March 9, 2004
Over the past year, the Boston Foundation has made several changes to improve the clarity, ease of access and efficiency of our grantmaking process. We are writing to inform you about an additional change the Foundation will be making that will apply to organizations funded in June 2004 and thereafter. Grantees that have received three or more consecutive years of funding through the responsive (discretionary) grantmaking process will not be eligible to reapply for funding for a one-year period after their grant period ends.
We are instituting this change so that our funds will reach a wider range of organizations and community needs. Our grantmaking budget must support a diverse set of interests and commitments that are vital to fulfilling our mission as Greater Boston’s community foundation.
Here is the way the new policy will work. Organizations that have received three or more years of consecutive grant support will be ineligible to reapply for funding for a one-year period following the conclusion of their last grant year. For example, organizations funded in June 2004 for the third or more consecutive year will be ineligible for funding during the 12-month period following June 2005 (or the conclusion of their grant year if different). In that example, assuming a 12-month grant year, the next time the organization could reapply would be on January 5, 2006 for a June 2006 decision. More specific examples may be found in the enclosed FAQ sheet.
While the general rule will be no more than three consecutive years of funding, there may be some exceptions for longer-term programs that are critical to advancing the Foundation’s highest policy priorities. However, exceptions will be rare. Please also note that this new requirement applies only to grants made through our twice-yearly (formerly quarterly) grantmaking process and not to grants made through RFP-based funding initiatives or other funding programs based here, such as the New Economy Initiative, the Vision Fund or the Polaroid Fund.
We have included in this mailing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet that provides more detailed information about this new requirement. Please review that information, and if you still have questions, call the program officer you normally work with or the program officer for the sector that best fits your organization’s mission (contact information is included in the FAQ sheet).
We encourage our grantees to diversify their funding bases and not view the Boston Foundation as the primary source of support for their projects. As you know, the Boston Foundation awards grants in eight funding categories that cover important regional priorities: arts and culture, civic engagement, education, health and human services, housing and community economic development, out of school time, urban environment, and workforce development. In order to advance our priorities in these diverse areas, we must make our funds available to the many organizations whose work meets our highest priorities.
We also want to take this opportunity to remind you about the many resources we have available to the non-profit sector beyond our grant dollars. We invite you to contact us regarding the use of our free conference space available during business hours, to attend one of the upcoming forums in our Understanding Boston series, to visit our website and read some of the important reports we have commissioned and supported, and to access a wealth of data resources contained on the website of our Boston Indicators Project.
Paul S. Grogan Terry Saunders Lane
President & CEO Vice President for Program
Implementation of New Policy Regarding Consecutive Year Grantmaking
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. When does this go into effect?
A. The new policy begins immediately and will be applied to grantees funded in June 2004. A timeline chart with information about how this change will apply in several circumstances is included on the last page of this FAQ.
Q. Describe the new requirement you are implementing regarding organizations that have received grants for three or more consecutive years.
A. If you were funded in September 2003 or December 2003 for the third or more consecutive year, you will be eligible to submit a pre-application for additional funding on July 1, 2004 for a decision at our December 2004 meeting. If funded in December 2004, you will be ineligible to reapply until July 1, 2006 for a funding decision in December 2006.
If you are funded in June 2004 for the third or more consecutive year, you will need to plan for a one-year break after your grant year ends. For those funded in June 2004, the period of ineligibility will run from June 2005 through May 2006. The earliest such an organization can reapply will be January 5, 2006 for a June 2006 funding decision.
If you are funded in December 2004 for the third or more consecutive year, you will not be eligible to receive another grant from us until December 2006. We therefore strongly suggest that these applicants, whose December 2004 grant will be the final year of support before the period of ineligibility begins, should give careful thought to the focus of their requests. Those applying for funding in the December 2004 cycle for the first year of a new project will need to demonstrate how the project will continue into its second year without our support.
Q. What if we received our third or greater grant in September or December 2003 and decide not to apply for funding in December 2004?
A. If your organization decides to refrain from seeking funding for our December 2004 cycle, you would have voluntarily satisfied the new requirement. An organization choosing this approach will be next eligible to reapply on July 1, 2005 for a December 2005 decision, until it is once again subject to the requirement (i.e., after three consecutive years of funding).
Q. What do you consider to be three consecutive grants?
A. The most straightforward example would be three grants awarded on the same month over a 24-month period (e.g., June 02, June 03, June 04). But we are also referring to any three grants that are awarded less than 24 months apart, i.e., 3 grants awarded within a 36-month period where the grantee has not taken the full year off (e.g., June 02, December 03, June 05).
Q. How will you handle situations where the Foundation postpones consideration of a funding request until the next cycle or when an organization voluntarily waits to apply one cycle after it is next eligible to ask for a consecutive year grant?
A. The new requirement mandates that grantees receiving three or more consecutive years of support must take a full-year off from receiving our support before they can be re-funded. A six-month gap (whether it is imposed by us or taken voluntarily by an organization) does not satisfy this requirement. For example, an organization funded in December 2003 and 2004 is funded again in June 2006. That June 2006 grant will be counted as the third consecutive year of support and the organization will have to wait to be funded until June 2008. Of course, we recognize that there may be some unique situations that will present questions as to the applicability of this new requirement. If you feel uncertain about the applicability of the requirement to your organization, please call the program officer you normally work with or the program officer responsible for the sector that most closely fits your organization’s mission. A list is included below.
