Defending Basic Freedoms

Application Timetable - Fiscal Year 2016/17

Program LOI's Due Full Proposal Invited Full Proposal Due Proposed Board Meeting
Defending Basic Freedoms 10/05/17 11/16/17 12/14/16 1/23/18
Pathways Out of Poverty 2/03/17 3/20/17 4/20/17 5/23/17
Encouraging Citizen Involvement 6/07/17 7/11/17 8/08/17 9/19/17
Final Report for 2016 grants Due: 2/22/17

This program helps safeguard the basic freedoms guaranteed in our Bill of Rights, to help eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination, and to assist government agencies to be more accountable to the public. The Herb Block Foundation will also consider contemporary societal issues that may arise.Grants are available nationwide.

Eligibility

Eligibility Requirements for All Grant Programs

  1. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. Applicants for the Defending Basic Freedoms and Encouraging Citizen Involvement Program areas may be national. Applicants for the Pathways Out of Poverty Program must be located in /and or provide services in the greater Washington, DC region which we define as the District of Columbia, the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and the city of Alexandria in Virginia and Montgomery, and Prince George's counties in Maryland.

  3. Grants will not be made for capital or endowment programs, nor for sectarian religious purposes.

  4. Grants in the range of $5,000 to $25,000 will be considered. Grants will be considered for one year's funding.

  5. No more than 10% of a grant may go to indirect costs (outside of those for general operating support).

  6. Grants cannot be used for lobbying or other partisan purposes.

Application Procedure

The Herb Block Foundation uses a two-step process for evaluating grant proposals: a Letter of Inquiry and a Full Proposal. As of September 15, 2014, we have an online application for the Letter of Inquiry and Full Proposal. Your organization must choose to either proceed through the whole application process via online or hard copy.

1. Letter of Inquiry

Organizations that wish to apply for a grant are required to first submit a Letter of Inquiry. A Letter of Inquiry briefly describes (roughly in two to three pages) the proposed project's purpose, operation, target audience, timeline, costs, and anticipated impacts. Go to the panel "Application Forms" for the full list of items to be included in this Letter or start the application online. All organizations who send in a letter of inquiry will receive a letter by mail letting them know if the Foundation is requesting a full proposal or not. Those organizations applying online will receive an email.

NOTE: All applicants, including current and past grantees, must submit a Letter of Inquiry if you expect to apply for the next fiscal year.

2. Full Proposal

The Foundation selects projects for further consideration with an invitation for a Full Proposal. Please note that a request for a Full Proposal does not guarantee that a project will be funded, and that only full proposals which have been invited by the Foundation will be considered. Those organizations that mailed in a Letter of Inquiry will receive their request by mail and may use the WRAGs Common Grant Application. Those organizations that submitted their Letter of Inquiry online will recieve email notification and a link to the Foundation's Online Full Proposal Application. See the panel "Application Forms" to see the requirements for the Letters of Inquiry and for the online applications.

Application Timetable - Fiscal Year 2016/17

January: Defending Basic FreedomsWe anticipate that The Herb Block Foundation will generally have three Board meetings per year reviewing grant applications, in January, May, and September. Grants will be considered according to the following schedule:

May: Pathways Out of Poverty
September: Encouraging Citizen Involvement

The Foundation's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. Please contact the Foundation if you have any further questions. And please visit this website regularly for our latest information. Thanks for your interest in The Herb Block Foundation.

Application Forms

You have the choice of applying either online or hard copy (see details below). All applicants, including current and past grantees, must submit a Letter of Inquiry if you expect to apply for the next fiscal year.

Letters of Inquiry

To apply online, visit The Herb Block Foundation Online Letter of Inquiry Application. Online applications must be submitted by midnight of the deadline date listed in the Application Timetable. Please note that the link works best with Internet Explorer or Firefox.

To submit a hard copy, Letters of Inquiry must be received by mail or dropped off in The Herb Block Foundation's offices at 1730 M Street, NW, Suite 901, Washington DC 20036, no later than 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date listed in the Application Timetable. Provide one copy of the Letter of Inquiry to either Marcela Brane (President) or Sarah Alex (Executive Director). We will also accept the hard copy Washington Regional Association of Grantmaker's (WRAG's) Common Letter of Inquiry. We do not accept Letters of Inquiry via email.

