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Community Grants Program Frequently Asked Questions

If I have a current Community Grant from the Foundation am I eligible to apply?

My organization is not a 501(c)(3). Can I still apply to the Charitable Foundation for funding?

If an applicant is applying with a fiscal sponsor, do we use the fiscal sponsor’s financial information and list of board members?

If my organization serves as a fiscal sponsor for an applicant, are we eligible to submit a separate application for our own efforts?

If my organization (or its fiscal sponsor) is a religious organization that does non-sectarian or secular work, are we eligible to apply?

What if my organization is headquartered outside of New Hampshire, or we are headquartered inside New Hampshire but also work in other states?

My organization is focused on substance use disorders, prevention, treatment and/or recovery services. Are we eligible to apply?

Do you fund start-ups, grassroots or emergent organizations?

Can I apply for an unrestricted grant and a project grant in 2024?

How do I know if I should apply for an unrestricted grant or a project grant?

What is meant by “unrestricted grant”? Are there limits on how my organization can use an unrestricted grant if received?

What financial information does my organization need to provide?

Can we include volunteer time as an in-kind contribution in our organization budget?

Is an audit or reviewed financial statement required for this program?

Do we need a strategic plan to apply for a Community Grant?

How much should we ask for when applying for an unrestricted grant or project grant?

Can you tell me more about the “eligibility checklist” we are asked to submit when completing our profile?

We have a grant from the Charitable Foundation from another program (donor-advised fund award, other grant program, special Foundation initiative etc.). Does that affect our eligibility to apply for an unrestricted Community Grant?

If we apply for a Community Grant and are declined, are we eligible to apply next year?

Does the Foundation fund advocacy? What about lobbying?

What are the expectations about grant reports?

How will grant reports be submitted?

How do I know if I have an outstanding final grant report?

Is there a deadline for the grant funds to be used?

Do you ever provide partial funding?

What role do donors play in funding Community Grants? How can I get my work in front of the Foundation’s donors?

I have an additional question, to whom should I speak?

If I have a current Community Grant from the Foundation am I eligible to apply?

It depends on what year your current grant was awarded, and for how long.

If your current grant ends in December 2024 (e.g. you received a three-year award in December 2021 or you received a one-year award in 2023), you are eligible to apply for a grant. However, you must complete and submit a final or interim grant report in GrantSource prior to submitting an application. If you have a multiyear grant that includes support for your work in 2025 (e.g. you received a three-year award in 2022) you are not yet eligible.


My organization is not a 501(c)(3). Can I still apply to the Charitable Foundation for funding?

Non-tax-exempt organizations can only apply through a fiscal sponsor which is a 501(c)(3) and which signs a fiscal sponsorship agreement as part of the application process (an agreement template is included in the application). Organizations applying via a fiscal sponsor may only apply for project grants.


If an applicant is applying with a fiscal sponsor, do we use the fiscal sponsor’s financial information and list of board members?

The application will require both the applying organization and fiscal sponsor to provide financial information and names of members of their boards of directors.


If my organization serves as a fiscal sponsor for an applicant, are we eligible to submit a separate application for our own efforts?

Yes.


If my organization (or its fiscal sponsor) is a religious organization that does non-sectarian or secular work, are we eligible to apply?

We do not fund religious activities of any kind through the Community Grants program. Religious organizations are, however, eligible for project funding through this program to provide services that are non-discriminatory, non-sectarian and that benefit the larger community. (A good example of this would be a grant to support a church-run food pantry that is open to all.)


What if my organization is headquartered outside of New Hampshire, or we are headquartered inside New Hampshire but also work in other states?

Organizations that are headquartered outside of the Charitable Foundation’s service area but provide services in New Hampshire (and surrounding eligible towns in Maine and Vermont) are eligible for project grants only, since funding will be restricted to work in this service area.


My organization is focused on substance use disorders, prevention, harm reduction, treatment and/or recovery services. Are we eligible to apply?

Yes. Only those organizations that have NOT received a grant by invitation for work in this area are eligible to apply for a Community Grant. Please note: For the 2024 Community Grants program, the Foundation is not entertaining funding proposals relative to recovery housing. Per RFP-2025-DBH-01-CERTI: Certifying Body for NH Recovery Residences | New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, once a certifying vendor is established we will work with DHHS to reconsider funding in this space. Thank you for your patience.


Do you fund start-ups, grassroots or emergent organizations?

Yes. New organizations without 501(c)(3) tax status must apply through a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3).


Can I apply for an unrestricted grant and a project grant in 2024?

No. Organizations may only submit one application in 2024.


How do I know if I should apply for an unrestricted grant or a project grant?

Organizations choosing the unrestricted grant must be recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Municipalities, religious-based nonprofits, private operating foundations, and organizations with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible only for project-based support of charitable activities that are open for participation and inclusion of all community members.

