REQUEST for PROPOSALS: An Explanation
THE 2013 CATALOGUE FOR PHILANTHROPY APPLICATION OPENS ONLINE ON JANUARY 2, 2013, AND THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, MARCH 1ST, 2013 AT 11:59 PM.
Eligibility: 501(c)(3) charities with budgets under $3 million (our typical range is $100,000 to $3 million), and location in the Washington region, may be eligible to apply. Organizations featured in our past three print Catalogues -- 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11 -- are NOT eligible to reapply this year. There is no cost of any kind associated with applying to, or being featured in, the Catalogue.
Because the Catalogue is designed to appeal to large numbers of donors, we do not encourage applications from membership organizations, professional associations, grant-making foundations, fundraising arms of other organizations, clubs, societies, specialized research institutes, or organizations that are unlikely to have broad appeal. A smaller program situated within a larger institution -- like an asthma program at a major hospital -- would not be eligible unless it had its own, independent 501(c)(3).
Independent chapters of organizations whose parent organization is located elsewhere MAY apply as long as they 1) have their local headquarters inside our geographic footprint; 2) fundraise for themselves; 3) have their own, distinct revenue and expenses budget; 4) are allowed to earmark donations for themselves; 5) are permitted independence in the way they handle finances and market themselves to potential donors; and 6) have a local board of directors.
The Catalogue's focus is local, so we do not encourage applications from national organizations that are headquartered here but do not have VERY significant local programs.
We do accept applications from international organizations focused on global issues but headquartered in Greater Washington.
Nonprofits most recently featured in the 2009-10 Catalogue must successfully reapply in 2013 to remain part of the Catalogue network. Organizations re-featured on the web in 2012-13 but not in the print Catalogue may reapply if they choose. A fresh review by the evaluation committee and a new financial review will be necessary every four years. If you were previously featured and your budget is now above $3mm, you may still reapply if you wish to remain on our website, but we will not be able to feature you in the print Catalogue. If you are successful in the review process your page on the web will bear a special icon indicating that you were once small but have now grown.
For the purposes of establishing eligibility, we will accept proposals from nonprofits headquartered in the following counties in the Metropolitan Washington area. We regret that we cannot include organizations that are headquartered outside of these areas, even if they operate programs within them. Applicants must be headquartered in:
- District of Columbia
- Maryland: Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Frederick County
- Virginia: Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, City of Alexandria, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church
Our website remains cumulative and includes all current and prior years' organizations that remain in good standing.
APPLICATION PART I
New this year: The online application now has a save-as-you-go function. You can complete portions of the application at a time, save, and return at your convenience. However, we still recommend taking some time to prepare the written statements for your application before opening the application, using the detailed prompts below. The 2500-3000 word statement covers 14 individual questions and a 150-word summary. AFTER YOU HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE PRINT IT AND CONSULT IT AS YOU ARE PREPARING AND COMPLETING THE APPLICATION ONLINE.
- First we ask for basic information. MAKE SURE TO ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS AND MAKE A SELECTION ON ALL PULL-DOWN MENUS. You will not be able to submit your application until you have done so.
- Next, we ask you to tell us in a phrase (10 words maximum) who you are/what you do. Here are some good examples: "environmental group seeking cleaner environment through projects for urban teens," or "dance presenter with programs for at-risk youth."
The 2500-3000 Word Main Section
In the main part of the application we ask you to write a 2500-3000 word statement, which is divided into a set of 14 questions.
- Who you are: In a nutshell, explain what your organization's identity and mission are.
- How you began: Provide a brief history, being sure to explain how and why the organization came into being.
- Your purpose/the need you address: Be specific about the need you seek to meet. Sketch the landscape for us so that we know what issue(s) you are addressing -- the condition of our rivers and streams, the percentage of students who graduate high school and go on to higher education in the neighborhoods you serve, the number of people who live in poverty, the availability of arts programming for under-served youth in your community, the rate of unemployment in your geographic area. These, of course are just brief examples.
- What you do: (a) Your programs, services, activities. Provide a detailed description. Where applicable, include target population(s) and number of people served. (b) Identify three organizations locally that are closest to you in their programs, and explain how you differentiate yourself from them (or collaborate with them). For many reviewers this section and the next one are the most important parts of your application. Be specific.
- Your impact: We understand that "impact" has different meanings for different applicants. Make sure to indicate how you see impact, how you measure it, and what your results show.
- Your goals: Identify the short- and long-term goals of your organization; detail your strategies for achieving these goals and progress made toward them.
- Your struggles and accomplishments: Explain any challenges/struggles/failures that you have experienced in the last year. Detail your accomplishments -- both concrete accomplishments in relation to the goals you set, and less tangible accomplishments that we should know about. Reviewers are happy to hear about organizational accomplishments ("We grew our board") but are probably more interested in what you have achieved programmatically. Both are relevant.
- Evidence of excellence: List any awards, citations, honors, etc; also include any other evidence of excellence you wish to describe.
- Your staffing: Be specific about the composition of your organization -- executive staff, program staff, development staff (if any), marketing and communications staff (if any); include information on full and part time.
