Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Grant Program Guide

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1 Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Grant Program Guide Approved by Board of Directors: June 4, 2012 Due for Review: 2 nd Q 2014 About the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Grant Program The Hendricks County Community Foundation invests in effective Hendricks County nonprofit organizations and qualified charitable projects through the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Grant Program. This program provides grants to organizations to provide effective programs that respond to the needs of people in the neighborhoods and communities they serve in Hendricks County. Cycles Open To: ANY charitable group or nonprofit organization ALL program areas NO dollar limit Grant Application Grant requests are submitted through the Hendricks County Community Foundation s online application. A link may be found at See below for general dates applications will be accepted. Application General Timeline Cycle One Early February Mid - March March - April April Online application opens Applications due to HCCF Committee reviews applications Grantees announced and awarded Cycle Two Early September Mid - October October - November Mid - November Online application opens Applications due to HCCF Committee reviews applications Grantees announced and awarded 1

2 What We Fund / Program Areas We fund programs that contribute meaningful value and benefit the quality of life for Hendricks County in the following areas: The Arts Programs that increase art appreciation, public display of art, art conservation, audience development and art education Community Enhancement Programs that increase leadership development, community activities and quality of life Education Programs that increase knowledge of contemporary education issues, special needs and positive educational development Parks & Recreation Programs that increase the preservation and enhancement of parks, recreation and the environment Health & Human Services Programs that increase services to families and individuals in economic stress and programs addressing elder and special need issues Youth Programs that increase youth leadership and development What We Don t Fund Grants to individuals or families for personal needs Bands, sports teams or other groups without a philanthropic project Annual appeals, galas or membership contributions Fundraising events such as golf tournaments, walk-a-thons and fashion shows Projects aimed at promoting a particular religion or construction projects for religious institutions Operating and construction costs at schools, universities and private academies unless there is a significant opportunity for community use or collaboration Organizations or projects that discriminate based upon race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, genetic information, veteran status or any other category protected under state or local law Political campaigns or direct lobbying efforts by a 501(c)(3) organizations Post-event, after-the-fact situations or debt retirement Medical, scientific or academic research Publications, films, audiovisual and media materials, programs produced for artistic purposes or produced for resale 2

3 Tips for Applicants Read through the entire Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Program Guide before you begin. A sample Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund application can be found in the Foundation Resources section of our website: Applications will only be accepted via the online process through SmarterSelect. Be specific about what you are asking us to fund and your project s goals. Strive for brevity and clarity. We have to read multiple proposals, so we appreciate your conciseness. Do not use jargon, acronyms or technical words even though your proposal may be of a technical nature; this detracts from our broader understanding of the project. If you do not have a cash handling or financial controls policy, please see the HCCF sample attached. Feel free to use this as a template to create your policy. Send your proposal to other funding sources. With limited funds and the volume of requests, HCCF cannot fund all requests. Call or if you have questions or need assistance. 3

4 Grant Application Instructions Applying for a grant for the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund (DDOF) at the Hendricks County Community Foundation: It is strongly recommended that you complete and submit your program s application early to allow for any issues and troubleshooting that may arise. Please note that late or incomplete applications WILL NOT be considered. Please read the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund Grant Program Guide before applying for a grant. 1. To apply for the DDOF grant cycle, you will need to have a SmarterSelect account. If you already have an account, please login to continue. If you do not have an account, begin by entering the information required under Create an Account to make your account. 2. Before beginning the application process, please verify that your program is eligible for a grant by reviewing the Pre-Qualify component. Selecting Yes for both eligibility and criteria questions, you confirm that your program meets basic requirements for a grant from the Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund. Click Next. 3. General instructions for the application will appear. Fill out the questions on each page and click Next to continue. a. There is a navigation list to the top right under Pages. You may click on the components in this list to navigate around your program s application once you have already visited that specific section. A section will appear red if it is not complete and requires you to enter further necessary information. You may also return to your saved application any time before the deadline to update your application. To save and finish later, click Save and Finish Later at the bottom of the page at any point. b. Note that there are both SmarterSelect Tips and Help located at the lower right of each page for further online help. As always, feel free to contact HCCF if you need further assistance. 4. When you have input all of the required information and are ready to submit your application, click the Submit button. 5. You will receive confirmation after your application is submitted. Please follow the link to a brief Survey Monkey to help improve the process for next year. 6. When you are finished working in SmarterSelect, be sure to log out of your account by clicking Logout in the right upper corner. 4

5 Application Review Process The grant applications are reviewed by staff and the Unrestricted Grants Committee (UGC) Chair for completeness and fit to general Deedee Daniel Opportunity Fund (DDOF) guidelines. If more information is needed, you may be contacted for a phone conference or a site visit. Sometimes in order to understand a proposal in the context of the service field, staff may consult with outside experts, providers or funders. Proposals are then forwarded to members of the UGC for their independent review. Each member evaluates all proposals against DDOF criteria. The committee then convenes to make funding decisions. The committee may ask for additional information or research from staff and may choose to conduct personal site visits. Committee recommendations may be to approve (all or partial amount requested), offer a matching stipulation, defer (usually to obtain more information or evaluate outstanding issues or concerns), or deny. The committee also recommends any conditions attached to the grant. Grant decisions will be communicated by phone or in writing to all applicants. If funded, the grantee will be asked to sign and return a Grant Agreement in which the recipient acknowledges and agrees to the grant terms, payment schedule and communication and evaluation requirements. 5

6 Criteria Used to Review Applications When reviewing applications, we look for signs of efficient and effective organizations. We recognize that not every organization will meet all of these criteria. The criteria are meant as a general guide, not a definitive checklist. We believe there are many models of successful nonprofit organizations. Signs of effective organizations include: Sustainability Has the organization demonstrated its ability to attract the resources necessary to maintain its work? Does the organization have appropriate growth strategies? Effective operations Does the organization have the appropriate staff and internal systems to be efficient and effective? Is the organization fiscally responsible? Is the organization seeking alternative sources of funding? Proven success Does the organization have clearly defined outcomes towards which it is working? Does the organization have a track record of achieving its goals? Is the organization making a difference? Does the organization incorporate best practice approaches to serve its target population? Has the organization demonstrated its ability to measure success and impact? Strong leadership Does the organization have a clear mission and a plan for how it will achieve its mission? Does the organization have the appropriate management and board leadership to provide direction and oversight? Innovation and creativity Is the organization creative in addressing community problems or the needs of a specific population? Is the organization nimble and able to evolve to respond to the needs of its constituents and the community? Accessibility Is the organization knowledgeable about and have programs that are responsive to differences in languages, customs, abilities, gender, sexual orientation and race? Collaboration Can the organization identify peer organizations and clearly articulate how they are similar/different? Can the organization compile the strengths of multiple organizations to advance their mutual goals, share their combined knowledge and reduce duplication of efforts? Engagement Are the constituents, partners, and community leaders informed, involved and invested in the success of the organizations efforts? Does the organization engage its constituents in planning and evaluation? 6

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