The Community Grants program does not make grants to:

  • Private, non-operating foundations
  • Public, charter, or private schools
  • Religious organizations, unless all services being funded, are non-discriminatory, non-sectarian and benefit the larger community
  • Hospitals
  • State government agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Non-501(c)(3) organizations (without a fiscal sponsor)
  • Nonprofit organizations that have an active multiyear Community Grant (awarded in December 2022) or partners receiving an initiative-based grant

What is meant by “unrestricted grant”? Are there limits on how my organization can use an unrestricted grant if received?

Unrestricted grants (sometimes called “operating grants”) are not attached to any particular project, activity or line item in an organization’s budget. An organization receiving an unrestricted grant is free to use those funds as needed to further its overall work. This may include salary, overhead expenses, program costs, equipment purchases or any other aspect of the organization’s annual budget.


What financial information does my organization need to provide

The ‘Financial’ tab on your GrantSource organizational profile must be current and complete.

  • For project applications: A brief project budget (an example template for this budget is provided with the application) is required.
  • For unrestricted applications: A budget-to-actual financial report for the organization’s most recent closed fiscal year is required.

Can we include volunteer time as an in-kind contribution in our organization budget?

Yes. The Charitable Foundation encourages organizations to include any in-kind or financial support from other sources on both project budgets and organization budgets as appropriate.


Is an audit or reviewed financial statement required for this program?

No, but if your organization has this document, please upload it to the GrantSource organizational profile ‘Financial’ tab.


Do we need a strategic plan to apply for a Community Grant?

No, but if your organization has one, please upload it to the GrantSource organizational profile on the ‘Org Info 2’ tab.


How much should we ask for when applying for an unrestricted grant or project grant?

Organizations can apply for up to $15,000 per year for up to two years. Because grants are competitive and funding is limited, please carefully consider the right amount to request for your organization. Organizations requesting a grant amount that would be a substantial percentage of their overall annual budget should explain (in the application narrative) why such an amount is needed and how the organization plans to increase funding from other sources.


Can you tell me more about the “eligibility checklist” we are asked to submit when completing our profile?

The eligibility checklist is used to ensure that nonprofits applying for grants from the Charitable Foundation follow all legal requirements for New Hampshire nonprofit organizations and have implemented basic financial controls and oversight of operations. We require that all New Hampshire organizations complete the eligibility checklist, and if the answer to any question on the checklist is “no” we provide a space to provide an explanation. The eligibility checklist responses are to be certified/signed by the applying organization’s Executive Director/CEO, Board Chair, or Board Treasurer. Other staff certifications will not be accepted. If you are not a New Hampshire-based 501(c)(3), you are not required to complete the checklist.


We have a grant from the Charitable Foundation from an agency, designated and/or donor-advised fund. Does that affect our eligibility to apply for an unrestricted Community Grant?

Generally, no. Applications for the Community Grant program are typically open to organizations that have received funding from the Charitable Foundation through agency, designated and/or donor-advised funds.


If we apply for a Community Grant and are declined, are we eligible to apply next year?

Yes. Eligible applicants whose proposals are declined in 2024 are welcome to submit another proposal at the next open call for proposals in 2025.


Does the Foundation fund advocacy? What about lobbying?

Yes. Systems-change work and advocacy activities such as lobbying can be important tools for community impact. Advocacy includes a wide range of activities from public education to messaging/communications, grassroots organizing, policy analysis, litigation and legislative lobbying. The Charitable Foundation, like all nonprofits, is permitted to support any or all these activities in appropriate circumstances and within relevant limits.


What are the expectations about grant reports?

A brief final and/or interim (for two-year awards only) grant report will be due a year after the grant is awarded. This reporting will be available for completion and submission through the GrantSource portal.


How will grant reports be submitted?

To submit a grant report, log in to GrantSource and submit your interim or final report via the online portal.


How do I know if I have an outstanding final grant report?

When you log in to your GrantSource portal, you will see reports due on your dashboard.


Is there a deadline for the grant funds to be used?

The grant award letter will state the terms of the award and any deadlines for the funds to be expended. If you know you will need more time to complete the work and expend the grant funds, you may submit a “grant change request” through the GrantSource portal for up to an additional six months. Project grant recipients can also request a grant change request for changes to an approved project budget/application.


Do you ever provide partial funding?

Whenever possible, the Charitable Foundation aims to fully fund a request that has been selected for an award, and we encourage applicants to ask for the precise amount of grant funding that they hope to receive. However, there are circumstances in which partial funding may be awarded.


What role do donors play in funding Community Grants? How can I get my work in front of the Foundation’s donors?

The Charitable Foundation uses a mix of its discretionary and donor-advised funds to support the Community Grants program. Strong proposals that align with donors’ interest are shared directly with donors. We highly encourage all nonprofits, whether you plan to apply for a grant or not, to establish a profile on GrantSource and keep it updated, so that we have easy access to information about your work to share with interested donors.


I have an additional question, to whom should I speak?

After reviewing our online grant program materials, if you have additional questions, please reach out to our Grant Management staff at tenagncc@aups.bet or 1-800-464-6641 ext. 5. Our staff are available Monday-Thursday between 8:30 am-5:00 pm and Friday 8:30 am-3:00 pm.