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FAQs

APPLICATION PROCESS

How do we apply for a grant?

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) must first be submitted by the requesting organization if you are applying for a Weingart Foundation grant of over $25,000 in size. If it is determined from the LOI that the request meets the Foundation’s guidelines and priorities, the organization will be provided with the instructions and forms required to prepare and submit a formal application. Please click here to begin the online LOI process.

Please note that there is no LOI for the Small Grant Program (all requests of $25,000 or less). Click here for information on how to apply to our Small Grant Program.

Does Weingart Foundation have deadlines for submitting Letters of Inquiry or Applications?

For requests over $25,000, the Foundation accepts and reviews letters of inquiry (LOIs) throughout the year without deadlines. The Small Grant Program (requests $25,000 and under) has a one-step application process (no LOI) and also accepts and reviews applications throughout the year without deadlines. Click here to learn more about our Small Grant Program.

How much time does it take for a review?

For requests over $25,000, if an application is invited, you have up to three months to submit the completed form and supplemental materials. Completed applications are assigned to a program officer for review in the order they are received. It generally takes up to six months to review an application from the day that it is received to notification of the Board’s decision. Occasionally, final action will be deferred. Each applicant is notified promptly as soon as a decision has been made. Agencies applying to our Small Grant Program will receive notification of a decision on their application within four months after submitting an application.

What is your decision-making process for grant requests?

Our Board of Directors meets five times a year to make decisions regarding requests. Applicants should feel free to contact Foundation staff for information on the status of your request. However, communication with members of our Board of Directors is discouraged.

What if I have trouble using the online Letter of Inquiry?

Please contact Priscilla Savage, Grants Administrator, at (213) 688-6311 for assistance.

We have been invited to submit a full application. May we substitute a full narrative proposal for Weingart Foundation’s application form?

The Foundation requires that all applicants use Weingart Foundation’s application form to ensure that organizations provide all of the information needed for a full review.


TYPES OF SUPPORT AND CRITERIA

What are Weingart Foundation’s funding priorities?

Weingart Foundation priorities are described in the Grant Guidelines.

What are Weingart Foundation’s grant limitations?

Weingart Foundation’s limitations are listed in the Grant Guidelines.

We have several needs. Would you help us choose one or may we include all of them in our request?

Weingart Foundation prioritizes Unrestricted Operating Support. We also make Capital and Special Project grants. We suggest that you apply for the highest need of your organization that also fits our guidelines. In the Small Grant Program (requests $25,000 and under), only Unrestricted Operating Support is available.

What can I use Unrestricted Operating Support funds for?

Unrestricted Operating Support is unrestricted funding that enables an organization to carry out its mission by strengthening organizational capacity and effectiveness. It can be used, for example, to underwrite administrative infrastructure, implement a strategic plan, build or strengthen organizational capacity, and/or to maintain core programs and essential staff.

I am a current grantee with an active grant. Can I now apply for another grant?

Weingart Foundation’s policy allows an agency to have only one active grant at a time (an active grant is one in which the final report has not yet been submitted and grant funds have not been fully expended). Due to the overwhelming demand for grant dollars, generally, grantees must wait one year from the end of their grant period before re-applying for a new Foundation grant. However, Unrestricted Operating Support grantees may receive up to two consecutive Unrestricted Operating Support grants and Small Grant Program grantees may receive up to two consecutive Small grants before the one-year wait rule is applied.  Please note that the Foundation generally does not approve grants to organizations on a continuing annual basis.

I have an active grant with Weingart Foundation but I am experiencing significant challenges with my project and do not believe I will be able to achieve my original goals. What can I do?

Please contact your program officer as soon as possible to discuss the situation. The Foundation recognizes that even some of the best executed plans experience challenges along the way and we are committed to supporting our grantees.

Does Weingart Foundation provide “emergency” grants through an expedited process?

We do not have an expedited grant review process to assist organizations facing an “emergency” situation. Please also note that Unrestricted Operating Support is not intended as emergency funding to keep organizations from going out of business. Agencies seeking Unrestricted Operating Support should apply and follow our regular grant process and timeline, which begins with the submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Agencies seeking a small grant (up to $25,000) may apply through the Small Grant Program, though applicants should first review the program guidelines to determine eligibility. Although the Small Grant Program application process is slightly faster than the Regular Grant Program, it is not an “emergency” grant program.

