Submit a Proposal

The Foundation uses an online application and does not accept paper submissions. Please thoroughly review the Grant Guidelines Overview and the following procedures prior to submitting a proposal.

Grant Cycles

Grant cycles, during which time you may submit an application, are as follows:

  • Spring – February 1 through March 31 at midnight with decisions and distributions in June.
  • Fall – August 1 through September 30 at midnight with decisions and distributions in December.

Late proposals will not be accepted.  Applicants will be notified of the actions taken by the Foundation Board shortly after the Board meeting in June or December.

Application Content and Attachments

There are two separate online applications: one for medical research requests, and one for all other grant requests.  The medical research application follows a format similar to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) application, but requires much less information.

The general application asks for specific information about the program or project, including a brief history of the organization, explanation of the need, what the grant is expected to accomplish, demographics and characteristics of the population served, how the program will be carried out and by whom, the methods and procedures which will be used to evaluate its effectiveness, the total project cost and amount being requested, and how the project will be funded in total during, and when applicable, after the proposed grant period.  In instances where the proposed project is a collaborative effort, detail on the other organizations involved and the nature of their involvement will be required.

Both applications require a stand-alone executive summary of the request.  All questions have character limitations, spaces are included in the count.  A project budget form is available to download and must be used to summarize project revenue and expenditures and provide information on other funders for the project or study.  Applications that do not use the Foundation’s project budget form will not be considered.

The following documents need to be uploaded with the application:

For both applications:

  • A cover letter signed by the chief executive of the organization with the proposed grant amount and a summary of why financial aid is requested.  For funding requests from institutions of higher education, the Foundation requires that applications be submitted by the Provost, VP of Research, Chancellor or President;
  • Two years of the most recent audited financials.  If these are not available, Form 990 will be accepted.  Institutions of higher education do not need to submit audited financials unless funding is requested through the institution’s 501(c)(3) organization, in which case financial audits from the institution’s 501(c)(3) organization are required;
  • A detailed, line-item project/study budget and list of other funders (using the Budget Form provided to download with the online application);
  • A list of the board of directors and their corporate affiliation (not required for institutions of higher education);
  • If the requesting organization is doing business under another name (“doing business as,” “d/b/a”), a copy of the documentation from the applicable state/government entity, generally the Secretary of State’s office, recognizing the d/b/a name.
  • A copy of the IRS ruling or determination letter indicating that the grant seeking organization is exempt from Federal Income Tax, and establishing its status as a publicly supported organization.  Grants are made only to non-profits that are tax exempt under sections 501(c)(3)  or 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code as follows:

501(c)(3); 509(a)(1)

501(c)(3); 509(a)(2)

501(c)(3); 509(a)(3), Type 1

501(c)(3); 509(a)(3), Type 2

Institutions of higher education not classified as 501(c)(3) but eligible as tax exempt under IRC 170 (Public Universities), defined as a governmental unit under IRC code but not required to have an IRS ruling for charitable contributions as long as the contributions are used for public purposes.

 Additionally, for the general application only:

  • Supplemental information, limited to one file, that directly relates to and clarifies the project, such as photos (do not use this space to extend your project narrative, and do not include annual reports or general agency marketing materials such as brochures as such will not be considered);
  • For construction projects only, architect renderings or schematics, or pictures that show the scope of the proposed project, if available.

Additionally, for the medical research study application only:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) on the principal investigator(s) of the study, as well as their biographical sketches;
  • A list of literature cited in the Research Strategy;
  • A pdf file of the Research Strategy with embedded exhibits, charts, graphics or tables that is limited to 6 pages in length.  Pages beyond 6 will  not be considered.

A list of the application questions and required attachments is available from the Logon screen once you click the ‘APPLY HERE’ button by scrolling to the bottom of the grey box on the right bottom side of the logon page.

 Online Application Process

In addition to applying for a grant, the online system also allows you to review your organization’s grant history, check due dates, fill out and submit Evaluation Reports and Grant Redirection Requests, track the grant application status of open requests, and edit and update your organization’s contact information.

When applying, you do not have to complete your application in one session.  You can save it as a draft and access it repeatedly before submitting.  During this time, your application remains in DRAFT status, even if you have answered all required questions and uploaded all required files, until you click on the ‘Submit Application’ link.  At that time, the status changes to SUBMITTED and you will receive a confirmation email.   You can periodically review the status by logging into your organization’s account.  Please do not forget to click ‘Submit Application’ when your application is complete as we do NOT consider applications in DRAFT status.

If your application is not completed correctly, or additional information is needed, Foundation staff will move the application back to DRAFT status and advise you, via the email provided during registration, that additional work is required.  You must re-submit your corrected application before the due date provided in the email in order to be considered; this could be a very short turn-around.  Therefore, please make sure the email used during registration is regularly and frequently monitored.  It is advisable to complete the application a couple of weeks before the due date to allow time to re-submit, if needed.  If your organization’s application is not qualified, it will be rejected and you will be advised via email.  You can check the status of your application in the dashboard of your online account.

Following the Board meeting (in mid-June or mid-December), you will be notified of the outcome via email; this will also be posted online to your account.  If approved, the check will be sent with an Award Agreement Letter, which has to be signed by the chief executive officer and uploaded to your account.

