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APPLYING FOR A GRANT FROM THE SMZ FOUNDATION

WHAT WE FUND AND WHAT WE DO NOT FUND

 

The mission of the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation is to improve the Quality of Life for the citizens of Muncie, Delaware County, and the State of Indiana through the development and funding of projects that facilitate the enhancement, conservation, and appreciation of the natural and horticultural beauty of our public spaces, as well as the development and funding of celebrations, festivals, and cultural events that promote the appreciation of such beauty and the community.

 

Projects and activities eligible for Foundation funding can include such things as the planting of trees, shrubbery, flowers, and other plants, in parks, recreational facilities, and other public areas. They may also include the conservation, preservation, and maintenance of natural areas, as well as the development, beautification, maintenance, preservation, and support of parks and recreational facilities. To foster civic pride and accomplishment, the Foundation may also support the creation and/or maintenance of historical exhibits and landmarks, as well as celebrations, festivals, concerts, and cultural events.

 

The Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation gives preference to projects that focus on the City of Muncie and Delaware County, Indiana when selecting beneficiaries of its grants and/or activities. No funds will be granted for projects outside the state of Indiana. Projects are generally restricted to public properties or to private properties open to the general public (e.g., museums, hospitals, community centers). While not a requirement, the Foundation also looks with favor on grant applications which propose leveraging the requested funds with those of other funding sources or matching funds. Grants should generally be for amounts in excess of $2,000 in order to ensure that the requested funds are for projects that will have a substantial impact on the designated community.

 

The Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation awards grants only to organizations and institutions which have received 501(c)(3) designation by the Internal Revenue Service. We do not provide funding for individuals and/or scholarships. Further, we are a “project-focused” foundation and generally do not provide funding for studies, classes, seminars, or retreats. Similarly, we also do not provide funding for an organization’s regular operating expenses or capacity-building.  The Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation will not provide financial or other support for religious or church-related organizations and/or activities, choirs or choral groups, or athletic sports of any kind.

LETTER OF INQUIRY AND GRANT REQUEST APPLICATION GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

 

The Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation meets twice yearly to consider grant request applications. Before submitting a Grant Request Application, the Foundation requires grant-seekers to first submit a preliminary Letter of Inquiry (LOI). We will review the LOI and determine whether the organization will then be invited to submit a full Grant Request Application. This determination will be made on the basis of whether the grant request seems likely to be in line with our Foundation’s expressed mission and interests. This will save the grant-seeker from devoting substantial time and effort in completing a full Grant Request Application in cases where the request is highly unlikely to be awarded.

 

SUBMITTING A LETTER OF INQUIRY (LOI)

The deadlines for submitting the LOI are January 14th and July 15th.  An email acknowledging receipt of your LOI will be sent within one week of its submission. A response as to whether or not your organization will be invited to submit a Grant Request Application will generally follow within 1-2 weeks of the deadline for LOI submissions. Please understand that an invitation to submit a Grant Request Application in no way guarantees that such a request will be approved and funded.

 

The LOI should contain the following information, in the following order:

1. Organization name, address, telephone number, email, and website.

2. Employer Identification Number (EIN) and current IRS status re 501(c)(3) designation.

3. Name of proposed project, start and end dates, and total amount to be requested.

4. An itemized budget worksheet for the proposed project/activity, specifying the components of such and the estimated cost of each component (if such specification is applicable/available).

5. Name, title, phone, and email contact information for the person responsible for submitting the LOI (so we may contact them, if necessary).

6. Name and title (e.g., Executive Director, President, Chairperson, etc.) of your organization’s leader.

7. A one-page cover letter of endorsement signed by your organization’s leader which briefly summarizes your request as well as the amount of money requested. This will be the first thing that grant reviewers will read when looking at your LOI.

 

The LOI should also include answers to the following four questions (no more than 1/2 single-spaced page for each question, or two single-spaced pages for all four questions):

1. What is the mission and purpose of your organization? You may highlight notable accomplishments to convey a sense of your organization’s work.

2. What do you propose to do and accomplish with a grant from the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation? What are the goals and objectives for the project/activity for which funds are requested?

3. What specific and measurable community benefits will result from the successful completion of your proposed project/activity, and how do these benefits align with your organization’s mission?

4. Describe the population to be served by the project/activity, including the geographical area(s) to be served.

Finally, please provide a narrative relating to the itemized budget worksheet (information item #4 above) with explanations for each item listed and why these items are necessary for the success of the project. Also, please indicate the items for which you would be using grant money from the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation.

