The Insider’s Directory Grants Data Base Contents:
One of the great features of our Insider’s Directory grants data base is that all funding records are formatted the same way.
So once you understand the details of one funding record, you understand entire Insider’s Drectory grants database.
The Granger III Foundation
Let’s review the details of the Granger III foundation, a sample funding record that is part of the Insider’s Directory data base:
Grants Cycle Date
The trustees for Michigan foundations will usually meet two to possibly four times a year in order to consider grant applications. We have researched the meeting times, called grants cycle dates. (‘Date’ for short, Column 1) For the purpose of grant applications, these dates fall about three weeks before the foundation boards actually meet. In terms of applying to these foundations, the best way to think of the grants cycle dates would be to consider these as your optimum grant application ‘deadlines.’
The contact information for the Michigan foundations listed in the Insider’s Directory will usually include the foundation: 1.) Name; 2.) Physical address; 3.) City, State and Zip Code; 4.) Contact Person—usually the person to whom the application should be directed; and 5.) Telephone Number—when available, this will be the direct dial number for the contact person. 6.) E-mail contact information—when the email address for the contact person is available, this will be listed in addition to the contact phone number.
Website: It might seem hard to believe in the age of the internet, but our research has revealed that almost 96 percent of Michigan’s independent foundations do not have a website. If a Michigan foundation has a website, the website URL will be listed in this column. If no website is available, you will see this listed with the remark of [No website], which is the case with the Granger III Foundation.
Submission: This information item provides details about the type of application approach the foundation prefers [Letter or Proposal]. Our research has revealed that over 85 percent of Michigan’s independent foundation initially request a letter from applicants, instead of a full proposal.
Contents of application: Most Michigan independent foundations are sketchy as to the types of application information they want to see from applicants. The Granger III Foundation for example, has over $6 million in assets and in 2013 the Foundation made over $1.4 million in grants. Yet, with regard to guidelines for grant applicants, the IRS Information Return for the Granger III Foundation merely states that applications “should be in writing and should include the use of funds and copy of exempt status.”
For independent foundations in Michigan with websites, our recommendation would be that the first communication with the foundation (usually a letter) should include: 1.) the applicant organization’s mission and history; 2.) the project’s proposed major strategies and activities; 3.) a description of key personnel; 4.) expected outcomes; 5.) the organization and project budget, and 6.) the expected use of funds for the project.
Attachments: Most Michigan foundations will require one or more attachments. These attachments might include the applicant organization’s IRS Letter of non-profit status; their most recent IRS Information Return (the IRS Form 990); their organization chart, and their most recent annual report (if available). In some cases, the foundation will also ask for an audited annual report. Such requests from the funder will always be noted in the Application Procedures column.
This column is designed to assist subscribers in estimating what the funding priorities of each specific grant making foundation might be. Our Insider’s DIrectory provides three types of information about the grant making priorities of foundations, each of which assist our subscribers in different ways:
Priority Funding Areas: These are the Insider’s Directory research-based estimates of a foundation’s funding interests, based on the information we were able to gather about the foundation.
Past Grants Made: Research has shown that an important factor in determining the funding priorities of foundations is the type of most recent grants made by the foundation. So whenever possible, we have included a link under the Funding Priorities column that will allow our subscribers to download a PDF file of the most recent grants made by each foundation. This feature is one of the most unique aspects of our Insider’s Directory funding data base because this allows grant applicants to create a good match between their grant application and the program priorities of the foundation.
With regard to our sample funding record, the link to find a list of past grants made by the Granger III Foundation is www.gri-mi.com/gr/Granger3.pdf.
In the majority of instances, the Limitations or restrictions that foundations specify will be the kind of limitations that focus on geography. This is because small and mid-sized foundations typically make grants in a specific geographic area, which is generally comprised of a city, a county, or possibly several contiguous counties.
On the other hand, larger foundations tend to make grants in an entire state, or in multiple states, or even in several countries. With regards to the Funding Limitations column, when Michigan foundations do make grants in all parts of Michigan, these will be noted in the Limitations column.