Is Weingart Foundation still funding new program development or expansion requests?

Yes, however, the Foundation will continue to prioritize Unrestricted Operating Support grants. On a selective basis, the Foundation will consider Special Project grants for high-impact projects that are aligned with the mission and grant focus of the Foundation and that offer the potential to produce significant benefit to low-income and underserved individuals and communities in the Foundations’s service area. Click here for Special Project guidelines.

Our organization is an arts and culture agency and we note that the arts are not listed among Weingart Foundation’s program areas. Are we eligible to apply?

In the area of arts and culture, the Foundation specifically funds nonprofit organizations whose core mission and programs focus on providing comprehensive arts education for low income and underserved populations. Programs should engage individuals over a period of time in a sequential series of interactions leading to a growth in knowledge, skill, level of appreciation, etc., and in the case of youth programs, should typically be aligned with core state standards. In general, we do not fund organizations that provide mainly one-time events such as attending a performance or visiting a museum, or short term programs consisting of a few interactions. Organizations where only one or two programs align with Foundation guidelines will generally not be competitive for funding.

What is the maximum grant amount that Weingart Foundation funds? What is the range?

We have not established maximum dollar amounts. Please see our Grant Guidelines for further guidance on funding amounts.

Must we submit an audited financial statement with our application?

Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all applicants in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $500,000 or more. Organizations with annual income under $500,000 or new organizations (founded within the last five years) may instead submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA. Please do not submit an application without all of the required attachments, as it will not be processed. Case-by-case exemptions to these financial statement requirements are available for applicants to the Small Grant Program (see below for more information).


SMALL GRANT PROGRAM

How do we apply for a grant through the Small Grant Program?

There is no letter of inquiry required for the Small Grant Program. After reviewing the Foundation’s guidelines, if an organization deems that its mission and programs align with the Foundation’s priorities and interests, then an online application should be submitted. Click here to learn more about our Small Grant Program.

Does Weingart Foundation have deadlines for submitting applications to the Small Grant Program?

There are no submission deadlines for the program, which accepts and reviews applications on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Organizations should apply at the time that is most appropriate for them. You can expect to hear back with a decision regarding your application in four months or less.

Does the Foundation support nonprofits with small operating budgets?

Weingart Foundation has historically supported smaller, developing nonprofits through the Small Grant Program. Priority in the Small Grant Program is given to organizations with budgets under $1 million. For agencies applying through a nonprofit fundraising arm or foundation, it is the operating budget of the primary organization (versus the fundraising entity) that we will consider when determining fit with our priority budget size.  Click here to learn more about our Small Grant Program.

Does the Small Grant Program fund international, national, or statewide organizations operating in Southern California?

The Small Grant Program prioritizes local community-based organizations with operating budgets under $1 million. We do consider funding international, national, or statewide agencies under the following circumstances: 1) the organization has an established local presence (i.e. local office and/or staff, local advisory board, local funding, etc.); 2) the organization has a positive track record of operating programs in Southern California for at least one year; and 3) the organization’s local budget is no larger than $1 million in size and the local office is responsible for raising its own budget.

How do I determine the appropriate amount to request if I’m applying to the Small Grant Program?

The program 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. However, please note that given the high demand for our funding, the average grant awards range from $10,000 to $15,000 and typically do not exceed 10% of an organizations operating budget.

Must we submit an audited financial statement with our Small grant application?

Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year are required of all organizations in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $500,000 or more. Organizations with annual income under $500,000 or new agencies (founded within the last five years) may instead submit an independent review of their financial statements, completed by a CPA. Small grant 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. While organizations do not need to specifically request this exemption, the application should include unaudited or internal financial statements (balance sheet and income/expense statement) with the understanding that if a grant were approved, it would be as an exception to policy.

Does the Foundation support start-up organizations?

At this time, Weingart Foundation does not fund start-up organizations. Applicants must have been operating for at least three years and have established their core infrastructure, funding model and programs.

Does the Foundation support fiscally sponsored organizations?

Applicants that are fiscally sponsored are eligible for funding. The Small Grant application will ask you for information and attachments regarding both your organization as well as your fiscal sponsor.

