How to Apply
Independence Foundation primarily provides unrestricted funding to nonprofits to best help them achieve their missions. Our general operating support offers flexibility to our grantees by allowing funds to be used when and where they’re most needed.
Letter of Inquiry
Our application process starts with the submission of a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). Independence Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
What to know about LOI's:
Who should submit?
All organizations not previously or recently funded should submit a Letter of Inquiry.
Returning grantees seeking renewal funding will be contacted by a member of our team prior to their grant term end date to discuss proposal submission.
When to submit?
Letters of Inquiry for all program areas are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted throughout the year.
Please be aware that the Foundation establishes a grant cycle on a yearly basis and decisions are made in cycle. While we accept LOI’s at any time, the best time to submit for possible inclusion in current funding cycles is generally in the beginning of the new year, as our fiscal year follows the calendar year.
What information should be included?
Prior to submitting a Letter of Inquiry, we recommend that you visit our Mission, Values and What We Fund pages for overviews of our program areas.
Letters of Inquiry should be no longer than two-pages and include organizational background information (annual operating budget, geographic area of focus, contact information), amount being requested and description of the program/services for which the funds will be used. Our typical grant for organizations new to our funding is in the $5,000 - $10,000 range.
Please note that the Independence Foundation’s funding area is restricted to Philadelphia and its surrounding Pennsylvania counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.
Where to submit?
Letters of Inquiry may be submitted through the link above or mailed to:
Grant Program Inquiry
Offices at the Bellevue
200 South Broad Street, Suite 1101
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Request for Proposal
Independence Foundation sends out a limited number of Requests for Proposal (RFP) in each of our funding initiatives. We anticipate inviting a handful of proposal submissions for new grants from the LOI's submitted each year.
What to know about RFP's:
What happens after an LOI is submitted?
Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed for consistency with current funding priorities. Should programs or services outlined prove to be within the scope of the Foundation’s interests, and resources are available to extend Request For Proposal invitations beyond current grantees, the applicant may be asked to submit a full proposal.
It is not possible for the staff of the Independence Foundation to grant personal interviews to all prospective grantees.
How are Requests for Proposal distributed?
Organizations that are invited to submit a full proposal will receive a formal invitation with instructions via both email and US mail. These will be sent to the attention of the organization's Executive Director or Chief Executive.
What is in the Request for Proposal?
Requests for Proposal will include the following information:
- Funding initiative the applicant may apply to
- Type of grant the applicant may apply for
- Amount the applicant may request
- Time period the grant will cover
- Instructions to access our online grant system
Independence Foundation believes in the value of utilizing peer-review panels in its grantmaking. All funding decisions are made by the Foundation's Board of Directors.
What to know about the Grant Review Process:
What happens after a proposal is submitted?
Independence Foundation uses an online system for application and administration of grants. Links to access the application are included with the Request For Proposal. Upon receipt, submitted applications will be evaluated by Foundation staff for completeness before being distributed to Advisory Committees for review.
What do the Advisory Committees do?
Advisory Committees are utilized in each funding initiative and are comprised of local non-profit professionals and administrators. The committees review the submitted grant applications and make recommendations to the Independence Foundation Board of Directors, who make all final funding decisions.
How long is the review process?
The review process will take approximately 2-3 months from the application due date, after which applicants will be notified of funding decisions.
How are organizations notified of grant awards?
Organizations awarded grants will initially be notified via email or by a phone call from Foundation staff. A letter with the grant agreement will be mailed to the attention of the Executive Director or Chief Executive at the official organization address. Funds are disbursed upon receipt of the grant agreement signed by an authorized official at the grantee organization.
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