Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for funding?

You may send a letter of inquiry to the Foundation at any time. Inquiries are reviewed on a monthly basis. Grants are awarded in February, June and October. It often takes about four months from inquiry to a final decision about grant approval or declination. Decisions are communicated as quickly as possible. If you have any questions about the status of your letter of inquiry or proposal you are welcome to contact us with any questions.

What size grant can I request?

FISA’s grants vary in size depending on the scale and scope of the project. The smallest grant to date was $100; the largest, $250,000 (over three years). Most grants range in size from $5,000 to $75,000. It would be unusual for FISA to make a large (over $50,000) grant to an organization we have not worked with before.

Do you fund all of the disability issues that are included under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

No, due to limited resources FISA is only able to support a subset of disability issues. Priority is placed on physical, sensory and intellectual/developmental disabilities. The Foundation does not focus on disabilties resulting from the aging process, nor does it support organizations with the primary mission of serving individuals with mental illness.

Substance abuse is a disability. Does the Foundation support treatment programs in this category?

FISA only funds gender-specific substance abuse treatment programs for women.

Can we find out why our proposal was turned down?

We will send you a letter outlining the primary reason your proposal was turned down. It is important to note that the reason rarely has anything to do with the quality of the writing or presentation. Most of the proposals we receive represent good and worthy work. Given that we can only fund a small percentage of all requests, our decisions are based on how well your need fits with the current focus of the Foundation and on the degree of community impact. If you still have questions after receiving a declination letter, you are welcome to contact us.

How should my agency recognize FISA Foundation in written materials and press releases?

You may include FISA Foundation with other funders in annual reports and other lists.

All other publicity (press releases, newsletter articles, media interviews mentioning FISA) must be pre-approved by Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director or Shani Lasin, Program Officer.

To eliminate confusion with print media, we ask that you include the following wording at the end of any press release mentioning the FISA Foundation: Note to editor: “FISA Foundation” is a legal name and not an acronym. The organization was previously known as the Federation of Independent School Alumnae; however, the name was formally changed in 2000 to FISA Foundation. Please refer to the organization as FISA Foundation. Thank you.

To whom should I address grant requests and other questions?

Letters of inquiry and full proposals:
Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director
FISA Foundation
535 Smithfield Street, Suite 710
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

General questions about the FISA Foundation:
Sue Clarke, Office Manager

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