Location: 3003 Swiss Ave, Dallas, 75204 TX
Types of Grants Awarded:
For Fiscal Year
Change in Assets FY :
Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:
Reviewer 1636 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016
Have a meeting first - and then be prepared to answer questions completely unrelated to your nonprofit, and/or your request.
Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Difficult to work with
Current or former grantee
Funded for lesser amount
Not well. They appear to be floundering - perhaps in light of developing a new strategic plan and getting a new CEO at the end of the year.
Help make sure that your Program officers are approachable.
Contracts are structured well.
Reviewer 4523 - Professional in the field
Be sure to have all your ducks in a row before you begin the process. And ALWAYS try to contact a program officer to discuss your grant app instead of using the online form. They will generally steer you away if the grant is not a fit rather than wasting all that time on a very large and somewhat onerous application.
My experience with applying from multiple different nonprofits has been very frustrating. They seem to want a "Goldilocks" proposal ... where you are not so broke that they think you may not stay open, but not so well funded that you "don't need their money." They also can be very exact in how they fund: they don't want to be more than 10-20% of a project and they want to be "last money in." The latter can be hard to understand because they don't want to call it a challenge grant, it seems.
For one nonprofit, the process dragged on for nine months or so. Our financial status changed a few times based on other grants that came in / declined, and the grant reviewer felt uncomfortable recommending us for funding since our stability was unclear. We were ultimately declined.
Like many large foundations, they are inundated with proposals, so they are in the business of saying "no."
Bureaucratic, Risk averse
Professional in the field
One good thing -- their staff are all very accessible and, for the most part, very professional and understanding. I had a great experience with one program officer (even though we were declined), but a bad one with another (the scenario above).
Given their size, they are obviously making a huge impact. But they seem to be focusing much more on giving fewer, larger grants to established orgs than making riskier grants to smaller groups. It would be nice to see more of a venture philanthropy approach.
Be more adventurous and openminded, such as being willing to make riskier grants that do not come with so many restrictions.
Highly respected. Getting their funding is a great endorsement. Other funders recognize that their process is onerous so getting through it allows them to trust the grantee is fundable.
They were forward-thinking a few decades ago when they created the Wilson Block, the loan fund, etc. That innovative spirit seems to have diminished but these assets remain impactful.
Reviewer 3804 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017
This is a very in-depth proposal, and don't be surprised if they ask a lot of follow-up questions. Do reach out before you begin to speak to a staff member.
Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive
Applied and not funded
They are very quick to respond to emails and phone calls and will be very frank about the odds of your proposal being funded. They will attend funders forums.
This foundation has three main initiatives currently, none of which our nonprofit focuses on, but they are very open to hearing about projects in their other giving categories.
The review process for a proposal can be very slow.
Great website with a ton of helpful information so you can really tell if you're a good fit for them. The site also has a lot of advice about how to apply for grants that can be helpful for other funders as well. They also are willing to go out into the community to meet nonprofits at funders forums.