Step 1: Initial Inquiry
FISA accepts letters of inquiry on an ongoing basis, and they are reviewed monthly. You will receive an update on the status of your inquiry within six weeks.
Note: Unsolicited inquiries are accepted but unsolicited proposals are not.
Grant applicants are encouraged to submit a 2-3-page letter of inquiry outlining the need to be addressed, a brief description of the proposed project or program, and the amount of the request. Letters should be accompanied by a completed application form.
Email your Letter of Inquiry and completed Grant Application Form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: Submission of a Full Proposal
If you are invited to submit a Full Proposal, either the Executive Director or Program Officer will contact you to discuss the scope and specifications of your request as well as the deadline for submission.
FISA accepts (but does not require) the Common Grant Application Format for proposals. The format may be adjusted but must include:
- FISA Grant Application NOTE: If you submitted an application form with the Letter of Inquiry, there is no need to resubmit the form with the proposal, unless the content has changed.
- Cover letter: One-page letter to FISA’s Executive Director outlining the purpose and amount of the grant request and its expected outcomes.
- Executive summary: One page, highlighting the major points of the proposal. It is not necessary to include the organization’s historical background in this summary.
- Narrative: Be concise (maximum of six pages, with a minimum type size of 12 point). It should include a section on the organization’s history and current activities followed by a description of the proposed program or project and the problem to be addressed, the target population, the potential number of people to be served and the plan to meet objectives and evaluate outcomes.
- Project Budget: Line item revenue and expense budget for the program or project specifying how FISA grant funds will be allocated. Specify amounts requested from other funders to which proposal has been submitted. Note: There is no need to include a project budget when requesting general operating support.
- Attachments: Attachments are specified on the FISA Foundation Application form, but the list is also included below for your reference:
Note: Any attachments that were submitted with a letter of inquiry do not need to be resubmitted with a Full Proposal.
NOTE: We ask applicants to provide information about the demographics of board and staff leadership because FISA believes that diversity strengthens organizations and the nonprofit sector.
- Board of Directors list with affiliations. In addition, please include overall demographics of your board by race, gender, and disability status. There is no need to provide identifying information about individuals. We encourage you to conduct an anonymous survey of board members in order to collect this information. You can find more information about collecting and communicating demographic information here. If you do not currently collect this information, you may note that, rather than guess.
- Brief bio of the Executive Director. Please note how the leader publicly self-identifies (gender, race, and disability status) as part of their biographical description. There is no need to disclose any specifics or any information the leader has not publicly shared.
- Brief bios of the key staff with oversight of proposed project/service
- Organizational budget (use condensed version, 1-2 pages max)
- Most recent audited financial statements
- (optional) Agency brochures or other collateral
SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL:
- Prepare proposals simply and economically.
- Submit four key parts of the proposal electronically in the following manner:
- Combine the cover letter, executive summary, proposal narrative and project budget into one Word document (no PDFs please) and name it “organization name proposal.doc”.
- Other attachments should be labeled clearly.
- Email to email@example.com
- You will receive an emailed acknowledgement that your proposal has been received.
Step 3: Review Process
FISA Foundation has a two-step proposal review process that generally takes four months from the initial inquiry to grant approval or declination.
- All proposals are reviewed by staff and the Grant Review Committee of the board. You may be contacted for additional information, a site visit, or a virtual meeting. If the committee declines your proposal, you will be notified within two weeks after the meeting.
- Proposals that are approved by the Grant Review Committee are then placed on the agenda for consideration and vote by FISA Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Step 4: Reporting Process
Grant recipients are required to submit a written report and evaluation of the funded project or program. The timetable and content of these reports will be specified by the Foundation when the grant is approved.