Does OCF award grants for operating support?
Nonprofits receive many operating support grants from our donor advised funds or our designated funds, but this is not through an open application process. Our fund advisors simply recommend nonprofits they like. Other kinds of funds at OCF may have an open application process, but few award grants for general operations. An exception is our Small Arts & Culture Grants Program.
Our organization is in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, but we have not yet received it. Can we apply for a grant?
Yes, but only if your project is currently sponsored by a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. This organization should have a mission consistent with yours, as well as the administrative capacity to accept the legal responsibility for the grant and administer it accordingly. A grant cannot simply be passed through the fiscal sponsor.
Can a state-supported educational institution or a government entity apply for a grant even if it is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization?
Yes, but it must provide a letter indicating its tax status and its federal tax ID number. Please bear in mind that community-based nonprofits (i.e., those that are not heavily reliant on public support) tend to be more competitive as applicants.
Will you review a draft of our proposal and give us suggestions for improvement?
No. Our staffing levels do not allow for this. Also, reviewing some proposal drafts and not others would create an uneven playing field for applicants.
How often can we apply for a grant?
Once per year for each grant program, unless the program specifies otherwise. We occasionally make exceptions when a nonprofit in a rural community is the umbrella for multiple programs, allowing them to share administrative costs.
Can we apply for more than one grant at a time?
You may apply to more than one grant program at a time. For example, you may submit a Community Grant request at the same time that you submit a Douglas Community Fund request. However, you may not submit more than one Community Grant application at a time.
Does OCF support capital campaigns?
Through our Community Grant Program, OCF awards grants for specific capital projects. However, it does not make general grants that constitute only a small percentage of large capital campaigns. For more information, please review Capital Projects and the Community Grant Program.
Does OCF support capacity-building projects to improve a nonprofit organization’s fundraising, marketing, training, and so forth?
Yes. For more information, please review Capacity-Building Projects and the Community Grant Program.
Our organization received an unsolicited grant from an OCF advised fund. Can we apply directly to that fund for another grant?
No. However, if you have received an advised fund grant award letter with a name and address for the fund contact, you should send a thank-you letter to that person and perhaps periodic program updates (though not too frequent!).
Our program is part of a much larger parent organization, such as a university or county government. Should we send OCF its full financial report and budget?
No. Information about the annual budget for your department is sufficient.
Our organization received a Community Grant last year, but our project still needs support. Can we apply for another Community Grant for the same project?
Not unless you were asked to apply for another year of support.
If a proposal for a Community Grant is declined, can we resubmit the same project later?
It is not advisable to submit the same project unless new circumstances — such as additional funding partners, or strengthened leadership — have made the project more competitive. It's always best to learn why the proposal was rejected before investing time in resubmitting it.