How do I find out about the Ms. Foundation’s grantmaking cycles?

From time to time, the Ms. Foundation will issue an open Request for Proposals inviting all those interested and eligible to submit proposals. There are other times when we request proposals by invitation only, in order to more specifically focus our grantmaking. All open invitations will be posted on our website for public access. We will also announce open invitations by email. Sign up for email updates.

The Ms. Foundation only processes solicited proposals and we are unable to respond to unsolicited applications.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Ms. Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations (IRS determination of 501(c)(3) status) based in and working in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories. The foundation does not fund individuals, scholarships, capital or endowment requests, fundraising events, university-based research, or government agencies.

How do I apply?

When responding to either an open request for proposal or a closed invitation, we will provide detailed instructions for completing the application process. The Ms. Foundation processes all grants through an online application system which typically consists of filling out our online application form and uploading a single PDF document that contains the actual proposal.

Can we apply for funding in more than one area?

Organizations may submit only one application for each Request for Proposal (RFP) issued. In the event that multiple areas are covered under one RFP, we welcome proposals that make connections across issues, but groups are still limited to one application.

Current grantee groups are limited to one grant per year from the Foundation. Groups that already receive funding are not eligible to apply under an open RFP process until their grant cycle has ended.

What portion of grants are awarded to first-time applicants?

There is no specific percentage of grants that we award to first time applicants, but we are always interested in strong proposals from new organizations, particularly from geographic areas that have more limited access to resources. That being said, only a small percentage of proposals are typically funded under an open RFP process due to the high volume of applications and the limited amount of funds available.

What are the requirements my organization must meet if our proposal is accepted for funding?

Once an organization is selected for funding, the terms of the grant agreement include meeting the stated objectives in your original proposal. Typical requirements include completing an interim and year-end report, participating in grantee convenings, and fulfilling evaluation activities to learn about the impact of the grant. Foundation support must be acknowledged in any written materials or at activities and events that are funded through the Ms. Foundation project or general support grant.

Does the Ms. Foundation provide general support grants? How should we choose between general support and project support? What is preferable for Ms. and most likely to be successful? What does the Ms. Foundation look for in “General Support” applications?

The Ms. Foundation typically provides two types of grants: project specific or general support. Organizations can apply for a specific project or can instead apply for a grant that supports the organization’s total efforts across all areas of that organization’s work. While the Ms. Foundation is looking for concrete outcomes across all its grants, we do not prioritize one type over the other, but rather this is a decision that your organization needs to make based on its own situation and needs. If your organization applies for general support, you will need to provide clear information about the overall work of the organization and how it relates to the focus area you are applying to.

What if I can’t submit my application by the stated deadline? Can I get an extension?

The Ms. Foundation has tight timeframes because our goal is to distribute grant funds as quickly and efficiently as possible. To do this, we must strictly enforce our application deadlines. It is imperative that applicants follow all instructions in submitting a proposal and a contact person be available during the review period to answer any questions regarding their application.

With open requests for proposals, we expect large numbers of online applications. In order to avoid bottlenecks with the on-line system, we strongly encourage applicants to submit application materials well in advance of the deadline date. Please do not wait until the last minute to submit your application. The online application system automatically shuts down at a designated time, so this may mean that your application may not come through if you have not completely uploaded all documents by that time. We cannot accept applications that are delayed as a result of technical complications or other unforeseen complications. We strongly advise you to observe the application deadlines.

For those submitting renewal applications, it is your responsibility to take note of and adhere to submission deadlines. Renewal proposals are generally due on or soon after the deadline for submitting progress reports (that date is generally found in your grant agreement letter).

What is the Ms. Foundation’s process for reviewing proposals?

The proposal will be evaluated by a team of Ms. Foundation staff. Please bear in mind that we receive hundreds of proposals from eligible organizations, each doing very important work and bringing unique perspectives. We appreciate the time and effort that goes into putting a proposal together, and we always wish that we had more money to fund more groups. But, inevitably, we need to make hard choices, and so we want you to know that if your group is not selected, it is not because your group doesn’t fit the guidelines or because it is not worthy. We evaluate the proposals as a pool, providing us with a docket or set of organizations whose work compliments one another across a variety of factors such as geography and scope of work.

How quickly will my full application be evaluated?

All open RFP processes typically provide a date by which grants are announced. The full application review process usually takes about two months (but the Foundation reserves the right to change this as needed for any program).

Does the foundation provide feedback on proposals that are not selected for funding?

Due to the high volume of grant proposals we receive, it is not possible for us to respond to requests for feedback from individual applicants. However, under certain circumstances, we may reach out to groups to provide specific feedback if we feel it would be useful for future applications.