Making a Grant Request
At The Jewish Fund (TJF) we know non-profit organizations are working hard to serve their clients and be a benefit to their communities.
During the summer and fall of 2022, we revamped our application procedure to create a more open, collaborative process that prioritizes well-formed projects and will be the start of mutually beneficial relationships with our grant partners.
Pre-Request forms for the next grant cycle will be accepted November 9 – 16, 2023 (see below for link).
- FIRST STEP: Before You Make a Request
- Priority Areas
- Additional Funding Priorities to Consider
- Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence
- Grant Terms
- SECOND STEP: Pre-Request
- THIRD STEP: Meet with Our Staff
- FOURTH STEP: Making a Request
- FIFTH STEP: Site Visits & Supplemental Information
- Project Budgets
FIRST STEP: Before You Make a Request
Before you begin the request process, review these items and the following sections on The Jewish Fund’s priorities and grant terms to ensure that your organization and proposed project are a good fit with our requirements and funding goals.
Tax Exempt Status
To qualify for a grant the organization must be recognized as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Jewish Fund’s grantmaking is solely focused on programs and services that impact the lives of residents in the metropolitan Detroit area of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
To encourage the best possible alignment between our interests and those of potential applicants, we have identified broad program outcomes for each of our focus areas. Only those requests that align with the following three areas will be reviewed and considered:
Health and Welfare of the Jewish Community
The quality of life of vulnerable Jewish residents of metropolitan Detroit will be improved as a result of the program’s impact in areas of health and social welfare.
Health of the Metropolitan Detroit Community
- Vulnerable residents of metropolitan Detroit will experience improved health outcomes as a result of increased access to quality health care. Priority may be given to urban communities.
- Vulnerable children will experience improved health outcomes as a result of participation in early childhood health intervention programs. Such programs may include pre-natal services and/or those targeting children up to kindergarten age. A primary outcome must focus on improved health.
A Shared Life in Detroit
Through these grants, we prioritize support services, projects and programs directed toward enhancing a thriving Jewish community in the city of Detroit and or further the Jewish community’s bond with the city. Grants may support new initiatives and/or capacity building strategies. NOTE: Requests in this area are limited to submissions in the Spring for a Fall decision.
Additional Funding Priorities to Consider
With so many vital and deserving organizations and programs in Metro Detroit, determining which grants will receive funding can be a challenging task. Here is a list of guiding principles The Jewish Fund board considers, to help make those difficult decisions.
Our board gives the highest priority to requests for:
- New programs with a defined period that address a critical need
- Evidence-based programs that are new or expanded offerings in a specific community
- Development and implementation of capacity building strategies that will result in the organization’s strengthened operations and/or overall service delivery. These may include strategic planning, board and staff development, infrastructure enhancement, and transition planning, among others
- Initiatives that address transformative change, which may include capital projects
- Responding to urgent community needs.
Our board also prefers programs that:
- Have a defined plan for sustaining the program beyond the grant period
- Include a financial or in-kind contribution from the organization
- Involve collaboration with others, when appropriate
- Leverage financial support through multiple funding sources
- Have an outcomes-based and measurable evaluation plan
- Can be funded and replicated by others
Lowest priority is given to request for:
- Grants made directly to individuals
- Grants to support religious activities or sectarian education
- Overseas projects
- Endowments, annual fund drives, fundraising events
- Past operating deficits
Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence
In addition, organizations may want to consider the criteria used to select the recipient of The Jewish Fund’s Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence when creating their programs. This $25,000 grant is awarded annually to a current or recent grant partner of The Jewish Fund.
Programs are evaluated for the award using eight criteria, highly valued by The Fund in its overall assessment of a project’s success. These criteria attempt to measure the short-term impact of a program and to predict its long-term success. Criteria numbers 3 through 5 are weighted double in recognition that the Sosnick Award emphasizes innovation, collaboration, and impact.
- Program objectives achieved: Did the program meet the objectives established by the organization?
- Management of resources (budget): Does the program make efficient use of resources? Is it cost-effective?
- Impact/Improvement in quality of life: Evaluating a program’s impact on quality of life requires measuring both short-term and long-term changes brought about by the program. Examples of desirable outcomes include (but are not limited to):
The program has made it possible for vulnerable and at-risk populations to live in the least restrictive environment.
The program has provided service availability where it did not previously exist.
The program has improved its clients’ health status or well-being.
- Collaboration and/or partnerships with other organizations: Effective collaboration improves program quality through sharing knowledge, coordinating resources and reducing costs. It can also produce better outcomes by increasing the scope of services provided.
- Innovation in the approach to a significant community problem.
- Promotes independence/builds on strengths: Helping people to help themselves wherever possible, no matter how fragile or needy the individuals, not only improves an individual’s quality of life, but helps assure that the services will have long-term impact.
- Evaluation: Whether the program has developed a method to evaluate its impact, has implemented the evaluation and has used the results to: (1) help refine/improve the program design and (2) inform the public and other interested parties of the program’s outcomes.
- Sustainability of the program beyond the grant period: The sponsoring organization must have defined strategies and begun to demonstrate success in transitioning the program from short-term grant funding to more permanent stability.
The Jewish Fund will generally provide funding for a new program for a limited, defined term of:
- Up to three years for proposals submitted under the Health and Welfare of the Jewish Community and Enhancing the Historic Bond priority areas.
