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At First Nonprofit, we understand that the grant application process can be daunting and cumbersome. Finding suitable opportunities and figuring out whether you’re a viable candidate requires a lot of homework. And that’s only the beginning of the process.

In order to save you valuable time, we use a two-step process to qualify grant candidates. First, if you believe your organization meets all of the criteria for consideration, you may apply to be a grant candidate. Secondly, we’ll review the application and approve it if your organization meets our basic guidelines. This ensures that an organization is a good fit before time is spent going through the entire application process, and it greatly simplifies the initial paperwork for all candidates.

First Nonprofit strives to keep our processes simple and our lines of communication open. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions organizations have coming into the grant process. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and offer whatever assistance we can.

How do I apply for a grant from the foundation?

If your project falls within our Grant Guidelines, you can Apply for our consideration in becoming a grant candidate. Please note that we do not make grants outside of our funding priorities (listed under our grant guidelines). After you apply, if you fit our criteria, we will invite your proposal by directly contacting your organization.

I have materials I want to submit along with my request for funding. How do I send them?

Please submit only the requested forms. We do not accept samples, prototypes or other supplementary materials that accompany requests for funding. These items will not be returned.

My funding request does not fall under any of your programs.
How do I submit it?

We generally do not make grants outside our funding priorities. View our Grant Guidelines and What We Do pages for more information.

I am an individual seeking financial assistance.
Am I eligible for a grant?

We do not provide funding to individuals, we only fund nonprofit charities. View our Who We Help page for more information.

I am raising money for a cause. Am I eligible for a grant?

We do not award grants through individual fundraising.

How are the foundation and First Nonprofit Insurance
Company related?

The First Nonprofit Insurance Company and the First Nonprofit Foundation are
separate organizations and are not related. They each have independent approaches to
charitable giving. The foundation in its current state is the result of a merger between First Nonprofit Insurance Company and AmTrust Financial Group.

What does the new application process mean for grant seekers?

We will have a standard approach for applying for all grants. The new process helps us work more effectively internally, reducing the questions and requests we make late in the development of the rework by grant seekers.

How much time will grant seekers have to spend on submitting a new application?

If all of your relevant information is gathered in advance, we estimate it may take roughly an hour to complete the submission of the materials. This varies, though, depending on the complexity of the work.

Who makes decisions on grants and when?

As part of its operating model, the foundation staff makes recommendations on grants to its board members for final approval. Check-in points are built in to help ensure that decision makers are informed about and can raise questions during development, rather than holding all questions until the end.

Check our Grant Cycles  page for more information on when grants are made.

What documents will grant seekers need to complete?

The typical set of documents includes a proposal narrative, a budget and narrative and a results framework and tracker. The grant seeker may also complete a concept memo at a very early stage to outline a grant request. That optional tool replaces the foundation’s Letter of Inquiry.

The grant seeker will also receive a menu of typical documents for submission to our online data base:

  • IRS Section 501(c)(3) Tax Determination Letter
  • State Charitable Organizations Registration, if applicable
  • Current Annual Report if you have one
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • List of Current Board Members (with their professional affiliation)
  • Most recent 990 Filed with the IRS
  • Most Recent Independent Financial Audit
  • Auditor’s Management Letter
  • Overall Operating Budget for the Current Year
  • Strategic Plan for your Organization, if you have one
  • Grant Project Budget with Narrative—how will you spend the money?

Once a grant is approved, the grantee will typically rely on the results tracker, progress narrative, and fiscal reports to report formally on progress, challenges and financial status.