Grant Procedure Guidelines

There are two steps in the process of applying for a grant. The first is a Letter of Inquiry from the applicant. This letter is used to determine if the applicant will be invited to take the second step of submitting a formal Grant Proposal.

Letter of Inquiry.   Applicants should submit a brief Letter of Inquiry describing the applicant and the project or program for which it seeks financial support, and verifying the applicant's eligibility for a grant. The letter should not exceed three pages in length.  The letter should be sent in .pdf form electronically to the Program Officer (, along with an attached .pdf copy of the applicant's current IRS determination letter.  The co-managers will review each Letter of Inquiry and jointly determine if the applicant is eligible for a grant and whether the project or program (i) is within a current giving program of either of the Chapman Trusts, and (ii) meets the Grant Approval Guidelines and Policies. If so, the applicant will be invited to take the second step of submitting a Grant Proposal. Applicants will be promptly advised of this determination.  An invitation to submit a Grant Proposal does not indicate that a grant in any amount will be made. There are no submission deadlines for Letters of Inquiry.

Grant Proposal. Invited applicants will be sent a .pdf form via email, along with instructions on how and where to submit proposals and supporting documentation. At this time Grant Proposal Forms are ONLY accepted by mail to the Colorado Springs, CO office.  Please submit the  Grant Proposal form specified by the trusts, in triplicate. The Grant Proposal must be signed by an authorized officer, normally a President, Vice-President, Executive Director, or officer other than a development director. Submission deadlines are the 1st day of the month preceeding the next quarterly Trustees meeting.

Supporting Documentation.   The following Supporting Documentation should accompany the Grant Proposal:

Annual financial statements (audited, if available) of the applicant for the most recent two fiscal years (1 copy).

Annual operating income and expense budget for applicant's most recent completed year and current year (3 copies).

If the proposal is for an operating program, (i) the income and expense budget for the program for the period for which funding is sought, and (ii) a statement of the actual income and expense of the program during the most recent corresponding period (3 copies). If the proposal is for a project, a detailed budget of the estimated expenses of the project (3 copies).

A list of applicant's executive staff and board of directors (3 copies). A list of major contributions ($5,000 or more) to the project or program (i) by the applicant's board of directors as a whole, (ii) by any governmental agencies, and (iii) by individuals, corporations and other private foundations (3 copies).

Tax Documentation.   The following Tax Documentation should accompany the Grant Proposal:

One copy of the most recent IRS letter determining applicant to be (i) qualified as a §501(c)(3) organization, and (ii) classified as a public charity, not a private foundation under §509(a)(1) or (2) of the code. If the applicant relies upon a group determination letter issued to its parent organization, then the applicant should also submit a list of the subordinates entitled to rely on the group ruling. If the date of the determination letter is more than 10 years prior to the submittal of the Grant Proposal, the applicant may be asked to obtain an updated determination from the IRS.

One copy of the most recent Form 990 filed by the applicant with the IRS, including Schedule A, or an explanation of why none has been filed. The managers review the Form 990 to determine, among other things, whether the applicant's claim for and compliance with public charity status is consistent with the basis of the classification made by the IRS. If there is an inconsistency, the applicant will be asked to submit additional documentation verifying the public charity classification.

Additional Documentation. Additional documentation may be provided at the option of the applicant, or may be required by the managers upon review of the Grant Proposal and the Supporting Documentation and Tax Documentation.

Review Process.   Upon receipt, each Grant Proposal is reviewed by the staff and the co-managers (i) to verify the applicant's tax status as a §501(c)(3) organization classified as a public charity or a public instrumentality, and (ii) to determine if the proposal is complete without additional documentation and information from the applicant. Only after all pertinent information has been obtained and reviewed will the proposal be set on the agenda for final consideration along with other proposals at the next appropriate grant review meeting of the managers. Applicants will be advised when the proposal has been processed and when it will be scheduled for a grant review meeting of the Trustees.

Site Visits and Meetings With Managers.   In some circumstances the managers may request a site visit or a meeting with the applicant if they believe it will be useful to the review process. Applicants may also request a site visit or meeting anytime after filing a Letter of Inquiry, but the managers have limited time for such events, and the requests are likely to be declined if the managers believe a site visit or meeting is unnecessary to their complete understanding of the proposal.

Trustees Grant Review Meetings. Regular grant review meetings of the Trustees are held quarterly in March, June, September and December of each year. Because of the detail of the review process, and the large number of proposals received, applicants should not expect their proposals to be heard at a particular meeting unless the proposal, all required documentation, and any additional information requested after the filing of the Grant Proposal, is postmarked no later than the 1st day of the month preceding a quarterly review meeting. Even then, special circumstances may require a lengthier review process and scheduling the proposal at a later meeting of the Trustees. Applicants are urged to submit proposals well in advance so there is ample time for a thorough review.

Naming Opportunities.   A naming opportunity is normally not a significant consideration in the review of a Grant Proposal.

Decisions of Trustees.   The structure of the giving programs of the two trusts, and all final decisions with regard to either a Letter of Inquiry or a Grant Proposal, are made jointly by the two Trustees. Applicants will be promptly advised of these decisions. Applicants whose proposals are declined or who receive grants in amounts less than requested should understand that the trusts receive many more proposals than they have resources to fund.

Grant Documentation.   Each grant awarded will be documented by a grant agreement (i) specifying the amount of the grant, (ii) the purpose for which the granted funds must be used, (iii) the terms of payment, (iv) any post-grant requirements, and (v) other conditions on which the grant is made. This agreement will be prepared by the trusts and submitted to the applicant for approval and execution by an authorized officer. Grant payments must also be documented by a receipt signed by the applicant.

Grant Evaluation. The trusts expect to maintain a continuing relationship with applicants receiving grants so that they can monitor the use and effect of their awards. Most grant agreements will require periodic reports on the project or programs of the applicant. Even in the absence of such requirements, applicants should expect to provide evaluation information when requested.

Guideline Changes and Exceptions. Guidelines are subject to change, and exceptions to the guidelines may be allowed, in the discretion of the trustees. Applicants relying on this guidance may obtain a copy of all current guidelines by contacting the office of Chapman Foundations Management, LLC.

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