Q. I am having problems using the online grant application system. What do I do?
A. First, please review the following: the Applicant Registration Tutorial and the Applicant Workflow Tutorial on the Grant Applications page – and our Important Online System Information for Applicants. The answers to your questions are likely available in these materials. If you still need help, email us at Grants@BallenIslesCharitiesFoundation.org.
Q. What is the difference between a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and a Grant Application?
A. The Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is a shortened description of your grant request.
Your LOI is very important, as it is the first step in the application process. It must be submitted to us by the date noted on the Home Page of this website.
Your LOI will be used by the Grants Committee to determine if your project or program appears to meet our guidelines.
The LOI process simplifies the grant application process for our applicants. With your LOI you will not be required to provide audited financials, 990 forms, IRS Determination letters, or income and expense reports.
After our review of all LOI’s submitted, we will notify all organizations whether or not they are to complete our full grant application form.
If you are invited to the second step in our process, completion of a full grant proposal application will be due by the date noted on the Home Page of our website.
We no longer accept paper LOI’s or applications and all submittals that do not meet our posted deadlines will not be considered.
Q. Can I submit more than one grant request per year?
A. Yes, you may submit as many separate LOI project or program grant requests as you wish. In the past, some organizations included multiple requests on one application form. This will not be permitted with our new online grant management system. You must complete a separate LOI request for each project and program that you wish the Foundation to consider. All applications will be linked to your organization and when you log in to the system to your Dashboard (Application Status Page) you will see all the individual LOI and later application requests you have submitted or have saved in draft format.
If you are invited to submit multiple requests, the Grants Committee member assigned to your organization will wish to discuss the priority ranking of all of your requests.
Q. Can I use the same project name as I have previously used?
A. You may use the same project name for a current request if the project is to be repeated and the intent and goals are the same. If more than one request is being made in a year, please use different project names so that the applicant and the Foundation can more easily identify each grant request.
Q. I have just completed my Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Will I have to enter the same information in my application if I am invited to complete my proposal?
A. If you are invited to complete the grant application process, our online system will pre-fill any fields on your application that were completed during the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) stage. You can review and update this information at that time if circumstances have changed. The complete application will have other questions to complete and will require the uploading of financial files and documents.
In addition, you can always return to the Dashboard page and review all of the forms you have completed. Also, you can click on the PDF icon on the top of any of your applications and print a copy of all questions and your answers.
Q. My organization is based in another Florida county but serves clients in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and West Palm Beach. Are we eligible to apply?
A. Yes. However, a successful application from a non-local organization will need to demonstrate a very good understanding of, and connection to, the Northern Palm Beach County towns that we principally fund. In addition, details on the number of clients served in our principal geographic area will be required.
Q. Do you fund General Operating Expenses and salaries?
A. No, we do not specifically fund General Operating expenses. We only fund projects and programs that can be clearly defined, budgeted, and measured for successful implementation. Costs should be directly attributable to your project. However, we do believe some indirect costs may be necessary for a project’s success and we will support those within reason. These indirect costs are general and administrative expenses that are necessary to effectively deliver your project or program, but that are not readily identified with or attributable to a specific project.
Q. Are there any restrictions on the amount or length of a grant?
A. Our Foundation does not fund multi-year grants. Organizations are more than welcome to reapply next year for another grant to support the same project or program that we funded in the prior year. Although we have no restrictions on grant size, to date, our grants have ranged from $2,000 to $20,000.
Q. Will the timing of when a grant is issued impact my project timeline?
A. It is important that you are aware of when our foundation issues funds to those organizations chosen as recipients. We post the date of when we will award our grants on the Home Page of our web site under Grants Process. You should carefully consider how this date could impact your ability to conduct your project and whether our timing fits your requirements.
Q. What if I am unable to meet your posted deadlines?
A. We will not accept any LOI or application that does not meet our posted deadlines. Further, we will not accept paper LOIs or applications, or any part thereof, in order to meet any deadline requirement.
Q. If a grant is awarded, will it be for the full amount of the grant request?
A. Not necessarily. We review a number of factors to determine what amount we will offer. One of the key factors is our expected fundraising success. We will advise successful applicants of our actual grant amount and recognize that your intended outcomes may need to be adjusted as a result.
Q. Who reviews grant applications and makes award decisions?
A. All Letters of Inquiry are reviewed by the Grants Committee of the BallenIsles Charities Foundation. This committee of 11 resident volunteers is appointed by the Foundation Board of Directors. Committee members review all applications and advise the Board of all applications that meet our guidelines, goals and priorities. The Board makes all final decisions on grant awards in December of each year.
Q. Is there an appeal process?
A. We do not have an appeal process. Often projects or programs that meet our guidelines, goals and priorities are still not funded simply because we have limited funds and had to make difficult choices.
Q. My Letter of Inquiry (LOI) or grant application was turned down. Can I find out why?
A. No, we generally do not discuss the specifics of each grant submission with our applicants. After reviewing all applications at any stage in the process, we will communicate our specific conclusion about your application. We do not have the resources to fund every request, competition for grants is very strong, and, often we must choose one excellent project over another. In all cases, we thank our applicants for the wonderful work they are doing on behalf of our local community.
Q. My organization was previously awarded a grant from the BallenIsles Charities Foundation. Where can I find information about my required submission of a Grant Accountability Report? Can I still apply for a new grant if I have not completed this report?
A. All applications and reporting on prior year grants must be done using our online grant management system. We no longer accept paper or email applications and reports. If you have previously been awarded a grant, you will find your application on your Dashboard (Application Status Page) once you log in with your user name and password. On the Dashboard page, you will see your grant history and your assigned Grant Accountability Report as a Follow-Up. You provided the Due Date to the Foundation in your signed Grant Agreement letter. You should click Edit and you will navigate to the report form. Please complete the report by your due date or advise us of any delays at Grants@BallenIslesCharitiesFoundation.org.
In some cases the expected completion of an earlier grant project is later than our current year application deadlines. We understand this may happen because of the timing of your specific project or program. You can submit a new grant request now even though you have not completed the use of your previously awarded funds. You will find a specific set of instructions on your new application on our requirements to require an Interim Grant Accountability Report submission no later than November 1 unless this date is later than your already scheduled final report. Also, the Grants Committee member who will be reviewing your application will schedule a meeting to discuss both your current status and the details of your new request. It would be very helpful for you to be prepared to give an oral interim report to our Committee member at that meeting so that they can adequately represent your organization’s current and prior grant activities to the full committee during our deliberations of all grant requests.
Q. What email address will the Foundation use when communicating with me?
A. Most Foundation emails to you concerning your LOI or Application will be sent through our online system. This system serves hundred of foundations so the email address is somewhat generic. It is firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, you may also receive emails from Grants@BallenIslesCharitiesFoundation.org as these are emails from our Grants Committee which are not sent through the online system. This last email is noted through our website as the principal email to use if you wish to inquire about the grants process. We suggest you setup your email system to accept emails from our Foundation for both addresses; otherwise they may be put in your Spam filter. As we only communicate electronically, we do not want you to miss a deadline due to email issues.
Q. I have another question that is not answered here. How do I get help?
A. If you are unable to find the answer to your question on our website or our various application materials, email us at Grants@BallenIslesCharitiesFoundation.org.