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Grant FAQs

 Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

  • 501(c)(3) public charities
  • Organizations serving a charitable purpose that have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) public charity
  • Faith-based organizations. We will consider proposals if: (1) services benefit all, regardless of religion; (2) services provided are not religious in nature; and (3) there is no proselytizing associated with the service.
  • Civic organizations. Proposals must be project-based and of a charitable nature; the organization must have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
  • Public and private schools. We will only fund projects that exceed the school’s budget; applicant must have a letter of support from the fiscal head of the school.
  • Other government agencies with project-based proposals. Applicants must have a letter of support from the fiscal head of the agency.

What does The Cape Cod Foundation support?

The Cape Cod Foundation’s grantmaking program is broad; we support all areas of the community: health, human services, the environment, education, the arts, and community development. The Foundation’s primary service area is Barnstable County. We are particularly interested in support nonprofit initiatives that respond to our Programmatic Priorities.

What grants are available?

For a list of The Cape Cod Foundation’s current grantmaking programs, including guidelines, deadlines, and links to the online application, CLICK HERE.

What if my proposal does not fit with either discretionary grantmaking program or if the request is less than $5,000?

If you are not sure where your proposal fits in to the Foundation’s grantmaking or if your request is for less than $5,000, please contact The Cape Cod Foundation directly to schedule a meeting or phone conversation to discuss your project. 

Can organizations apply for donor-advised funding?

Some donor-advised funds have agreed to review requests received through the competitive grants process. Other donors do not because their grantmaking has specific charitable objectives or has been established for a specific purpose. Please do not contact our donor-advised fundholders directly.

Do you share proposals with The Cape Cod Foundation’s donors and other funders?

Yes. Throughout the year, we provide donors a summary of proposals so they can learn about projects and programs across the nonprofit sector and fund requests that align with their philanthropic interests. We also look for ways to leverage philanthropic dollars for maximum impact.

What is the grant review process and who reviews applications?

The Cape Cod Foundation’s staff initially screens applications for eligibility and completeness. Grants are then evaluated by an appropriate committee, comprised of knowledgeable community members, Board Members, and Foundation staff. The Foundation seeks guidance from content experts, as necessary. All grant recommendations are reviewed by The Cape Cod Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approval.

What are the criteria for grants?

  • Clear objectives that relate to the applicant’s organizational mission
  • Evidence of the organization’s ability or experience to implement the proposed work
  • A thoughtful, practical work plan for achieving the objectives and sustaining the impact
  • Community need or opportunity for the proposed work
  • Organizational health: capacity of the organization, staff, and volunteer leadership to complete the work
  • Financial health: a diverse and balanced funding strategy and the ability to leverage other revenue
  • A plan to sustain the work
  • Ability to leverage other resources
  • A clear and well-scaled plan to measure the impact of the proposed work

What will strengthen an application?

Compliance with all requirements, collaboration, creativity, and significant community impact. Be sure to review the specific criteria for each program carefully.

I have more than one idea for a grant proposal, can I submit a draft?

No, we do not accept incomplete applications. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your grant proposal if you have questions.

Can I apply to more than one grantmaking program?

Yes. However, if you receive an award, you must wait one year to reapply to that program. Also, in order to consider a new grant application, we must have the final report for any grants awarded on file. It’s OK to reapply to any grant program if you did not receive an award. Generally speaking, Program and Capacity Building grants are derived from the same funding, so we recommend that you apply for your highest priority project before making a determination on a second application.

When will I be notified of a decision?

There are specific deadlines included in each grant program’s guidelines.

How do I use the Philanthropy MA Budget Template?

Please watch this video for advice on best practices while using the Philanthropy MA Budget Template, the template we use for our Capacity Building and Program Grant applications. Feel free to contact us with more specific budget-related questions.

Create your own fund. Donate to an existing fund. Support the Foundation’s Civic Leadership Initiatives.

Together, we have invested more than $90 million in grants and scholarships in the Cape Cod Community. For good.

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Cape Cod Foundation
261 Whites Path, Unit 2
South Yarmouth, MA 02664

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