This year we have redesigned and simplified the application process by which charitable organizations apply for grants from Stronger Philanthropy’s clients. Applicants will continue to use our Stronger Grants online portal and, once registered, can review available funding opportunities and apply.
The two stage process begins with the LOI (Letter of Inquiry) and, if shortlisted, continues with a Project Application. The LOI stage is simple to complete, using materials which are likely already on hand. Our goal is to minimize the work of beginning an application. The focus of the LOI stage is for our clients to gain an understanding of the charity’s organization and purpose.
In the LOI stage, we seek the following:
- Organizational video: This brief video will give viewers an overview of the work and an introduction to key organizational leaders. It can be homemade from one’s desktop or smartphone, or professionally-produced; either are equally acceptable.
- Mission and vision: We seek a description of these key anchors of organizational focus.
- Strategic plan: Whether it is one page or twenty, we request that applicants upload their most recent plan to allow our clients to understand where they are heading.
- Annual report, or copy of most recent newsletter: We’re seeking to understand how charities communicate their organization to others.
- Confirmation of CRA charitable status: A link to the organization’s CRA charitable registration database provides immediate organizational data helpful for our clients.
Clients of Stronger Philanthropy review all LOIs received and decide which organizations align with their funding priorities. Those that don’t are declined at this stage. If clients want more information, we request applicants develop a Project Application.
In the Project Application stage, we seek the following:
- Purpose of investment: We look for a one line summary of the proposed project. Click here for examples of how to do this well (please!).
- Requested amount: The amount requested should conform to the range indicated by the client on their profile page. (Note: Requests <$2,500 will only need to complete the first five questions in this stage.)
- Grant summary: One short paragraph describing the proposed utilization of funds.
- Term of grant: The term of the grant is the amount of time needed to meet proposed outcomes. Many grants are a 12-month term, but longer terms are also acceptable.
- Leader bio: A link to a bio of the leader of the project or organization.
- Project background: Understanding the rationale why an applicant is undertaking the initiative is necessary for our clients.
- Project plan: Applicants define their plan for utilizing the resources to accomplish stated goals.
- Project timeline: We want to know a simple timeline that outlines estimated key dates and accomplishments in undertaking the initiative.
- Project budget: Using a template we provide, applicants define estimated revenue and expenses for pursuing the planned project.
- Outcomes: We ask applicants to define up to three measurable outcomes for the project. This blog post gives assistance in developing these.
- Involvement: Many of our clients are seeking a practical way to engage with the projects they fund. Applicants are encouraged to creatively suggest options.
- Stakeholders: We ask for an overview of the top ten most significant donations and the total number of donors in the past year, as well as an estimate of the number of volunteers.
- Board of directors: Applicants upload their list of current board of directors.
- Financial information: We request current financial information (a high-level overview is satisfactory), as well as financial statements from the two previous fiscal years. All of these can be uploaded.
The timeline and decision-making process for each of our clients may vary depending on their own situations. We communicate these to applicants in the client’s profile page. These can be found under the Clients tab in the menu bar.
Our clients look forward to ways they can align their giving to good work being done through charities.