The Grant Process
The Americana Foundation supports partner organizations primarily through financial grants. Grants typically range between $10,000 and $30,000, although in limited cases we may make larger grants when necessary to the success of a project or program and the grant directly aligns with the Foundation’s priority interest areas.
Grants typically are awarded for a one-year period. The Foundation does not make multi-year grants, although we may fund a project or organization on a year-by-year basis when necessary to project or program success. Requests for general operating support are approved only in extraordinary circumstances.
Who is eligible?
- Nonprofit organizations that have been recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code and are not private foundations.
- Municipal government entities, such as cities, townships, and villages.
We prioritize nonprofit organizations whose work benefits the state of Michigan.
Who is ineligible?
- Private individuals
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, or sexual orientation
- For-profit organizations
We generally do not sponsor events or conferences, buy tickets or tables, contribute to capital projects or campaigns, advertise fund-raising events, or fund research or sabbaticals. We generally do not provide scholarship support. Grants may not be used for political purposes.
How to Apply
Organizations interested in submitting a concept letter or application must use the Foundation's on-line application portal. First-time visitors to the portal will be required to create an organizational account by providing contact details and basic organizational information. You will receive an email confirmation when your account is created and when a concept letter or application is submitted. Please call or use the Contact Us page of the website if you have questions or trouble with the system.
Submit a Concept Letter
Although a concept letter is not a prerequisite to submitting an application, we strongly encourage new applicants to complete the Foundation's on-line concept letter to help us determine whether your project fits the Foundation's program areas. The on-line concept letter requests the following information:
- Basic information about the organization submitting the request
- A brief description of the need for the project or program, how the project or program will fill the specified need, and the expected outcomes
- The amount requested
You can access the on-line concept letter here. We review concepts on a rolling basis and typically respond within a week or two after submittal.
Apply for a Grant
The Board of Trustees reviews full grant applications four times each year at meetings that generally are held in February, May, August, and November. To be eligible for review, applications must be submitted by the dates shown below:
For your request to be considered at the meeting in…
You must submit your request…
Between October 2 and January 8
Between January 9 and April 1
Between April 2 and July 1
Between July 2 and October 1
Applications must include a copy of the applicant’s current IRS determination letter indicating its tax-exempt status, annual operating budget, most recent financial statements, and annual report (if available). In addition, applications must include a grant budget that provides detailed information about how funds would be used if a grant is awarded. A copy of the grant budget can be reviewed here.
An in-person interview and site visit are arranged only if an applicant has no previous relationship with the Foundation or the nature of the request requires additional contact with an applicant before a final decision can be made.
If your grant is awarded, funds generally can be released within 30 days after the decision is made. Please be aware that The Foundation has limited resources and is able to fund only a limited number of the worthwhile proposals it receives.
A Note about Indirect Costs
The Americana Foundation aims to structure grants in a way that makes financial sense for the grantee, encourages grantees to deliver project outcomes efficiently, builds strong partnerships that are based in trust and transparency, and maximizes the impact of our grant funding.
With this aim in mind, Americana may award grants that include expenses directly attributable to project outcomes and outputs (direct costs) and a reasonable amount of the grantee’s administrative and general expense (indirect costs). The Foundation typically limits the award of indirect costs to a maximum of 15% of direct costs, but the actual indirect cost rate applied in a grant award may be higher or lower depending on the type of project, the level of administrative effort required, the grantee’s organizational cost structure, overall grant size, and other factors. Grantees that seek to include indirect costs as part of a grant award must separate direct costs from indirect costs in the project budget. Americana generally does not provide general operating support, but exceptions may be made in extraordinary circumstances.
Grantees are required to provide reporting/evaluation of a grant at the mid-point and end of the project. This includes information on results, lessons learned, future plans, and public relations, along with financials. Reporting requirements are included in the grant agreement.
We welcome and encourage you to reach out to us by calling or using the Contact Us page of the website if you have questions or need additional information about our programs or grantmaking process.