Letters of Inquiry must provide the following:

  • a brief statement of the issues to be addressed, and of your organization's involvement with these issues,
  • a brief summary of the activities for which you are requesting support, including an outline of your objectives and anticipated outcomes, and a list of potential partners,
  • the population and geographic areas targeted,
  • the planned starting date and duration of the proposed activities,
  • the total amount of funding needed, the amount requested from The Herb Block Foundation, and the sources (both in-hand and requested) of other support,
  • a copy of your organization's IRS 501(c)(3) letter, and
  • your organization's current total Operating Budget, and audited financial statement (if available).

A brochure or newsletter describing your organization's mission, goals, accomplishments, etc. may also be included.

Full Proposals

Full Proposal Applications may be sent only upon a request by the staff of The Herb Block Foundation after reviewing Letters of Inquiry. If your organization submitted a Letter of Inquiry online, then The Herb Block Foundation will email you a link to our Full Proposal online application. Please make sure [email protected] is added to your safe senders list. Applications work best with Internet Explorer or Firefox.

If you mailed a hard copy letter of inquiry and the Foundation requests a full proposal, then the Foundation will expect a hard copy full proposal. We use the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAGs) Common Grant Application.

Please note a request for a full proposal does not guarantee funding for your project.

Application Timetable - Fiscal Year 2016/17

Program LOI's Due Full Proposal Invited Full Proposal Due Proposed Board Meeting
Defending Basic Freedoms 10/05/17 11/16/17 12/14/17 1/23/18
Pathways Out of Poverty 2/03/17 3/16/17 4/20/17 5/23/17
Encouraging Citizen Involvement 6/07/17 7/11/17 8/08/17 9/19/17

Reporting Requirements

To assist The Herb Block Foundation in monitoring the work of its grantees, each recipient is required to submit progress report at the end of each six-month grant period and a final report. The requirements for each report are found below.

As of September 15, 2014, the Foundation provides online applications for the Letter of Inquiry and for Full Proposals. Those that apply online will be apply to submit their 6 month and final reports online, we will email links a month before the due date. Once we email the link, then access will be available on the site until the report is submitted. However, those past and current grantees who submitted their Letter of Inquiry by mail must continue to submit their reports in hard copy. Again, online reporting is only for those who submitted online and they will find a link to the reporting when they login about a month before the deadline date.

For Grants Received in 2016 and 2017: (please check the dates as they may change)

Program Board Meeting Progress Report Due Final Report Due
Defending Basic Freedoms 1/20/16
1/24/17
8/22/16
8/25/17
2/21/17
2/26/18

Progress Report:

  • Include the name of your organization, the address, phone and fax numbers, the project director's name and the project goals or objectives.
  • Include with your report a detailed financial accounting of all grant funds.
  • Your report should address each of the items below. Answers need not be lengthy; three pages for the report are often adequate.

Questions:

  1. What challenges are you facing as you move forward with this project? How are you approaching these challenges?
  2. What changes in plans or personnel have there been? Please explain.
  3. What progress have you made toward achieving your objectives? Please address each stated objective.
  4. Do you anticipate any difficulties in completing your project in the time frame outlined in your proposal?

NOTE: All applicants, including current and past grantees, must submit a Letter of Inquiry if you expect to apply for the next fiscal year.

Final Report:

  • Include the name of your organization, the address, phone and fax numbers, the project director's name and the project goals or objectives.
  • Include with your report a detailed financial accounting of all grant funds.
  • Your report should address each of the items below. Answers need not be lengthy; three to five pages for the report are often adequate.

Questions:

  1. What was accomplished in connection with this project. Please address each stated objective. If any project objectives were changed, please also explain the circumstances leading to the modification of the objective(s).
  2. What challenges did you face in connection with this project? How did you address these challenges?
  3. What were the most important lessons learned?
  4. What advice would you offer to help another organization that is thinking about undertaking a similar project?

Please keep us on your mailing list for newsletters, press releases, etc., and share any news coverage you may receive.

NOTE: All applicants, including current and past grantees, must submit a Letter of Inquiry if you expect to apply for the next fiscal year.