The Foundation provides its support mainly through financial grants. Some limited technical assistance in the form of consulting services to the board, staff and volunteers of recipient organizations is available. The technical assistance is provided to assist the recipient group in organizational management and strategic planning.
The Foundation makes grants only to nonprofit organizations that have been determined by the IRS to be charitable, scientific or educational and have been recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code to be tax exempt and not a private foundation.
Nonprofit organizations that are located or operate within the state of Michigan are a priority of the Foundation. The Foundation does not make grants to private individuals nor does it buy tables, advertising for fund raising events, or generally provide scholarship support. Grants may not be used for political purposes.
The Foundation has a grant application that follows the guidelines listed below (download the grant application as a PDF file). Proposals should be brief and submitted by the 10th of January, April, July and October. An email to the executive director (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a concept letter can help determine if a project may fit the program areas of the Foundation. This should include:
- Brief description of basic need and program specific objectives
- Amount requested
- Brief history of the organization submitting the request
The following items must be included with a full grant request:
- Cover letter, including signatures
- Specific amount requested
- Goals and Objectives of the project
- Time line for implementation
- Evaluation Plan-projected outcomes
- Line item budget
- Latest financial statements
- List of other funding sources
- EIN number or copy of IRS letter
Grant Review Process
As a general policy, meetings and site visits are arranged only if there is no previous relationship with the Foundation or the type or size of the request requires it before final determinations are made.
With limited resources and large numbers of proposals, the Foundation is able to fund a limited number of worthwhile requests. Those same constraints limit the size of grants and may limit the number of years support can be given to any one organization.
I. Evaluation of a grant at the mid-point and end of the project.
- 1. List the original goals and objectives of the grant, and tell how they were met during this reporting period. Describe current status on meeting any special terms of this grant (e.g. challenges, contingencies, etc.),
- 2. If possible, explain results in outcome-based terms. For example, what difference did this grant make in your community and for the population you are serving?
- 3. Variance from original project plans often occurs. In what ways did the actual project vary from your initial plans? Describe how and why.
- 4. Describe any unanticipated benefits or challenges encountered with this project.
- 5. Describe how collaborative/cooperative efforts with individuals and organizations involved in planning, implementing, funding and/or evaluating this project/grant affected outcomes.
B. Lessons Learned
- 1. What are the most important outcomes and lessons learned from this project?
- 2. What recommendations would you make to the Foundation to other project directors working in this area?
- 3. If you were to undertake this project again, would you do anything differently? If yes, please explain.
- 4. Other lessons?
C. Future Plans
- 1. What is your vision of this project over the next three years? Include plans and what is the rationale for ongoing funding, expansion, replication or termination.
D. Public Relations
- I. Provide a "human interest" story that helps explain the success of the project.
- 2. Attach any printed material relating to the funded project: press or news items, brochures, letters of support, photographs, etc.
- A. Using the budget from the original application, provide detailed expenses and income for the project for this period. Provide narrative on any variances from the original projected budget.
- B. Include a complete, detailed accounting of how the specific grant dollars from Americana were spent.
This page last updated on 1/29/2014.