Got A Question?

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked ones, but you can always call or email us!

What exactly is ‘General Operating’ support?

General Operating support funds an organization’s mission rather than a specific project or purpose. You could also call it ‘unrestricted.’ This kind of financial support provides flexibility for your organization to approach your work as you see fit. In other words, general operating support means you don’t have to spend it on lightbulbs when what you really need is to pay the rent. 

How many grants can I apply for in a year?

One general operating grant per year – either the annual Simple Gifts Fund or the multi-year, renewable Basic Needs/Healthcare Fund, based on where your organization is most tightly aligned. You may also apply for a program grant under the Workforce Development Fund if you fit the criteria.

How do I know which cycle is the best fit for our organization?

You can read a detailed description for each fund under the ‘Apply for Funding’ tab. You can also reach out to the Foundation staff anytime.  Seriously – they would love to hear from you! Check the ‘Contact Us’ tab for the phone # and email info.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? (Asking for a friend.)

African or European swallow? According to the latest issue of Ornithology Trivia for Time Travelers, it’s roughly 20 mph. No ‘Gorge of Eternal Peril’ for you, my dear Monty Python fan. Good luck on your quest.

Who am I supposed to talk to at the Foundation? Don’t you have like 1000 employees?

Actually, we’re teeny-tiny! The Foundation has just three staff: an Executive Director, Michaelle Smith, and two Resource & Relationship Partners, Stephanie Self and Julie Hinkson.  You can pretty much talk to any of us about anything – our general email and phone number is on the Contact tab.

Why is the grant due at noon? Can I have until midnight on the deadline?

Our thinking is that no one should be grinding away on a grant proposal at five o’clock on a Friday. (11:00 pm? Horrors!)  Plan accordingly, and go have some ice cream to celebrate on Friday afternoon!

What can I expect in the pre-application call?

We love doing these Zoom calls!  We think the pre-app call is a great way for us to get to know each other better, and to give you a chance to ask any questions. If you are a new applicant and a good fit for the cycle, we’ll also ask you for some additional  information and set up a profile for your organization in our grant system.  Finally, you’ll get an email with the portal link so you can access the grant application.  

Is the application available in a language other than English?

Yep. In the submission portal, mouse over the little earth symbol on the right-hand side of the gray bar near the top of the page. Click on it, then you may choose from five languages: Chinese (simplified), French, Korean, Spanish, or Welsh. The application will be translated to the selected language. If another language is preferred, please let us know.

Must I complete the application in English?

No, you may complete the application in the language of your choice.

My spellign stinks. Will that affect ho3 my grant applicateen is perceived?

Rest easy! We do not evaluate your request based on your ability to spell ‘onomatopoeia’ correctly, nor do we grade proposals or reports based on grammar, or sentence structure, or inappropriate use of semi-colons. Our job is to understand how your organization is fulfilling its mission for the people you serve. If that isn’t completely clear to us, we’ll reach out for clarification.

What browser should I use when using the online application portal?

You can use any device, and it works with all browsers.

How do I save my application?

The system auto-saves your application every few minutes.  Be sure to click the ‘Save Changes’’ button every time you actually exit your draft.

How do you define the age groups in your applications?

We don’t require conformity to a set age range.   Our categories are ‘vague on purpose’ so that you may sort your data in a way that makes sense to you.  

How is my application evaluated?

Glad you asked!  We have a specific set of criteria for each grant cycle. Click to select the evaluation criteria for a particular fund:  SIMPLE GIFTS    BASIC NEEDS    HEALTHCARE  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Who will be reading my grant application?

Reviewers are staff and members of the grant committee  — about a dozen people total. The grant committee is comprised of a subset of our Board of Directors and come from across the Western Slope, with a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. 

Why do you ask us about the race/ethnicity of the people we serve? We serve everyone.

It’s not a question of discrimination – it’s about equity. Not what is offered, but what is accomplished. Let’s say ACME Organization states their services are ‘open to all.’ However, their demographics report shows that only 5% of their clients last year were people of color, yet people of color make up 30% of that county’s race/ethnicity profile. This indicates that ACME is not reaching a full 25% of communities of color, and should want to know why: is it their hours of operation? Transportation issues? Lack of bilingual staff? Trust? While the service may be open to all, it may not be accessible to all.

How will I know if the grant was awarded?

We’ll call you shortly after the Board confirms the grant committee funding recommendations, whether you were funded or not.  If funded, we’ll let you know  what the next steps are so the grant is paid out ASAP.  If your request was declined, we’ll tell you the reasons why.  Either way, we’ll follow up with written confirmation of the decision. 

How and when is the grant paid?

Our grants are paid out in full at the beginning of the funding cycle.  If you are awarded, you’ll get instructions on how to view and accept your award within our grant portal, and how to securely provide the banking information we will need to process your ACH payment.

Do I need to prepare for a site visit (ugh!) if I get a grant?

First of all, we agree: UGH!  No site visits! Too formal and time-consuming when you’d really rather be focusing on your mission. So we have chin-wags instead.  “What the heck is that??”  A chin-wag is British slang for ‘a friendly conversation or chat.’  We set aside time during the summer to get better acquainted with our funded partners, visiting with a few each year. These are totally informal visits – we have no agenda, and don’t expect you to plan anything special. We’d just like to hang with you for 30-60 minutes and chat.  When it’s appropriate, maybe take a tour of your place or meet your staff. Just get to know you better, increase our understanding of what you provide for your community, and give you a chance to ask questions. If one of our routes takes us to your neck of the woods, we’ll be in touch to confirm your availability and set up a good time for us to drop by. We hope we get to see you soon!

We were awarded a Staff Care award but I'm not sure how to use it. What kinds of things are appropriate?

This is an unsolicited grant awarded in the Focus Area Cycle and restricted to directly support the emotional and physical well-being of staff, including the ED/CEO.  Our Board understands that employees in the health and human service fields are often stretched to the limit and sometimes sacrifice their own health in caring for clients.  These funds are intended to mitigate that in whatever way makes sense for your organization. Here are some examples of cool things organizations have done with the funds:  massages, yoga classes, hot springs visits, gift cards for dinner/movie/local attractions, hip-hop dance classes, trail rides, picnics, ‘chill’ room, extra time off.  In some cases, our dollars have sparked matching dollars, or provided the nudge to create an ongoing wellness program. 

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