If you’re having a competitive grant cycle, meaning you’re inviting organizations to apply by a certain date and applications will be scored by a Selection Committee, you’ll want to use the Grant Cycle Timeline to plan for the cycle. The timeline activities should begin approximately 10 weeks before your grant cycle opens. Find that date for the 2023 Grant Cycle here.
- Know the dates your scholarship and grant cycles open and close. We encourage you to promote these dates in your community:
- By writing news releases and posting the dates on social media.
- By reaching out to nonprofit organizations in your community to inform them of open grant cycles. The CKCF Grants Officer will also circulate the information to charities, but this is a good opportunity for affiliate board members to build relationships with the charities in your community. You may find a list of your local charities here: Tax Exempt Organization Search | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)
- By connecting with the school counselors in your district to let them know of scholarships available. The CKCF Scholarships Officer will also be reaching out to the school counselor but re-enforcing the connection to the local foundation is always encouraged.
- Be aware that early in each calendar year CKCF sends “Available-To-Spend” letters to your component fund advisors with information about grant money available from their funds, including scholarships. This is a good time to engage those individuals, thank them for their gifts and check in, as appropriate, about their plans for distribution from their funds.
- Consider the date of your awards ceremony and begin planning the event.
Back to Basics: Sourcing the grant from your funds
Some CKCF affiliate foundations have only five funds while others have over forty! Several types of funds generate charitable distributions and it’s helpful to know about common types of funds and how they work. Board members should be familiar with each of the specific funds under their affiliate, and their donors and/or fund representatives. CKCF staff can help unpack this information, don’t hesitate to ask if you wish to have clarification.
Each affiliate also has at least two funds under the authority of the affiliate board. The board has discretionary use of these assets meaning that the board may either determine how to grant funds or oversee a Competitive Grant Cycle. Grant awards should be over $3,000 for utilizing the Competitive Grant Cycle through CKCF and our Grants Officer.
- Operating Fund
- Endowed Community Impact Fund (annual grant cycle fund)
There is a fund agreement known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for every fund. Your board chairperson and treasurer can provide these for board members from the Donor Advisor Portal. A quick review of an MOU will give you a good understanding of a fund’s purpose, its donor(s), grant making instructions and restrictions, as well as its date of inception.