What if I have trouble with the Small Grant Program online application?

Please contact Angela Carr, Grants Management Associate, at acarr@weingartfnd.org or (213) 688-6314 for assistance.

I have an active Small grant with Weingart Foundation but I am experiencing significant challenges with my project and do not believe I will be able to achieve my original goals. What can I do?

Please contact your program associate as soon as possible to discuss the situation. The Foundation recognizes that even some of the best executed plans experience challenges along the way, and we are committed to supporting our grantees.

What are the reporting requirements for the Small Grant Program?

Organizations awarded Small Grant Program funding are expected to submit one final report at the end of the grant period. The final report should be submitted online. No interim report is required. More information is available on the Grantee Forms section of the website.

My organization is a current grantee. When may I re-apply for another grant? What do I need to do?

Generally, an organization is eligible to re-apply for a Small grant once its current grant is officially closed. A grant is considered closed when 1) the grant period has ended, 2) all Foundation funds have been spent, 3) all grant goals have been met, and 4) the organization has submitted a final report and the report has been reviewed and approved by Foundation staff. Organizations will be notified by email once their grant is closed. Small grantees are able to apply for a renewal grant through an expedited process for a second consecutive year of funding. For more information on renewal grants, see below. An organization that has received two consecutive small grants must wait 12 months before re-applying. “Consecutive” is defined as when the organization re-applied within 12 months of the close of their previous grant.

Renewal grants (Small Grant Program only)

Grantees through the Small Grant Program are eligible to apply for a renewal grant for a second consecutive year of Small grant funding. The renewal process is designed to be an expedited path for those organizations interested in re-applying within 30 days of the close of their previous grant. The maximum request amount for an Unrestricted Operating Support renewal grant remains $25,000 over a 12-month period. Grantees will receive an email from the Foundation upon the close of their current grant with detailed instructions on how to apply for a renewal, along with a link to the online application form. Organizations may expect to receive notification of the Foundation’s decision regarding their renewal application no more than four months after submission. There is no guarantee of renewed funding.


COMMUNICATION

We have a grant request that appears to fit within Weingart Foundation guidelines. Should we set up a meeting with Foundation staff to present our ideas?

Generally, for all requests over $25,000, the best first step is to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Due to the high volume of requests we receive, we are unable to meet with organizations before they submit an LOI. We are also unable to review draft LOIs or applications. If you have a question related to our process or guidelines, please feel free to call or email us, and we would be happy to answer your question. If, however, you have reviewed our guidelines and feel comfortable applying without contacting us, please feel free to do so. We review each LOI and application on the strength of its fit with our Grant Guidelines, and there is no special advantage for agencies that have called first.

Do you conduct site visits to all organizations that have submitted a formal application?

Organizations requesting over $25,000 typically receive a site visit as part of our application review process. The program officer will determine the most effective method(s) by which to gather additional information and will contact you to schedule time to review all of your information once a completed application has been received. Site visits are typically not conducted for Small Grant Program applicants given the high application volume and shorter review timeline.

I am a past Weingart Foundation grantee and I am interested in applying for a grant again. Will I be assigned to the same program officer that reviewed my previous application?

Although we often assign program officers to organizations that they have reviewed in the past, there is no guarantee that you will have the same program officer.

How do we learn more about Weingart Foundation’s past grants?

A complete list of past grants can be found in the Annual Reports listed under the About Us section of the website. In the Recent Grants section, you can view recent grants by program area.

May we contact Foundation Directors about our proposed project?

Communication with members of our Board of Directors is discouraged.

How do we check on the status of our request?

Contact Priscilla Savage, Grants Administrator, at (213) 688-6311 to determine the status of your request. However, please allow one month after submission before calling to inquire about a letter of inquiry, and six weeks after submission before inquiring about a Regular Grant application.

What are the reporting requirements for the Regular Grant Program?

Organizations with Unrestricted Operating Support grants will be required to report at the end of their grant term. Core Support grantees that received funding prior to June 1, 2015 are asked to report annually. All other grantees are asked to report every six months. Forms are available on the Grantee Forms section of the website. We are eager to hear of our grantees’ accomplishments, as well as challenges, in order to learn and strengthen our grantmaking.