- How long does the process take?
For General Grant requests over $20,000 the time between the application deadline and a decision by the Board of Governors is about three months. It is a two-stage process:
- Stage 1 – Approximately three to five weeks after the submission deadline, applicants are notified whether or not their application will proceed to Stage 2 and board review.
- Stage 2 – Approximately two weeks after being notified that their application will proceed, applicants are required to submit a Stage 2 application.
The board decides these grants at the June and December meetings. Staff contact applicants soon thereafter.
If you are applying for a grant of up to $20,000, it’s a one-stage process and timelines may vary up to three months.
- Are projects that fall outside of the focus areas still eligible for funding?
As long an application meets the eligibility criteria, we will consider it. However, if there is a high level of competition for funding, we will place a priority on applications that address the focus areas (i.e. Built Environment, Freshwater Sustainability, Sustainable Food Systems).
- Why wasn’t my proposal successful?
Often, an application is not successful because it does not demonstrate a strong fit with our mandate and granting priorities, or fails to provide adequate and clear information about the project and expected outcomes. Sometimes, even when an application appears to have met the full criteria of the grants program, it might not be approved. Other factors, such as the amount of money available and the relative strengths of competing applications come into play in the decision making process.
- Does the Real Estate Foundation provide funding for core activities or organizational development?
As a rule, Foundation grants are intended to be project grants which provide funding over a specific period of time. They are not intended to support the general operating costs (e.g. rent, utilities) of an organization or organizational seed funding/start-up costs. While we recognize that organizational development and capacity building are important to many non-profits, our primary focus is on specific projects that address land use related issues or concerns.
- Does the Real Estate Foundation provide funding for economic development related projects?
While some projects may have economic development components, we will only consider funding them if their primary focus is on addressing land use related issues or concerns. Aiming to increase the revenue-generating capacity of individuals, organizations, or sectors is not within the scope of Real Estate Foundation funding.
- Which activities or costs does the Real Estate Foundation typically fund?
Our grants are typically allocated for costs associated with human resource needs, where travel and production of educational materials or resources could be related costs.
- Which activities or costs does the Real Estate Foundation NOT consider funding?
Even if a project meets our eligibility criteria, there are a few activities for which the Foundation will not provide funding. These activities and costs include:
- Purchase of equipment and capital goods;
- In general, printing costs—the Foundation prefers to support online distribution, where appropriate;
- Costs associated with conversion of existing information into another medium (e.g. scanning or transcribing physical documents to make them available online);
- Development of organizational business plans and marketing plans;
- Creation of organizational websites.
In addition, Foundation policy excludes certain broader categories of applications from funding; more information is available on the Eligibility & Funding Criteria page.
- What size are the grants the Real Estate Foundation typically provides?
The Foundation awards grants to a wide range of projects. We fund small, grassroots projects (typically between $2,000 and $5,000) as well as larger initiatives (as large as about $300,000). Our funding guidelines are:
As a rule, the Foundation support will not exceed 50% of the cash portion of the project budget, or 33% of the total budget (including in-kind donations), whichever is less; The Foundation typically will not act as the sole funder of a project; The Foundation expects that other logical partners will be approached for cash or in-kind support; The Foundation will consider whether or not there is an appropriate funding role, depending on the project’s fit with our funding criteria.
- Can we apply for a new grant when our current, Foundation-funded project is still underway?
If this is your organization’s first grant from the Real Estate Foundation, our staff must review your final project report before your organization may submit an application for a new grant. If you have satisfactorily completed projects with Foundation funding in the past, you may apply for a new grant while the current grant is underway. Please contact one of our grants staff for advice on your particular situation.