Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do we apply for a grant?
A requesting agency must first submit a letter of inquiry. If the Foundation determines the project meets its priorities and interests, the applicant will be provided with the forms required to prepare and submit a formal application.
2. What should be included in the letter of inquiry?
The letter should include brief descriptions of your organization and the project for which funding is sought; the total cost of the project, as well as sub-totals for both direct project and administrative costs; and the amount requested. A copy of the Internal Revenue Service letter of determination granting your organization 501(c)(3) status should also be included. Supporting data may accompany the letter of inquiry.
3. What are the Foundation’s funding priorities?
Our priorities are set forth in the Guidelines section.
4. We have several needs. Would you help us choose one or may we include all of them in our request?
We ask that you apply for funding for one project at a time. We suggest that you apply for the project that is the highest priority for your agency that also fits our guidelines. This will enable you to make the best case for funding.
5. May we apply for a grant or send a letter of inquiry via e-mail or fax?
Letters of inquiry and applications can only be submitted through the U.S. Mail to: The Douglas Foundation, P.O. Box 50709, Santa Barbara, California 93150. Faxed and e-mailed material is not accepted.
6. Must we submit an audited financial statement with our formal application?
All organizations in existence for more than five years and with operating income of $2,000,000 or more are required to have audited financial statements, and these must be submitted with the formal grant application. Organizations with annual income under $2,000,000 or founded within the last five years can submit an independent review of their financial statements completed by a CPA if one exists.
7. What is the maximum and range of grant amounts?
Grant amounts are assessed by need. Please note that we generally do not fund overhead and administrative expenses, with occasional exceptions.
8. Does the Foundation fund capital campaigns and expenditures?
Only rarely, and those occasional exceptions are limited to health services and education projects.
9. May we request a grant for ongoing operating expenses?
The Foundation rarely considers operating or administrative expenses in making its grants, and generally favors requests that specifically exclude such costs.
10. Does the Foundation have deadlines for submitting letters of inquiry or applications? How much time does a review take?
The Foundation accepts and reviews letters of inquiry throughout the year without fixed deadlines. If an application is invited, you will have six months to submit a completed form and supplemental materials. It generally takes two to six months to review an application. Occasionally, final action will be deferred. Each applicant is notified promptly as soon as a decision has been made. We do not accept requests for emergency funding.
11. We have a project that appears to fit within the Foundation guidelines. Should we set up a meeting with Foundation staff to present our ideas?
The first step is to submit a letter of inquiry describing the project. Foundation staff may then choose to contact a prospective applicant to obtain additional information about the request. Once you have received a formal request for an application, you are welcome to contact us for clarification or further assistance.
15. May we contact Foundation Trustees about our proposed project?
Communication with Trustees outside formal channels is discouraged.