- Up to one year for proposals submitted under the Health of the Metropolitan Detroit priority area, with a possibility for renewal.
This term should provide for start-up as well as securing of support for the program following completion of the grant. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of The Fund. All multi-year grants are subject to annual review by the board and are contingent upon satisfactory progress and grant compliance.
Grants for capacity building initiatives, equipment, and other projects that are not new program developments will typically be considered for one year of funding support, regardless of focus area.
SECOND STEP: Pre-Request
In the first stage of our application process, you will provide a brief description of your proposed request, outlining in a few sentences the problem you are trying to address, how you plan to address it, outcomes you hope to achieve, and plans for evaluation and sustainability (if applicable). We will also collect a few pieces of documentation, including organizational and project budgets (see the Project Budgets section at the bottom of the page for helpful details on completing our budget form) and confirmation of your organization’s status as a 501(c)3 tax exempt entity.
Your request will be reviewed by the Jewish Fund’s staff to start the process of confirming that your program and goals fall within the parameters of The Jewish Fund’s priorities, and a staff member will reach out to you within 5 business days to discuss next steps.
Pre-Requests will be accepted for 2 periods per calendar year, in late fall/early winter for our May grant cycle, and early-mid summer for our November grant cycle.
Upcoming Pre-Request Acceptance Periods:
November 9, 2023 – November 16, 2023 (May 2024 cycle)
TBD by December 1, 2023 (November 2024 cycle)
THIRD STEP: Meet with Our Staff
If your request appears to be a good fit with TJF’s mission and funding priorities, you will be invited to meet with staff for an open discussion. This is an important opportunity for you and TJF to ask questions, brainstorm and explore the various aspects of the program and request to ensure you have the best possible foundation to start from while writing your Grant Request. Meetings will be scheduled with the intention of providing organizations at least 30 days to complete their request.
FOURTH STEP: Making a Request
Following the meeting, you will be notified whether you are invited to continue the application process and complete a Grant Request in our grant partner portal. Your request is an opportunity to describe to your understanding of your target population and their needs, the abilities and strengths your organization has to meet those needs, the plans and strategies you have formulated in your current endeavor, and your longer-term plans to evaluate progress and sustain the project following the grant term (if applicable).
In addition to questions posed on the request, you will be asked to provide several attachments within the portal:
Most Recent Complete Audited Financial Statement (including Management Letter)*
Board of Directors List
Updated Project Budget (form provided in the Grant Partner Portal)
Logic Model (template provided in the Grant Partner Portal)
Letters of Support
Resumes of Key Staff (if experience will be essential to the success of the proposed program)
*Contact the Grants Management Coordinator if your organization is not required to complete an audited financial statement.
FIFTH STEP: Site Visits & Supplemental Information
Following the board’s initial review of the grant request, organizations are scheduled for a site visit with a small delegation of TJF board members and staff.
Organizations are strongly encouraged NOT to create presentations for these visits. Rather, we find informal discussion to be the most valuable format. Relevant information about the organization and program should be included in the written request, making an organized presentation at the site visit unnecessary.
The site visit offers an opportunity for board members to get a first-hand view of the organization and for board members to ask any follow-up questions they have after reading through the application materials.
During this stage, you may also be asked to provide supplemental documentation if there are items the board would like additional clarification on, such as plans for partnerships, fundraising details, design plans, etc. If supplemental information is required, the request will be made in writing by TJF staff.
A Project Budget is completed during the Pre-Request process and will be resubmitted during the Request process with any suggested updates or corrections.
This step of the process generates the most questions. Here are a few things to assist you with creating your budgets, and hopefully simplify the process.
Expenses vs. Revenue and Resources
The budget form is broken down into (1) Expenses and (2) Revenue and Resources.
In the Expenses section you will provide an itemization of all anticipated project costs and expenses, and identify those expenses for which you are requesting support from The Jewish Fund.
In the Revenue and Resources section you will provide a breakdown of all the resources you expect to utilize to finance the total project cost. The goal is to demonstrate that you have a plan to cover any expenses not paid for through The Jewish Fund grant and ensure the program can be successful. Accordingly, the total of the Revenue & Resources section should be equal to the total of the Expenses section.
Multi-year grant requests require an individual budget form for each year of funding being requested.
Providing Additional Information
To explain or clarify any line item from the budget form, feel free to attach a budget narrative.
The Jewish Fund allows for up to 20% of the total request to be applied toward Indirect Costs, also referred to as overhead or administrative costs, and include the non-direct expenses utilized to manage a project. These may include grant management, accounting, rent, maintenance, telephone, copying, receptionist, insurance, technology updates, supervisory, and executive staff oversight, among others.
Any indirect costs included in the request should be noted on the appropriate budget form line. In addition, an explanation should be provided (generally on a separate tab or attachment) to help us understand how and why indirect costs are associated with the project and can be attached as a budget narrative.
Grant awards may include full or partial support of indirect costs. Very involved projects typically will receive higher percentage and more basic projects typically will receive lesser percentages.
Project Evaluation Expenses
In order for you and The Jewish Fund to clearly understand the overall impact of the project for your organization, an objective evaluation method is required. If you determine that an outside evaluator is needed, please include the expense related to this evaluation on the budget form.
The budget form requires the signature of the CEO/Executive Director.