Organization Registration and Log On

The first time an organization makes an online application, the organization has to register and set up an account to create the organization’s profile.  It is very important to register an organization only once, regardless of how many users there are and how many applications are submitted by the organization over time and by different people, in order to maintain a complete history of grants and requests for the organization.  If, after checking with your development department, you are still unsure if your organization already has an existing account, or if you need to be added to the account, please contact Foundation staff.  It is also very important to enter all organization information accurately during registration, because after this point, the organization profile can only be edited by Foundation staff.

The initial registration process has these steps:

  • Logon Page – click Create New Account.
  • Organization profile information – enter the organization’s full name as it appears on the IRS Determination Letter, the EIN/Tax ID number, and organization address.
  • Individual user information – the email entered here will become the account ID and will be used by Foundation staff to communicate with your organization, so please make sure it is an email that is regularly monitored and available to all who need to access the online application.
  • Chief executive officer information.  The chief executive officer is the President, CEO or Executive Director of the organization who is able to legally bind the organization.  For institutions of higher education, this is the Provost, VP-Research, President or Chancellor.
  • Password – this will become the account password and should be given to everyone in your organization who is allowed to access the online application system.
  • Confirmation Page – this screen asks you to check if you received a confirming email from the Foundation, and to confirm this by clicking ‘Yes.’  This ensures that the email provided is valid and that emails from the Foundation are not blocked by the organization’s firewall.

During the registration process, you cannot save partial information; therefore, you should gather all required information before beginning the registration process.

Once the account is set up, returning users log on to the system using the account email address and password created during the initial registration.  If the organization, in later years, is applying for another grant, this same email address and password must be used to log on, so please keep it safe.  There is a system prompt to assist if you forgot the password.

 The Application Status Page

After you have registered you will be directed to the Application Status Page.

  • In the black section of the screen on the left, at top, are two headings: ‘requests’ with Dashboard and Apply below it and ‘tools’ with Fax to File below it.
  • In the white section of the screen you see the contact information for your organization, which you can edit here, and you can view the status of your application(s).  The default page is also your Dashboard or homepage view.
  • Dashboard – clicking ‘Dashboard’ in the black section on the left of your screen when working in the application opens your homepage where you can check the status of your grants. From this page, you can download completed application forms and see the status of an open application form you have submitted. You can also see whether or not a grant has been awarded and complete required follow-up forms for awarded grants, for example when an Evaluation Report is due.  If you have saved but not yet submitted an application, you must access the application on this page to complete and submit the application.
  • Apply – when clicking ‘Apply’ in the black section on the left of your screen, the system lists all currently available applicationsin blue letters.  Make sure you click on the correct application link: ‘2017 Spring Medical Research Study Application’ for medical research requests, OR ‘2017 Spring General Grant Application’ for all other requests. Clicking on the application link opens the Application screen.  You can print a list of the application questions by clicking on ‘Question List’ at the top right of this screen.  Fill out your application.  Be sure to follow all instructions within the application.

 Uploading Files

In general, the acceptable file types for uploading files are: Microsoft Word/Excel and Adobe PDF (PDF) files.  Only one file can be uploaded per question; multiple documents for one question must be combined into one file and then uploaded.

To upload a file, click the ‘Upload a file’ button to locate the file on your computer, select the file and then click the ‘Open’ button.  Once an attachment is uploaded, a red ‘X’ appears beside the file.  You can delete an attached file by clicking the red ‘X’ beside the file name.

To download the project budget template, which must be used with the application, click on the link in the budget section of the application and select the file that applies to your type of request.  Complete the project budget template form (revenue and expenses) and other funder information, and be sure to save it to your computer as you will use this file again to report actuals with your Evaluation Report if your request is approved.

The Fax to Filefeature under ‘tools’ in the black area of your screen is an easy-to-use tool for converting hard copy pages to a PDF file or combining multiple documents into a single file:

  1. Click ‘Fax to File’ in the menu in the black section at the left side of the screen and read the instructions.
  2. Select ‘Request a Fax #’ – a toll-free number will appear on the page.
  3. Load a document, or multiple documents that need to be consolidated into one file, into your fax machine.
  4. Dial the toll-free number.  Send a separate fax for each individual file you wish to create.
  5. Select ‘Finished Faxing’ when you are done, and to see your list of files.
  6. You can download converted documents to your computer and then upload them into your online application when needed.

 Helpful Tips 

  • Start and complete your application early to allow time for correspondence with Foundation staff, potential problems with uploads, or having to edit and resubmit your application.
  • For best user experience when accessing the online system, we suggest using a recent version of one of the following browsers: Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer.
  • The character limits include spaces as well as characters.
  • You can type text directly into the application or you can copy text from a Word document or other file and paste it into the application, which is particularly helpful for lengthy application questions.  If you prepare your application in this way, be sure to keep track of character limits.
  • The system automatically saves your work as you enter data, but it is advisable to also regularly save your work.
  •  A user will automatically be logged out of the online system after 90 minutes of inactivity. The user will receive a warning message at 80 minutes and your work will be saved.
  • It is advisable to download copies of all submitted forms to your computer for your own records.
  • If you do not provide an answer for one of the required questions or do not upload a required file, you will not be able to submit your application.
  • If your PDF upload file exceeds the maximum file size, consider using the Adobe Acrobat option to ‘Reduce File Size’ (look at the options in Document).
  • Once your application has been submitted it is no longer available for editing. If you need to make a correction to a submitted form, contact Foundation staff.
  • Foundation staff will be available to respond to questions until 4 pm CST on the due date of the application.
  • Remember to click ‘Submit Application’ when you are finished.


Margret Bamford, Grants Administrator for the Foundation, can be reached at or at 210-316-8398 if your question is urgent.