What is the focus of Telligen Community Initiative grants?
TCI exists to provide philanthropic support to nonprofit organizations and community coalitions. We support community-based projects in Iowa, Illinois, Colorado and Oklahoma. Our funding priorities and areas of funding interest include social determinants of health, healthcare workforce development and health innovation. Please review our 2020 Request for Proposals for more specific guidance on both our application process on more specific project approaches/ideas.
What is typically not funded through the Telligen Community Initiative and its grant program?
Telligen Community Initiative grants are typically not available to or for the following:
- Organizational indirect costs
- Religious or sectarian organizations for religious purposes
- Capital campaigns
- Organizations that practice discrimination by race, color, creed, sex, age, religion or national origin
- Deficit reduction or retirement of debt
- General endowments
- Real estate/land acquisitions
- Political projects
- Athletics or athletic events
- Grants to individuals
- Fundraising events (sponsorships)
- For projects that the sole purpose is redistributing the awarded funds
What are TCI’s program timing and funding guidelines?
On TCI’s website, you’ll be able to access a full Request for Proposals (RFP) document when we have an active, upcoming grant cycle. This document will lay out proposal timelines and expected funding decision dates. TCI utilizes a Letter of Interest (abbreviated initial application) to better honor your opportunity cost of time in applying. This will lead to a second finalist application step for only those invited to that stage of the funding review and competition.
Is it acceptable to contact TCI staff to discuss my proposal idea/concept?
Yes. In 2019, approximately two-thirds of our entire applicant pool contacted TCI staff to discuss some facet of their proposal prior to submission. This could take the form of a face-to- face meeting, phone meeting, email conversation, review of a draft proposal, or other desired assistance in helping you or your coalition consider an application. Making contact is not a requirement and your proposal won’t be helped or hurt in the scoring process for having a pre-submission discussion (or not). Staff is in place to help you create as competitive a proposal as possible to compete for limited funding support. Consider how you want to use them.
Who and what type of organization is eligible to receive a grant from TCI?
To request a grant, your organization must be a recognized as a federally tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) charitable organization, an accredited school, or a public/governmental agency located in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa or Oklahoma. Note: a public agency is an organization established and primarily funded by a unit of government. Examples could include a public school, public library, local public health department or state governmental agency. Note that TCI does not fund organizations with a pending 501(c)(3) status.
How do we know if our organization is eligible for TCI funding?
TCI accepts grant requests from organizations (see above) that are in the communities where TCI has determined it would offer philanthropic support. This includes projects within the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Oklahoma. In terms of geographic focus, it is really in the hands of the applicant/applicant coalition to define your geographic focus. Some projects focus on an entire state, a collection of counties, a single county, city, or even a defined neighborhood or census tract(s). Please also know that some projects choose to focus and define themselves around a targeted population that may not be a defined as a geographic focus within a region. All the above represent potential ways to position your planning and grant request. If you have an eligibility question, please always feel free to contact TCI staff to discuss your specific situation.
When does TCI accept applications?
Again, you’ll be able to access a full Request for Proposals (RFP) document when we have an active, upcoming grant cycle. This document will lay out proposal timelines and expected funding decision dates. Once outside of those timeframes, you’ll have to wait until a future grant offering to make a request. We cannot entertain grant requests for review outside of our established grant competitions.
How do I submit my grant application to TCI?
The RFP document will further describe this process. Beginning in 2020, TCI is deploying a grant application portal to make the process of applying that might more succinct and straightforward. There is a full portal application guidance section, but you’ll find it to be very intuitive and user-friendly. Most responses have check boxes or character counts. The questions you’ll be asked to address in the LOI are offered within our RFP. This move has been made at the request of numerous applicants who felt this would represent a process improvement for TCI to consider. Beginning three years ago, we successfully moved to a Letter of Interest – an abbreviated initial application – to better honor your time and stage the grant review because of volume. A subset of the applications will be invited to complete additional elements of a finalist application. This two-stage application process ultimately provided better funding odds, a more equitable time commitment, and the ability to create a cohort of like grantees.
Can I mail a copy of my grant request for review?
Please feel free to contact TCI staff and share a draft version of your application prior to submission for a discussion or review. This does not provide an advantage if you do it or a disadvantage in the review process if you don’t do it – but it is always an option to work with staff in this manner to make your application as strong as possible in draft form prior to formal submission to satisfy the grant deadline you are pursuing.
Can I get a copy of the grant application format from TCI?
Yes. The RFP will instruct you on both the questions to address within the RFP, required attachments and full instructions on how you use our new grant application portal to successfully submit your LOI.
Are TCI grants transferable?
TCI grants are non-transferable. If a grant was provided to an organization/fiscal agent, the grant may not be transferred to a new organization/fiscal agent. As long as the recipient organization/grantee can administer the project as described in the approved grant, then the grant should stay at that organization. If they are no longer able or willing to administer the grantee obligations, then the grant funding will be returned to TCI. We commit to work with the applicant/applicant coalition to attempt to honor the continuance core work funded whenever possible on case-by-case circumstances and basis.
When will I be contacted about the status of my application?
Immediately after completing and submitting your LOI on our grant application portal you’ll receive a confirmation email that will include a timestamp of receipt, an assigned proposal number, as well as an electronic version of your submission to TCI. Beyond the system generated confirmation, TCI staff will be in touch with the applicant (via your proposal contact person’s email) to share overall grant cycle response and next steps in our process after the deadline. Always feel free to contact TCI staff if you have questions regarding the status of your proposal – particularly as we transition to this new proposal submission process online.
If I’m awarded a grant, what are the reporting requirements?
Grants are for a single year at a time. At the mid-point and shortly after the completion of your grant year, you’ll be asked to complete an interim and final grant report respectively. This is not a cumbersome process, but asks you to evaluate your work versus your funded project plan from a process and impact evaluation standpoint, as well as documenting budget usage. These formats are available in the Grantee Toolbox area of our website if you’re interested.
Can I learn about previous grantees and/or applicant summary from a previous funding cycle for TCI?
TCI staff can offer summaries of previously funded proposals so you can see what was successful in a previous cycle. Staff is also able to share TCI dashboard information so you can see characteristics of the most recent applicant field versus what was ultimately funded/offered a grant. This is all in an effort to arm you with as much information as you’d like to complete an informed and competitive project.
Please always feel comfortable reaching out to TCI staff to discuss your project ideas and learn more about upcoming and emerging funding opportunities.