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Grants

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I submit a proposal for a program grant?

All After School programs should use the After School Proposal Guidelines. All other programs should use the Program Grant Guidelines

How do I submit a proposal for a capital grant?

The first step is to submit a letter of intent. For full details, see Capital Grants.

Do you have program grant proposal deadlines?

Program Grant Proposals

January 19, 2018 for review at our March board meeting

July 13, 2018 for review at our September board meeting

After School Grant Proposals

April 2, 2018 for review at our June board meeting. This is to give organizations time to plan ahead for the following school year

Regardless of when a proposal is received, the Foundation may defer a decision to a future board meeting. The Foundation's staff assesses proposals for completeness and eligibility. If the proposal is complete, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their proposal and be given the expected date that their proposal will be reviewed by the board of directors. During the assessment process, we will contact you if we require additional information.

Will my grant proposal receive a decision at the next scheduled board meeting?

Not necessarily. Regardless of when a proposal is received, the Foundation may defer a decision to a future board meeting. The Foundation's staff assesses proposals for completeness and eligibility. If the proposal is complete, applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their proposal and be given the expected date that their proposal will be reviewed by the board of directors. During the assessment process, we will contact you if we require additional information.

Do you have geographic priorities within your 64-town service area?

Our roots are in New Britain, where the American Savings Bank originated, and this is our primary focus. The bank also had a historic business connection to the City of Waterbury, which is an important focus for our funding. The entire 64-town service area is a legacy of the bank’s service area, and the lasting commitment of our board to give back to those communities. We encourage you to read about the Towns We Serve.

Do you have a formula for funding by town or program area?

No. We do not allocate our funding budget by town, or by priority areas. We make funding decisions based on a combination of factors, including the quality and stability of the organization, whether the program or project fits the Foundation's interests, the potential for successful outcomes, and the impact on community. We encourage you to read about the Towns We Serve.

What are your funding priorities?

The Foundation is a broad-based funder, with a special emphasis on the needs of children, youth and families. Our three general funding priorities are Education, Human Services and Arts & Culture. These are not rigid categories, and many of our grants overlap more than one. We focus on direct service programs that help those with highest need, and where our funding can make a direct, measurable impact. Our Grant History helps grantseekers understand our priorities.

What does NOT fit the Foundation’s funding priorities?

Examples may include but are not limited to: environmental issues; biomedical research; religious institutions (except for non-sectarian activities that benefit the community at-large); political advocacy or lobbying; endowment funds; and annual campaigns. Also, because the Foundation operates a large college scholarship program (see Scholarships) it does not provide funding for scholarship programs operated by schools or other nonprofit organizations. With very few exceptions, the Foundation does not fund primary or secondary schools -- public, private independent, or parochial -- or colleges and universities. Call the Foundation staff if you need further guidance.

Does the Foundation limit the number of times a program may be funded?

No, we do not have a specific policy. However, each year the Foundation receives more qualified proposals than can be funded, and repeat funding is never automatic. The Foundation’s policy and practice is to consider program proposals on a year-to-year basis only.

Does the Foundation consider multi-year proposals?

No. The Foundation reviews proposals on a year-by-year basis only and renewed funding is never automatic.

May we ask for funding once a program is already underway?

Yes, depending on your overall program funding plan. Indicate in which fiscal year you will apply the requested funding, and explain how it connects to your agency’s overall operating budget.

What is the dollar range for program requests? How are grant amounts determined?

There is no set range for grants. During the proposal review process we consider: How does the program budget fit into the organization’s overall budget? How much support from the community and other funders has this program or agency received? What portion of the total program budget is American Savings Foundation being asked to fund? How will the program be funded in the future?

Who makes the grant decisions?

Grant proposals are reviewed by a committee of volunteers, which makes recommendations to the board of directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for all grant award decisions. Many of our volunteers were employees of the former American Savings Bank and have been involved with the Foundation from its beginning in 1995. Others have joined the committee more recently and represent the communities we serve.

If we have more than one program or funding need, can we present options, and ask the Foundation to identify the one that best fits its funding priorities?

The most important consideration should be your organization’s priorities and needs. The Foundation staff will not make that choice for you, but you are welcome to call to discuss whether a specific program or project fits. However, we strongly encourage you to review our Grant History first for guidance.

Can we meet with the Foundation staff to discuss a potential grant? Do you make site visits?

The Foundation is accessible to grant seekers by email, phone, or in person. We encourage first-time grant seekers to call or email the Foundation staff to discuss a potential grant. Site visits might be conducted during the proposal review process when it is appropriate to do so. If funded we regularly conduct site visits during the course of the grant period.

What is your policy on administrative overhead?

Proposals may include administrative overhead. We do not have a set formula, however, we apply an industry rule-of-thumb of about 10-15%. Some budgets incorporate overhead within categories (e.g. rent, utilities, supervisor salary). Other budgets apply a percentage to the bottom line. You must indicate in the budget template one method or the other, but not both. Our grants committee carefully considers whether overhead in a proposal budget is appropriate to both the program budget and the agency’s budget and if the amount requested from the Foundation is proportional to the overall program budget. Call the Foundation staff if you need further clarification.

Do you consider providing general operating support?

No. We consider the term "general operating support" to refer to "unrestricted grants", which we will not provide. We only fund program operations. However, some agencies only operate one core program, so all agency costs are considered part of that program's costs. For agencies that operate multiple programs, general support costs may be broken out to the various programs. An agency may apply to the Foundation for administrative overhead so long as it is appropriate to the proportionate costs of the program (see above).

When do I need to submit reports on an existing grant?

A final report is due one year after the grant is awarded or when the project is completed, whichever comes first. New grant requests will not be considered until a final report for any previous grant has been received. If your proposal is a request for renewed support before a final report can be completed on a current grant, you must submit an interim report. Click here for the report format.

Do you provide funding to replace municipal, state or federal funding?

With very few exceptions, the Foundation does not provide funding for what is traditionally considered to be municipal services (police, fire, k-12 school budgets, public parks). With very few exceptions, the Foundation does not provide funding to replace lost state or federal grants or contracts, provide bridge funding, or to fill budget deficits. We do consider proposals where private funding can help leverage other sources of funding.