive the grant money and you would like to spend the money on items that were not in your budget you need to alert us and receive permission from us to go ahead with your revised budget. You also will need to inform your fiduciary agent. In cases where the fiduciary agent needs to cover their costs for providing oversight we recommend a cost between 5% and 15% of the grant award. We greatly appreciate fiduciary agents that can minimize this cost so that you can have the maximum amount of money for your project.
Can we apply for more than one grant at the same time for example a microgrant and a small or large grant? No. However, if you apply for a small or large grant and do not receive a grant award you may apply for a microgrant that same year.
If we do not receive a grant award does our project proposal move to the top of the list for next year’s submissions? No. You may reapply next year and oftentimes groups may revise their proposal. Your submission is not carried over to the next year. Each year’s grant awards are based upon the pool of applications for that year. Information about how we rate projects is available on our website.
When do you make your award decisions? We generally announce our awards in the spring (March).
When can we apply for grants? Small or large grant applications can be submitted once per year in the late fall (November to January). Microgrants can be submitted throughout the year except for the summer months of June, July and August.
Do we have networking capacity to help organizations connect to each other? You are welcome to look at our previous grantees and reach out to those organizations to try to collaborate with them. At this time we do not have a formal process for connecting groups. However, we do share our mission and goals with New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and recommend applicants try them for funding opportunities. CT Sustainability launched a new funding opportunity for grassroots organizations to collaborate with their municipalities to obtain funding using ioby.org as a crowd funding platform.
Do we list payments to youth as personnel costs? Yes. Please be clear whether it is a lump sum stipend or personnel costs based upon hours worked and hourly rate. Gift cards, for example, would not be listed as personnel costs.
What is not a permissible item in the budget? We will not allow anything described in the federal legislation governing 501 c 3 public charity status as not allowable including but not limited to lobbying.
How do we measure our results? We want applicants to think about how they can show the impact of their grant award outside of numbers and incorporate some qualitative reporting tools into projects and reports. Frequently used tools such as recording attendance at events, or number of events held does not tell us how, or even if it has made any difference. We are interested in addition to numbers the story of the impacts of your project, for example, using photovoice (picture with voice) to tell the story about how your project has changed the lives of people you interacted with.
Carefully worded surveys can elicit valuable information about any changes as a result of your intervention.
Other tools may involve keeping a journal about activities and meetings and any changes in the community that you have noticed as a result of your activities.
The tools that you use will depend upon the objectives that you have selected in your project design. For example, do you want to change policy or advocate for a specific change? Generally, grantees report number of events held, or how many people attended those events. Does this tell us anything about what happened as a result of your work? Qualitiative reporting might provide additional insight into the results of your project. How did it actually affect those that you interacted with?
We found this website discussing qualitative measurement tools to be helpful:
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