Step 1: Initial Inquiry
NOTE: Unsolicited inquiries are accepted but unsolicited proposals are not.
Grant applicants are encouraged to submit a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters of inquiry are reviewed on a monthly basis. You will receive an update about the status of your inquiry within six weeks.
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.
FISA accepts (but does not require) the Common Grant Application Format for proposals. The format may be adjusted but must include:
- FISA Grant Application Form FISA Grant Application Form NOTE: There is no need to also submit the Common Grant Application coversheet. 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, its expected outcomes and the contact person. The board chair and the CEO or executive director of the organization should sign the letter.
- 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 printed 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.
- If applicable, include a paragraph about other organizations in the region that sponsor similar programs. Describe the unique characteristics of the proposed program and any plans for collaboration.
- If applicable, include a three-year funding history for the requested project and your plan for future funding to sustain it.
- Project Budget: Line item revenue and expense budget for the program or project specifying how FISA grant funds will be allocated. Note: There is no need to allocate costs 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.
- Copy of the most recent determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service as evidence of tax-exempt charitable status under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)
- Current Board of Directors with affiliations. Please include race, gender, and disability status.
- Program Budget
- List of amounts requested from other funders to which the proposal has been submitted
- List of agency funding sources (past three years) (If applicable)
- (If applicable) Resumes of key personnel involved in the program/project (maximum of two pages each)
- List of key administrative staff
- Organizational Budget
- Audited financial statements and management letters for the past two years
- (optional) Agency brochures or news clippings
SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL:
- Prepare proposals simply and economically. Please do not use formal binding, tabs, dividers or staples.
- Mail one full copy of the proposal, unbound, single sided, and suitable for copying to FISA’s office.
- If you are including any supplementary materials that are difficult to copy (such as brochures or annual reports) please include two copies of these items.
- 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”.
- Email this document as an attachment 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. They may contact you to request additional information, a site visit, or a conference call. 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. Most reports are due 30 days after the end of the grant term.