- Your board: Who they are (a list of names and affiliations); the nature of their engagement with your organization; your board's policy on board financial support for your organization; whether and to what degree board members are financial contributors (you do not need to tell us each board member's individual contribution - do tell us what the range is ($100 to $10,000, for example); the percent of your board that contributes, and what percent of total individual contributions comes from the board).
- Evidence of cost-effectiveness: Total revenue; total expenses; budgets for fundraising, G&A (general and administrative), and programs. Show the percent of the total for fundraising/G&A; if special circumstances apply (e.g. one-time expenses for computer upgrades or other capital costs) please note these. Do you have a current audit or 990 on file (y/n)? (Please use your most current information from FY 2012.)
- Sources of funding: Give the total amount you raise, and the percent of funds you receive from different sources: board, individuals, foundations, corporations, United Way, CFC, government, special events, earned income, etc. IF MORE THAN 50% OF YOUR FUNDING IS FROM THE GOVERNMENT, WHAT IS YOUR "PLAN B" SHOULD THIS FUNDING BE CUT?
- Individual donor stewardship: How would you describe your history of raising funds from individual donors and stewarding of those donors once you have acquired them?
- A special project or activity for which you may be seeking funds (not required).
Organizations applying to be relisted in the Catalogue are also required to answer the following two questions in Section 7 of the application. Relisted organizations will fall under the following proposal types: Relist 1 – currently on the website; Relist 2 – not currently on the website, but featured in the past; Growth – previously featured but with a budget above $3 million.
- What was the biggest benefit(s) for your organization of being featured in the Catalogue for Philanthropy? Please be specific.
- If re-accepted, what do you anticipate your engagement with the Catalogue will look like going forward? Please be realistic. If you were able to take advantage of the Catalogue's resources ("e-tools," workshops, networking opportunities, etc) please explain briefly what you thought their impact was for your organization. If you were unable to take advantage of these resources, please explain what positions you to make better use of them in the coming year should you be selected.
Please complete a Wish List that will help Catalogue readers understand in concrete terms what a donation to your organization will mean to you. Please consider four categories: $100; $500; $1000; OTHER (your choice) IN THIS ORDER. Here are some examples:
WISH LIST: $100: gasoline for 2 weeks of deliveries to elderly shut-ins; $500: half the art supplies for our summer program; $1000: counseling for 10 survivors of domestic abuse for 1 month; $15,000: scholarship for 1 student for an entire year
PLEASE NOTE THAT WISH LIST ITEMS ARE VERY BRIEF; DO NOT SEND PARAGRAPH-LENGTH ITEMS! THINK SHORT!
Key Programs Summary
A single paragraph (approximately 150 words) in which you highlight your organization's KEY programs. We realize this duplicates what you have said above. What we're looking for is a short version of what you consider absolutely central to the work you do, the key elements that, in your view, could not be left out of a 170-word description without misrepresenting your organization. (We will write the description if you are selected.)
APPLICATION PART II: FINANCIAL SUPPLEMENT
We will ask you to upload a set of documents along with a financial worksheet (listed below) -- the same one we are reviewing in our financial workshops. Attendance at a workshop is not required but is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Financial workshops will take place on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 from 2 - 4 pm at Raffa offices (1899 L Street NW, Washington DC) and Wednesday, February 6, 2013 from 10 am - 12 pm at the Meyer Foundation (1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC). Registrations must be submitted a week before each workshop: January 22nd deadline for January 29th workshop and January 30th deadline for February 6th workshop. RSVP ONLINE HERE
Upload financial documents through the online application by clicking #2 - Financials on the Main Application page.
- 501(c)(3) - Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter.
- IRS Form 990 - Copy of your most recent 990 (or 990EZ if that is what you filed). Please note on the top of the 990 your FYE (Fiscal Year End).
- Audited Financial statement or annual report (optional) - Copy of most recent audited financial statement (if possible) or annual report (if possible).
- Recent year-end fiscal information - Unaudited financial statements that include financial information through 12/31/2012, or as close to it as possible.
- 2013 organizational budget - Current operating/organizational budget (revenue and expenses). *Salaries* line should clearly detail number of paid employees, both full time and part time, and their positions. Fundraising and G&A (General and Administrative) should be clearly delineated (this subject will be covered in depth at our workshops).
- MAJOR sources of 2012 funding - A list of MAJOR sources ($5,000 or more) of 2012 funding. (If your fiscal year is not a calendar year, you may give us sources of funding for the most recently completed fiscal year, and then for the coming fiscal year). Please give names and amounts of government/foundation/corporate/individual funders.
- Anticipated sources of 2013 funding - A list of anticipated major sources of funding for 2013.
- Financial Worksheet. Please download a copy of the Financial Worksheet and complete. For help in doing so, please make sure to attend one of our financial workshops.
Non-Discrimination: The Catalogue for Philanthropy does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, creed, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
Questions: Before you email or call, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you don't find the answers you are looking for, call us at 202-955-6538, or email us at email@example.com
Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.