Frequently Asked Questions

General information about applying for Grants

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1. What are the deadlines for applying?

2. How soon will I hear from you after I apply?

3. What is an appropriate request amount? Is there a maximum grant size?

4. How do you calculate in-kind donations?

5. If our request is approved, how soon before we can receive funding?

6. Does the Foundation offer challenge grants?

7. Does the Foundation fund operating expenses?

8. Do you make site visits?

9. When can we reapply?

10. Does the Foundation offer multi-year grants?

11. Can I contact the Foundation if I have specific questions about whether my project or program meets your Mission and guidelines?


1. What are the deadlines for applying?

Unless specified, the grant application process is always open. We accept grant requests daily through our online application process. 

2. How soon will I hear from you after I apply?

You will receive a response from us within 6 - 8 weeks after applying. Each request is reviewed by a grant committee to determine if it meets our Mission and guidelines. Every request will receive a written response indicating an approval, a request for more information or a respectful declination.

3. What is an appropriate request amount? Is there a maximum grant size?

The amount that you request from the Foundation should be proportionate to your organizational budget, project budget, and expected income from other sources. The Foundation generally funds no more than 30% of a project’s full budget, see guidelines for specific details on each grant category. For Assistance Grants, the maximum grant size is $5,000 and requires a minimum of a 20% cash match. 

4. How do you calculate in-kind donations?

In-kind contributions are goods (wholesale value) or services provided instead of cash for one of your project budget line-items. Both the revenue and the expense projections should reflect the in-kind contribution in your budget. Labor donated for fundraising activities does not count towards in-kind.  [Read More]

5. If our request is approved, how soon before we can receive funding?

This will depend on the type of grant you are applying for and the amount. For Assistance Grants, generally you will be able to receive funds within two-three months of applying. For other grants, this will depend on the project size and grant amount; the program officer assigned to your grant will work with you on the payment release schedule.

6. Does the Foundation offer challenge grants?

Yes, the Foundation recognizes challenge grants as effective tools for leveraging additional financial support for certain projects. For example, a 1:1 challenge grant means The Ford Family Foundation will match $50,000 of community contributions with an additional $50,000 once the challenge to your community and constituents has been met.

7. Does the Foundation fund operating expenses?

Yes, the Foundation does support general operating expenses, usually with a defined sunset provision; review our guidelines for specifics on funding types by grant category. 

8. Do you make site visits?

Yes. Generally a program officer will visit your location if your request is going to our Board for review. At the site visit we like to meet with your board members, executive staff and if appropriate, tour your facility/site. Site visit details are worked out prior to the visit.

9. When can we reapply?

We process applications on a continuous basis. However, if you currently have an active grant with the Foundation, we generally will not consider additional funding until the current grant is closed. If your request has been declined, we ask that you wait a year to reapply for the same project or program.

10. Does the Foundation offer multi-year grants?

Yes, but on a limited basis.   

11. Can I contact the Foundation if I have specific questions about whether my project or program meets your Mission and guidelines?

Yes, you can contact the Foundation at  (541) 957-5574.

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