Expanding Opportunity Fund Online Application
Thank you for your interest in the Weingart Foundation’s Expanding Opportunity Fund (formerly the Small Grant Program). Please read the instructions below before you begin the online application process. Doing so will help you present a strong proposal and avoid any unnecessary delays in the completion and consideration of your application. The Expanding Opportunity Fund prioritizes organizations with budgets under $1 million.
You must create an account to access our online system. The application will prompt you to submit most of the information directly into the fields on the website. In addition, you will need to attach a board of directors list, required financial statements, and operating budget as separate documents. The online process is designed so that you can stop and save your work at any time and return to the application as many times as needed before submitting it to us. Please note that the website link used to access a saved application is different from the link you use to start a new application. Both links are available at the end of these instructions.
There are no submission deadlines for the Expanding Opportunity Fund, and the Foundation accepts and reviews applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year. The review process typically takes four months or less.
If you have any questions or difficulty, please contact Angela Carr, Grants Management Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (213) 688-6314.
Eligibility Quiz Instructions
After establishing an online account, applicants will be asked to answer four (4) questions to determine if your organization is eligible for funding from the Weingart Foundation’s Expanding Opportunity Fund. Generally, applicants must:
Have a 501(c)(3) IRS tax exempt designation or operate under a fiscal sponsor;
Have at least one year of service/program delivery history in Southern California;
Primarily operate in one or more of the six Southern California counties where Weingart Foundation funds: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara or Ventura;
Predominantly, if not exclusively, focus on low-income communities; and
Deliver the majority of their work in one or more of the following issue areas:
Online Application Instructions
A. Applicant Information
The IRS tax identification number and legal name of organization should populate automatically from your account creation. If your organization has a DBA or is recognized by another name, please provide the name. Enter the primary office address and contact information for the applicant organization. If fiscally sponsored, please enter year the program was founded. If agency operated program(s) prior to legal incorporation, please enter year program was established.
B. Fiscal Sponsor
Fill in this section only if your agency has a fiscal sponsor. Otherwise, leave this section blank.
A fiscal sponsor is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization that agrees to accept and be responsible for grant funds on behalf of another organization, which typically does not have its own 501(c)(3) status or lacks the infrastructure to manage grant funds. The fiscal sponsor is responsible for the general management of grant funds, which can include keeping financial records, disbursing funds in accordance with the grant, and fulfilling reporting requirements.
C. Organizational Leadership
Provide requested information for the most recently completed fiscal year. If your agency is fiscally sponsored, complete this section for the board of directors of your fiscal sponsor and please attach a copy of the Advisory Board roster, if applicable.
Describe the extent to which the composition of your board and staff, respectively, reflect the diversity of people and key interests of the community(ies) your organization serves. Please consider diversity broadly
D. Mission and Programs
Provide the organization’s mission statement.
If the organization is part of an affiliate or chapter of a larger national or statewide entity, please share the number of years operating in Southern California and if there is a local office and staff
Example: “As an independent chapter of the national XYZ organization, XYZ-LA has been operating in Southern California three years with one local office and three local staff. XYZ has full responsibility for raising its own budget at the local level.”
What percentage of those served by the organization as a whole is low-income? Also, briefly explain how your organization defines low-income (e.g. federal poverty guidelines, eligibility for the free/reduced-price lunch program, etc.). If agency does not specifically track demographic information, please provide an estimate as well as a brief explanation of how the figure was determined.
Share how your organization ensures that it is being responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of your clients/constituents?
Geographic Region Served
Applicants select which regions they primarily serve of the six-counties we support. If agency also works outside of Southern California (e.g. statewide or nationally), check "other".
Programs and Services
As part of the Foundation’s desire to increase impact in specific areas related to advancing social and economic equity, the Expanding Opportunity will provide Unrestricted Operating Support grants (not program grants) to nonprofits focused on the activities identified under specified issue areas: (a detailed description of these areas in listed above in the Eligibility Quiz section).
Briefly describe the organization’s core programs and services, including main activities, program length/ participant time commitment (if applicable), sites, and program staff qualifications in general. Example: “Weekly X-hour workshops at X sites that educate about and assist community members in applying for X, Y, and Z. The program has been operating for X years. Workshops are typically attended by X number of people.”
If applicable, identify and describe any key partnership(s) that contribute to the organization’s impact.
Program Impact and Outcomes
Describe the impact of your organization’s core programs and explain how you assess program effectiveness. Briefly share 1-2 recent examples of information (e.g. outcome data, client feedback, survey or evaluation results) that demonstrate programmatic impact. Examples of program impact: (1) Through pre and post testing, X% of participants demonstrated an increased awareness of the college application process; OR (2) Verbal and written client feedback indicates that X% of participants report increased knowledge of available job training and placement services after reentry.
For number of persons served, include only those directly served by the organization. If none, type “no direct services provided.” The figure should represent unduplicated clients served during the most recently completed fiscal year. If exact figures are not available, provide estimates.
For number of paid staff, exclude contractors and temporary/seasonal employees.