 

Once completed, the LOI should be emailed (PDF format preferred) to:

smzfoundation55@gmail.com

 

SUBMISSION OF THE THE LOI WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE LOI BY REGULAR MAIL. PLEASE CONTACT US IF FOR SOME REASON THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

 

If you have any questions regarding any aspects of the LOI Application process, please feel free contact us at smzfoundation55@gmail.com or by phone at 317-430-1452.  Applicants/grant-seekers who have not previously applied to the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation for funding are REQUIRED to contact the Foundation prior to submitting the LOI. Please do not contact us to check on the status of your LOI.

 

Please note that organizations are only allowed to submit one LOI per calendar year. Further, LOI’s will not be accepted from any organization that has failed to complete a post-grant report for any previous grants obtained from the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation. 

SUBMITTING A GRANT REQUEST APPLICATION

 

As described above, the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation will generally contact you within 1-2 weeks of the LOI submission deadline to inform you as to whether your organization will be invited to submit a full Grant Request Application. The deadlines for submitting a Grant Request Application, including the submission of any supplemental materials, are March 15th and September 1st.  An email acknowledging receipt of your application will be sent within one week of its submission. A response as to whether or not your organization will be awarded funding (full or partial) for the requested grant will generally follow within 8-10 weeks of the deadline for Grant Request applications.

 

If you receive an invitation to submit a Grant Request Application, your responses to the LOI will consist of the first part of this application. You will then be asked to submit responses to the following questions:

5. How does your organization plan to implement the proposed project/activity if funding is received? Who will be involved in such implementation and what will be their roles? Please indicate if you have successfully implemented such projects or activities in the past.

6. What is your timeline for implementation, including start and end dates? Be specific.

7. What are your plans for assessing the results and impact of the proposed project/activity? Please be specific as to how you will evaluate and measure the success of the project/activity.

8. How will the project be maintained or continued after implementation (if applicable).

9. Do you anticipate requesting additional funds for this project/activity from the Zeigler Foundation in future years?

 

You will also be asked to provide the following:

1. A list of other partners/collaborators involved in this project/activity and a description of their roles.

2. A list of other funders involved and the dollar amounts to be requested/received from each. Such funders may include individual donors (you do not need to provide individual names), corporations, other foundations, government agencies, etc. Please distinguish committed funding from requested and prospective (not yet requested) funding.

3. A balance sheet and income and expense statement from the last completed fiscal year for your organization.

4. A year-to-date income and expense statement for your organization.

5. A copy of your organization’s IRS 501(c)(3) Determination Letter.

6. A list of your organization’s current board members and their affiliations.

 

The Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation may also ask for additional information regarding your responses to questions in the LOI and or the Grant Request, as well as an updated budget worksheet if applicable.

 

If there are non-narrative supplemental materials (e.g., pictures, graphs, design documents) you would like to include with your Grant Request Application that you feel would aid grant reviewers in understanding your project/activity and making their decision, please do so.

 

Once completed, the Grant Request Application should be emailed (PDF format preferred) to:

smzfoundation55@gmail.com

 

SUBMISSION OF THE GRANT REQUEST APPLICATION WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE GRANT REQUEST APPLICATION BY REGULAR MAIL. PLEASE CONTACT US IF FOR SOME REASON THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

 

We do realize that supplemental materials may occasionally not be in a form that can be easily emailed or that the file size for such may be too large for emailing. In such cases, these materials may be mailed to:

Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation

PO Box 1775

Muncie, IN 47308

Please understand that we cannot return any mailed supplemental materials and that all such materials must be received by the indicated submission deadlines.

 

You will generally be notified within 8-10 weeks from the submission deadline as to whether or not your organization will be awarded funding (full or partial) for the requested grant. If funding is awarded, you will also be asked to sign a Mutual Understanding Agreement outlining the amount of money granted and requirements to be fulfilled in order to receive the grant. As part of this agreement, your organization will be required to acknowledge that the allocated funds have been received with a receipt for such. Also, your organization will be required to submit a post-grant report regarding the status/success of the project/activity. This report should be submitted by the date specified on the agreement (generally within one year from the date the grant was awarded). The post-grant report should be no more than 1-2 pages in length (not including the listing of budget items mentioned below in #2) and should contain the following information:

1. A narrative report that assesses the degree to which the goals and anticipated outcomes for the project/activity were achieved, including what went right, what went wrong, and what was unexpected. Please be specific as to how you evaluated and measured the impact and success of your project/activity for the intended recipients.

2. An itemized final accounting of funds expended for the project or activity, including specifying where the funds from the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation were used.

3. A description of your experience working with the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation. What were some positive aspects? What might we improve upon?

 

If you have any questions regarding any aspects of the Grant Request Application process, please feel free contact us at smzfoundation55@gmail.com or by phone at 317-430-1452.  Applicants/grant-seekers who have not previously applied to the Sherman and Marjorie Zeigler Foundation for funding are REQUIRED to contact the Foundation prior to submitting a Grant Request Application. Please do not contact us to check on the status of your Grant Request Application.