Important to Know

What We Don’t Fund

  • Individuals
  • Organizations that are not registered not-for-profits or their equivalents
  • Projects of any organization that participates in activities harmful to the environment
  • Projects of any organization that participates in activities that promote violence
  • Organizations or programs that discriminate on the basis of race, culture, religion, gender, ability, sexual orientation, or social class
  • Organizations that promote a particular religion
  • Organizations that seek to convert people from one religion to another
  • Organizations that make any particular religious observance a condition of receiving food, shelter, or other resources
  • Annual campaigns
  • Special events
  • Organizations based outside the United States.

Grant Assessment Criteria

  1. Does the activity fit within our strategic directions?
  1. Is the organization strong and well-organized enough to carry out what it promises?
    • What is the distribution of assets between program assets and reserves?
    • How do the assets compare with annual revenues and expenditures?
    • What is the year-over-year trend?
    • Are funding sources diversified?
    • Do all Board members make an annual donation?
    • Is the Executive Director highly competent?
    • What do comparable organizations think about this one?
    • Has the Executive Director held her or his position for at least a year?  Is there good collaboration between the ED and the Board?  Is there any Founder’s Syndrome effect?
    • Do we have any personal connection with this organization or knowledge about it?
  1. Is the proposed program sound?
    • What are the qualifications of the Project Director?  Other staff?
    • [There are usually a number of specifics that require targeted research.]
    • If the program involves behavior change on anyone’s part, does it respect the orderly stages of adult behavior change?  [We use the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change and the Social Learning Theory Model to assess this.]
    • Is the budget adequate for the work proposed?  Does it include sufficient provision for administrative oversight?
    • If the program provides a social service, is there a “hand-up” as well as a “hand-out” component?
    • Is there a potential for replication or dissemination, if this is an innovative project?
    • What was the site visit like?
    • Are there other individuals/organizations that support this project/program?  Do they provide at least 50% of the funds needed for the project/program or organization?
  1. Is this the best use of our funds?
    • What are the synergies between this and other programs and/or organizations that address the same issues?
    • Will our investment be magnified by the work of collaborators, volunteers, grant matches, etc?
    • Does this strengthen the organization and/or the field?
    • Would the program/project/organization go forth equally well without our funds?
    • Does it benefit a relatively large number of people for the cost?
    • Whom does it benefit indirectly?
    • Could we accomplish the same goals more effectively if we grant the same funding to a different organization?

Geographic Factors

  • All grants in the Social Justice and Education categories go to organizations in the Kansas City region, where site visits can be made within a day.
  • We do not fund organizations based outside the United States.

Sizes of Grants

Currently our grants range in size from $5,000 to $40,000.  An appropriate request depends on the size of your organization, the project or program for which you want support, and how well we know you. All requests must go through our online Grant Application Process.

Renewal Requests

  • All existing grantees that wish to apply for a 2nd or 3rd year renewal should fill out the application for the correct date and mission area for “Renewing Applicants.”
  • After 3 years of funding, an organization must start over with a new LOI and a full grant application.

Your Initial Inquiry

If you are applying for an Environmental Justice grant, please submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) on our grant application system to ensure that your request fits our criteria and that we have funding available.  If we notify you that we accept your LOI, you will be able to proceed to the Application section of our system and complete a grant application.

If you are applying for a Social Justice or Education grant, we are only considering grant applications for 2017 on an invitation-only basis.  Our focus again this year will be on existing grantee organizations.

Deadlines

  • Environmental Justice Grants:
    • LOI due February 15
    • Application due March 15
  • Social Justice and Education Grants:
    • The Foundation will consider grant applications on an invitation-only basis for 2017, with a focus on those organizations that received a first or second year grant in 2016
    • Application due July 15 – by invitation only
  • Renewal Grant LOI and Applications should check the Grant Renewal page for deadlines.