E. Financial Information
- The Foundation recognizes that this section uses accounting terms which may be unfamiliar. Some applicants have found it helpful to involve an accountant in completing this section. Please do not hesitate to contact us at the Foundation if you have questions.
- In filling out this section use your financial statements (income statement/statement of activities and statement of financial position/balance sheet) for the most recently completed fiscal year for the organization. All figures should match the numbers in your financial statements.
- Round off all figures to the nearest dollar; do not include cents.
- Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all organizations over five years old and with operating expenses of $500,000 or more.
- Organizations under five years old or those with operating expenses under $500,000 that do not have an audit must submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA.
- Expanding Opportunity Fund applicants that cannot meet the financial documentation requirements may be eligible for an exemption on a case by case basis upon review of the full application.
- Organizations do not need to specifically request this exemption, and should apply with unaudited or internal financial statements with the understanding that if a grant were approved it would be as an exception to policy.
A financial statement is a historical report about the financial condition of an organization. There are various types of financial statement reports:
- An audit is the highest level of report. It is the examination of a company’s financial statements by an independent public accountant.
- A review is a statement that, like an audit, is prepared from an organization’s own data. The CPA provides input on how the information should be presented, verifies the major items and conducts some basic research.
- A compilation is a statement prepared from the organization’s own data that had CPA input for presentation purposes only.
- Internally-prepared statements are prepared by the organization itself and may come, for example, from a software program. Internal statements should consist of 1) a Statement of Activities (also known as an Income and Expense Statement) for the 12-month period that covers the most recently completed fiscal year; and 2) a Balance Sheet listing assets and liabilities for the most recently completed fiscal year.
Do not submit the IRS Form 990 in lieu of financial statements.
Total Income and Expenses
These numbers should be the same as those in the financial statements you submit. If your organization incurred an operating deficit (expenses exceeded income), state what caused the deficit and how it was managed. Examples include use of reserves or borrowing.
Total Net Assets
These figures should be taken directly from your Statement of Financial Position in your organization’s audited financial statements. If you are using internal statements, this figure can also be found on your Balance Sheet. Total net assets is also known as total equity.
Total Long-Term Debt
All debt payable after one year. Do not include in this figure current liabilities, which are due within one year. Examples of long term debt include mortgage payments.
F. Request Information
The sole type of support provided through the Expanding Opportunity Fund is Unrestricted Operating Support. The agency’s overall mission and programs must be strongly aligned with the Foundation’s funding guidelines and priorities.
Request Description and Goals
Provide a brief description of current key organizational priorities for the use of unrestricted dollars. Examples could include supporting organizational administrative costs, or funding important activities that are not otherwise supported, such as leadership development, staff professional development, and/or board training.
Total Amount Requested from the Weingart Foundation
Specify the amount you are asking the Foundation to consider. Please specify a dollar amount, rather than giving a range.
The Expanding Opportunity Fund awards a maximum of $25,000. Within this limit, it is up to agencies to decide the appropriate request amount based on your organizational budget and funding plan.
Because the Foundation seeks to support organizational capacity and effectiveness, we are interested in how your organization specifically plans to support its short and longer term financial needs. Describe your plan and state as specifically as possible any potential funding sources that have been identified or secured (for example, through multi-year commitments) for the current and next fiscal years.
Typically with organizations we have not previously funded or with those we haven’t reviewed in the last five years, the Foundation likes to get references from funders who are more familiar with the organization. Please provide a reference from a private or public funder that has funded the organization in the recent past. (If you have not received a private or a public support please leave blank)
H. Supporting Documents Required
In order to complete your online application to the Weingart Foundation, you must attach the following documents. If your agency is fiscally sponsored or is a program of a national or statewide organization, please include attachments for your agency/program and your fiscal sponsor/ parent organization where applicable.
- Board of directors list (for fiscally-sponsored agencies or programs of national/statewide organizations, please also upload the advisory council roster)
- Current annual operating budget (revenues and expenses for your fiscal year); for national or statewide organizations, also include a local budget for Southern California office/programs if available
- Financial statements for organization’s most recently completed fiscal year. If an audit, independent review, or compilation is not available, please submit internally-prepared financial statements (income statement and balance sheet). A 990 will not be accepted in lieu of financial statements.
Complete this section with the name and title of the person submitting the application to certify authorization to submit the application and grant permission for the Weingart Foundation to make an independent inquiry about the applicant organization.
Important Reminders and Tips
For more information, please read our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
You must create an account to access our online system.
As you are completing the online application, you may stop and save your work at any time and return to it as many times as needed before submitting it to the Foundation. Please note that the website link used to access a saved application is different from the link you use to start a new application. When returning to a saved application, after signing on, you will see a list of any applications that are “in process” and any that have been previously submitted.
You may complete your responses in a Word document and cut and paste the narrative into the online form.
You should have the required application attachments nearby or ready when you are working on the online application.
You may want to print out the full application once you have completed it for future reference.
If you have questions or need assistance when completing the online application, please contact Angela Carr, Grants Management Associate, at email@example.com or (213) 688-6314.
|CLICK HERE to begin the online application process.|
To access your saved Expanding Opportunity Fund online application, click here. Going back to the first link above will only take you to a blank application.