Core Grants

How do I begin the application process?

If you’ve read the guidelines and think there is a good fit, please complete our online application which includes a letter of inquiry that summarizes what you plan to accomplish.
Applications can be submitted by logging into your applicant account online at
If you do not have an online applicant account, click New Applicant. You will be prompted to create an account by using your email address and generating a password.

If I am having trouble completing my application online, what do I do?

Try to address the following common issues:

Contact the Foundation at 312-609-0200 if your problem persists. We encourage you to begin your application in the online system as early as possible so that we have time to offer you support.

Is my information kept private when I apply online?

All information provided to Grand Victoria Foundation will be held in strict confidence. We use the information from your grant application solely to evaluate your request.

How secure is the Web site that is handling the online application process?

Very secure. We use the Internet Grant Application Module (IGAM), provided by MicroEdge, to enable us to accept applications and proposals via the Web. MicroEdge provides this service in the form of a hosted Web-based application service provider (ASP) solution. The MicroEdge hosting facility, co-located within one of AT&T's secure Internet data centers, was chosen because of AT&T's dedication to the highest levels of security. The communication from the end user's browser to the IGAM server is accomplished via the Secure Sockets Layer protocol, or SSL. SSL is used to ensure end-to-end security and encryption of all data traveling from the applicant's browser to the IGAM server.

I just tried to enter my email and password, but I am getting an error message. Why?

If you have already set-up your account, please request a temporary password from the application site by clicking on the "Forgot Password?" button.

Is it helpful to contact a member of your board of directors to discuss my idea?

Our directors request that all inquiries be addressed to Foundation staff.

Do I have to send a letter of inquiry?

Yes. The Foundation only considers proposals that are invited in response to a letter of inquiry that is submitted via the Foundation’s online application system. Letters should be on letterhead and signed by a member of the staff who authorized to accept and manage grants. Applications are due the first Fridays in May and October and should be uploaded and submitted online.

When will I hear whether a full proposal is invited?

We make every effort to answer letters of inquiry within 20 working days of the inquiry due date.

How much money should I ask for?

There's no set range. We look at the scope and long-term impact of your project, the size of your organization, and the other sources of funding you've secured.

Is there a page limit for full proposals?

Yes: twelve pages for your narrative, which should relate directly to the questions posed in Step 3 of our guidelines. We find that proposals packed with rhetoric and industry jargon obscure the clarity of a project idea and your plans for implementation.

What makes a good proposal?

A clear and succinct description of the proposed project, focusing on the big idea, the need or issue it addresses, the expected outcomes of your effort and how they complement other efforts in the field of practice, the method of assessing outcomes, and the project's relationship to the Foundation's grantmaking programs and strategic priorities.

What is the review process for letters of inquiry and full proposals?

Staff reviews letters of inquiry for their general fit with Foundation grantmaking programs. Full proposals are given more in-depth review by staff and a corps of independent reviewers with expertise in relevant fields. The board of directors considers the requests along with findings of the in-depth reviews and decides whether to approve a grant.

What types of efforts does the Foundation typically support?

Generally we support policy, advocacy, and systems change efforts focused on our three funding areas. We will consider direct service projects that are tied to systems change efforts.

Does the Foundation support general operations?

Yes. To qualify for general operating support, your organization must first fit our grantmaking programs and strategic priorities. We provide limited general support to 1) exemplary single-program organizations; and 2) organizations that provide a range of expertise that is called upon by a variety of public and private agencies.

Does the Foundation fund multi-year requests?

Generally, we will consider a request for two years of support from organizations that have received funding in the past and with which we have an established relationship.

What is required in the budget submitted with the proposal?

Organizations applying for project support should submit a project-specific budget detailing expected revenues and expenses as well as a breakdown of how Grand Victoria Foundation funds will be spent.  They should also submit an organizational budget that reflects both revenues and expenses. Organizations applying for general operating support should submit an organizational budget that reflects both revenues and expenses. Organizations should also submit a year-to-date revenue and expense statement and a balance sheet for the most recently completed quarter.

What is a budget narrative?

A budget narrative briefly describes each line item in the project budget.  It tells us important information about your project plan and the financial assumptions under which you operate. For instance, under personnel, it may indicate the number of staff and the percentage of their allocated time, or it may relate to how many brochures are to be printed and the costs for design, production, and printing under “promotion and outreach.” The budget narrative also should clearly list other sources of support, both secured and pending.

What does the Foundation mean by best practices?

Best practices are those for which there is documented research or evidence of their effectiveness in achieving specific outcomes.

Does the Foundation prefer to support new programs or the expansion of existing programs?

The Foundation does not use that lens when evaluating proposals. Rather, we place high priority on efforts that advance our mission and strategic priorities and that are consistent with our values.

What exactly does “board involvement” mean?

Board involvement includes leadership, governance, and financial oversight. We also are interested in the extent to which the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of a board is representative of the populations served by an organization.

Which resumes should be included with the proposal?

Include resumes of everyone directly responsible for implementing the proposed program.

When will I get my grant check?

When a grant is approved, the Foundation sends a grant award agreement to the grantee. The agreement sets forth the terms and conditions of the grant, including payment schedule, grant contingencies, and reporting requirements. Unless there are certain contingencies that must be met, such as matching a challenge grant, most grants are released when the Foundation receives the signed grant award agreement.

What are the reporting requirements?

Generally, we require an interim report six months after a grant period begins and a final report 30 days after the grant period ends.  However, some projects require more or less frequent reporting. Foundation staff determines the reporting requirements.

May I talk with someone at the Foundation about my application?

We are happy to answer questions about eligibility and criteria before you submit an application. Please contact us at or 312-609-0200.