Q. How does this apply when our organization is denied funding?
A. Under our longstanding rules, organizations denied funding are ineligible to be considered for a grant until a year after their denial. So, those denied in December 2004 can reapply on July 1, 2005 for a December 2005 funding decision since they received no funding from us from December 04 through November 05. This has the effect of imposing the same one-year waiting (or no funding) period we are now requiring for grantees funded for three or more consecutive years. Thus, in the case of a denial decision, our current rules will still apply, and those organizations subject to them will have in effect met the new requirement.
Q. Does this new requirement change your policy of renewing grants on a year-to-year basis?
A. No. For many years, we have recognized that new programs or projects often require more than one year of our funding in order to be adequately implemented and begin to demonstrate clear outcomes. It has, therefore, been our long-time practice to renew grants for typically a three year period, sometimes longer. However, renewal funding for years two and three, etc has never been awarded or guaranteed up front in the first year and we have always required grantees to reapply on a year-to-year basis. This new policy will not change that practice.
Q. Does this requirement apply to grants received from a Boston Foundation initiative or from other Boston Foundation programs like the Polaroid Fund, the New Economy Initiative, the Fund for the Environment or the Vision Fund?
A. No. This requirement applies only to grants made as part of the Foundation’s bi-annual (formerly quarterly) discretionary grantmaking process. Not only will other grants from us not be counted as part of your consecutive year funding, during your one-year period of ineligibility, you may apply for and receive grants from any Boston Foundation funding initiative or other funding program outside the discretionary grantmaking process.
Q. Our organization received three consecutive grants, but they were for different projects and purposes. Are we still subject to the requirement?
A. Yes. The new requirement applies to the organization as opposed to the project or purpose for which the grant was made. For example, if your organization received a grant in June 2002 for strategic planning, and then another in June 2003 and another in June 2004 for your outreach program, you would still be subject to the new requirement and could not reapply to us through the discretionary grantmaking program until January 5, 2006 for a June 2006 decision.
Q. Our organization has served as fiscal agent for a Boston Foundation grantee. Will this affect our eligibility?
A. Probably not. If you have simply provided fiscal oversight of the grant funds on behalf of another organization, this will not have an impact on your organization's eligibility. However, if your organization derived substantial financial benefit from the grant, either as a collaborator in the project or by some other means, the grant may count toward your three-year limit. Please contact one of our program officers if you have questions about your situation.
Q. Why is this rule being implemented?
A. This change will enable us to support more organizations and address a greater range of community needs. Our grantmaking budget must support a wide range of interests and commitments that are vital to fulfilling our mission as Greater Boston’s community foundation. As you know, the Boston Foundation awards grants in eight funding sectors that cover important regional priorities: arts and culture, civic engagement, education, urban environment, health and human services, housing, out-of-school time, and workforce development. In order to advance our priorities in these diverse areas, we must make our funds available to the many organizations whose work meets our highest priorities, both through our responsive grantmaking program and through the wide range of proactive funding initiatives we have created. We encourage our grantees to diversify their funding bases, and not view the Boston Foundation as the primary source of support for their projects.
Q. Are you planning to make any exceptions to this new requirement?
A. Our plan is to apply the requirement as widely as possible, in order to promote equity in our grantmaking process and enable our funding to reach a wider range of grantees. We do, however, recognize that unique situations or compelling circumstances will make exceptions necessary. For example, longer term programs that are critical to advancing the Foundation’s highest policy priorities may be funded for longer periods of time. However, exceptions will be rare. Generally, our program officers will be responsible for identifying such exceptional situations. If, however, you have questions about whether your organization should be considered for an exception, please call one of our program officers.
Boston Foundation Program Officers
Angel H. Bermudez, Director of Grantmaking – workforce development, civic engagement
Angel.Bermudez@tbf.org ; 617-338-2243
Robert R. Wadsworth, Program Director – education, housing
Robert.Wadsworth@tbf.org ; 617-338-4117
Ann McQueen, Program Officer – arts and culture, urban environment
Ann.McQueen@tbf.org ; 617-338-2773
Cindy T. Rizzo, Program Officer – health and human services
Cindy.Rizzo@tbf.org ; 617-338-3934
Richard E. Ward, Program Officer – out of school time programs, community safety
Richard.Ward@tbf.org ; 617-338-4267
|Your Grant Situation
|Does the Period of Ineligibility Apply?
|What is Your Period of Ineligibility?
|When Can You Apply Again After the Period of Inelibility?
|Funded in September 2003 or December 2003 for third or more consecutive year
|No. You can reapply July 1, 2004 for a December 2004 decision
|If funded in December 04, period of ineligibility is December 05 through November 06.
|Funded in June 2004 for third or more consecutive year
|June 05 through May 06
|January 5, 2006 for a June 2006 decision
|No grant awards in Sept or Dec 2003 or June 2004
|No. Apply at any time.
|The 12-month period following the end of your third consecutive grant year.
|Submit pre-application 6 months following the end of your last grant year
|Funded in June 2002, June 2003 and December 2004
|December 2005 through November 2006
|July 1, 2006 pre-application for a December 2006 decision
Using the month and year of the third or more consecutive grant awarded to your organization in June 2004 or later, you may determine the date on which you are next eligible to apply for funding as follows:
Last award:____ + 19 months =____ Eligibility Date for Submission of Pre-Application
(month/yr) (month/yr) (January 5 or July 1)
The due date for submission of your Final Grant Report is calculated by adding 12 months to the Last Award date.
Please check the Boston Foundation website for FAQ updates and helpful suggestions.