Proposal considerations

Deadlines, Tips, and Resources

What's New?

We're going paperless! We now collect signatures via Docusign. When applying, please be prepared to sign your Certification and Acceptance document electronically. Additionally, if your proposal is approved, we will send out Grant Award Letters via Docusign as well. We'll send everything we need via email, which we hope will be much easier for applicants and grantees. Please contact us if you have any questions. 


Proposals must be submitted via our online portal by 5:00 p.m. on the application deadline. Each proposal is time stamped upon submission.

Upcoming deadlines:

  • 4th Quarter,  August 12, 2019
  • 1st Quarter, November 11, 2019 - Arts/Culture proposals may be submitted this quarter only
  • 2nd Quarter, February 6, 2020 - Education proposals may be submitted this quarter only
  • 3rd Quarter,  May 11, 2020

Decisions are made:

  • 1st Quarter - 4th Thursday of January
  • 2nd Quarter - 4th Thursday of April
  • 3rd Quarter - 4th Thursday of July
  • 4th Quarter - 4th Thursday of October

Review Process

  1. Submissions are reviewed for eligibility
  2. Eligible requests are processed and an in-person interview is scheduled
  3. Board decisions are made (see above)
  4. Notifications are made within a week of board decisions.

General Grant Requests

Preference is given to requests that:

  • Address a critical community need or opportunity
  • Address root causes of a problem
  • Include clearly stated goals, timelines, objectives, and measurable outcomes
  • Include an effective mechanism for measuring the impact
  • Exhibit sound and realistic financial plans as well as a diversification of funding sources
  • Will not duplicate existing services unless there is a clear need for additional services
  • Can be replicated by other organizations
  • Involve collaboration or cooperation with other organizations
  • Promote activities that build and sustain connections among diverse groups

The requesting organization should:

  • Demonstrate the expertise and experience necessary to accomplish the project
  • Operate under sound financial principles
  • Have a plan for ongoing financial and community support for sustainability

Capital Grant Requests

Preference is given to requests that:

  • Demonstrate that the project is necessary to fulfill the mission of the organization and conduct its programs, and is part of a long-range plan for the organization;
  • Serve a broad segment of the greater Memphis area;
  • Enhance or improve the organization’s ability to meet the needs of those it serves;
  • Provide a detailed, itemized capital project budget;
  • Demonstrate a diversification of funding sources, including agency and
    board contributions, public appeals, grants, and loans;
  • Provide a project time-line/schedule that includes start date of capital campaign, expected duration of the campaign, plans for additional funding if needed, and date that the actual construction/renovation will begin;
  • Explain the impact that the project will have on the agency’s ongoing operating budget.

The requesting organization should:

  • Include a method to evaluate the success of the campaign. For example, will the success of the campaign be based upon reaching the goal, finishing the project on schedule, or increasing services provided as a result of the campaign?;
  • Have raised in cash or pledges at least 50% of the capital campaign total;
  • Have leveraged other support.

Some or all of a Capital Project Grant may be made on a matching/challenge basis. The terms of the match will be determined on a case-by- case basis, in partnership with the grantee.

Typically, payment of Capital Project Grants is made when the organization begins the construction/renovation. Specific terms and schedule of payments will be based upon the scope of the project, amount of award, duration of the project, and completion of required reporting at appropriate intervals.

Requests for Endowments

If you are applying for funds for an endowment that is not part of a capital campaign request, please be sure to include the following (at a minimum) in the narrative portion of the general grant application.

  • State the amount of your current cash reserve—a minimum of three months to six months is preferred; ideally 12 months
  • Explain how spending percentages (programs/services vs. personnel vs. facilities) are adjusted  when there is a funding shortfall (if applicable)
  • Describe process used if sufficient working capital is not maintained (eliminate programs or services; use line of credit?)
  • Total amount of endowment to be raised
    • Amount raised to date
    • Number and amounts of pending requests
    • Name of Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) for the endowment or process to be taken by the Board to secure appropriate advice to manage the endowment.
    • Please attach a  copy of your organization’s current Board approved:
      • business plan
      • investment guidelines
      • spending policy

Useful Resources

Other interesting, helpful information: 

Local resource for Child Protection Policy:

The Memphis Child Advocacy Center offers a FREE two-hour Child Protection Policy Workshop to help leaders from youth serving organizations review and strengthen child protection policies. Key areas discussed using discussion of best practices, interactive case studies, and small group exercises include:

  • Screening of      staff/volunteers
  • Background check basics
  • Code of conducts for      staff/volunteers
  • State reporting      requirements
  • Prevention education

Technology requests should minimally include as appropriate for your setting:

  • technology  assessment including infrastructure
  • specific goals and objectives
  • implementation strategies
  • funding plan
  • warranties
  • replacement policy for loss, damage, etc.
  • replacement plan when technology becomes obsolete
  • staff development/training 
  • risk management prodedures
  • evaluation plan

A number of sample technology checklists are available online for a variety of technology platforms