Q: What changes were made to the Democracy focus area in 2010?
A: Three changes were made, effective May 21, 2010:
Q: Why have the changes been made?
A: In 2009, the ZSR Board conducted a review of its Democracy and Civic Engagement focus area, assessing the needs of the state and the impact of the Foundation’s grantmaking over the past 6 years. The Foundation is making these changes to become more targeted in its grant investments, wanting to have the greatest impact it can with limited dollars.
Q: Do the changes apply to all focus areas?
A: No. The process changes regarding who can apply are only for the Strengthening Democracy focus area.
Q: Can I still apply for a grant in this focus area?
A: Yes. Any eligible organization may apply for a grant through the Small Grant application process, which awards grants of up to $35,000 per year for up to two years at a time.
Q: How can my organization be solicited for a strategic grant (meaning a grant of over $35,000/year)?
A: If your organization would like to be considered for a strategic grant solicitation, you may express interest by submitting an e-mail to email@example.com. The e-mail should contain: 1) name of organization; 2) name, e-mail address and phone of primary contact; 3) organization's web site address; 4) whether you are interested in project or GOS support; 5) no more than two paragraphs (5-7 sentences each) describing why the project/GOS support would be a good fit towards achieving the Foundation's results sought (as described in the Focus Area Description); and 6) what, if any, urgency there is to the request. These e-mail inquiries will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but please note that invitations typically will be issued 2 months in advance of the application deadlines, so it would behoove an organization to submit an inquiry at least 3 months in advance of an application deadline.
Q: If my organization is solicited, when will I be notified of that invitation?
A: The Foundation will try to notify organizations from which it wishes to solicit an application no later than June 1 (for the August deadline) and December 1 (for the February deadline). However, the Foundation reserves the right to invite proposals after those dates in limited circumstances.
Q: Is a solicitation a guarantee of funding?
A: A solicitation for an application is NOT a guarantee of funding. Solicited applications will compete against all other applications—from all focus areas—received in a given grant cycle.
Q: I submitted an e-mail inquiry. When will I be notified whether or not my organization can submit an application?
A: Upon receipt of the e-mail inquiry, you will receive an e-mail response stating that your inquiry has been received. Depending on when the e-mail is received, it could take anywhere from two weeks to several months before you will be notified as to whether or not an application is invited. The Foundation will contact you as soon as a decision is made and, if you are invited to submit a proposal, will make every effort to give your organization two months’ notice before an application deadline. If it has been more than two months since you submitted an e-mail inquiry and you have not heard from the Foundation beyond initial receipt of the e-mail, feel free to contact the Foundation by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What if we are a governmental agency and have no governing board?
A: Write “N/A” in the sections of the application that request information about your board.
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