Tips for Applying for a Grant

The community greatly appreciates the incredible work of the many non-profit organizations whose efforts significantly enhance our quality of life. The Greater Manhattan Community Foundation (GMCF) strives to provide as much financial support of this work as possible, but we all recognize resources are limited. The proposal process is intended to focus awards where impacts seem most needed. At the same time, GMCF wants to reduce the expenditure of your time and effort in preparing proposals. Based on our experience, some suggestions follow.

General suggestions

  • Proposals need to focus on impacting the greater Manhattan community. Surrounding communities themselves often have charitable foundations of their own. Proposals requesting support for the extension of successful local programs to other communities and their populations are unlikely to be funded.
  • Proposals that direct funding to state, regional, or national organizations even when some local individuals might incidentally benefit are typically not funded – this precludes funding of activities intended to raise money for these organizations.
  • Proposals should be directed to appropriate GMCF funding sources, paying attention to purpose, the likelihood of needs for ongoing support, and general monetary limits.
  • Proposals should be concise, focused on the planned activities, describing the population to be served, numbers and needs of those populations, and the budget requested in support of these activities If the proposal requests a portion of total program costs delineate plans for acquiring the remainder.
  • You do not need to attach large amounts of supporting documentation about your organization – reviewers typically are knowledgeable of your work.
  • If the activities proposed require the approval of some enabling entity (school district, local government or other agencies) indicate the status or likelihood of those approvals.
  • If the project/program involves collaboration with multiple organizations, please include a letter of support from each agency involved. There have been instances where applications state they intend to collaborate with specific agencies, but that agency has no knowledge of this intention.


Grants are intended to support activity-based, before and after school programs.

  • Awards are not typically made to primarily support summer activities (especially summer only proposals) – some overlap of school year and subsequent summer activities may be supported.
  • Proposals should not focus on extending the curricular/teaching day for students (tutoring programs are not typically funded, although some elements of tutoring might be imbedded in activity-based programs).
  • Proposals are accepted for activities likely to require on-going support.
  • Proposers are encouraged to emphasize the use of volunteers and, where appropriate, the involvement of the schools.


Grants are focused on the arts and humanities, basic human needs, children/youth, community development and leadership, conservation/preservation/beautification, education, the elderly, health care and mental health.

  • Typically, proposals should request no more than $10,000.
  • Grants may be considered both for one-time, discrete activities or for activities likely to require on-going funding.


Grants are intended to support projects likely to have a major impact on community efforts in the arts, basic human needs and youth.

  • Typically, proposals should require awards exceeding $10,000.
  • Proposals generally should not be made for projects requiring ongoing support from GMCF, although multi-year funding to reach an approved project total will be considered.
  • A request for proposal process with a set submission time is not in effect.
  • Non-profit organizations with a potential project should submit a letter of intent/interest to the GMCF for initial screening by the Deihl grants committee. A subsequent interview of proposers is common.
  • Proposals for larger or more complex projects should include an especially detailed budget specifying the cost of each element of the project.
Copyright © 2020 Greater Manhattan Community Foundation
GMCF is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization - EIN #48-1215574, incorporated in the State of Kansas.
Website designed & hosted by Outdoor Resources, LLC