YVCF Community Grant Cycle

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2024-25 Grant Guidelines

At the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, we proudly support a philosophy of trust-based philanthropy in our relationship with every grantee. This approach commits to building relationships based on transparency, dialogue, and mutual learning. We seek to streamline applications and reporting, attaching fewer strings to funding. We partner with local nonprofit organizations for a stronger combined effort towards achieving shared community goals.

The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, in partnership with the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, donor advised fund holders, and other granting endowments, offers once-a-year grants up to $10,000. In addition to our annual grants, organizations working collaboratively to make a regional difference in the Yampa Valley may be invited to apply for a YVCF Impact Grant up to $30,000. Click here to learn more about our Impact Grants.

General Information

Each grant is either for unrestricted purposes or issued as a programmatic grant:

  • Unrestricted (General Operating) Grants: The 2024-25 grant cycle will again focus on unrestricted grants. Unrestricted funding provides grantees the flexibility to assess and determine where grant dollars are most needed. These grants allow for innovation, emergent action, and organizational sustainability. To qualify for unrestricted grants, the organization must serve Routt and/or Moffat Counties and must meet all other eligibility requirements posted in these Community Grant Guidelines.
  • Programmatic Grants: We will accept programmatic grant applications from eligible organizations when an operating grant is not appropriate. If your organization fits any of the following descriptions, you must apply for a program grant:

Organizations with annual operating budget over $1 million

  • As part of every application, you will upload a board-approved operating budget for your organization. “An organization-wide operating budget accounts for everything the nonprofit spends to carry out, evaluate, and administer all its programs and activities.” (source: Candid – click to learn more)
  • Eligible budgets must be board-approved for the current fiscal year (at the time of submitting your application).

Organizations with service areas that extend outside Routt and Moffat Counties

  • If your organization provides services outside Routt and Moffat County, you must submit a program grant that includes details on how requested funds would stay within these two counties.
  • Organizations which operate elsewhere but have a dedicated chapter, regional office, franchise, etc. specific to Routt and/or Moffat county must submit a program grant unless that regional entity has its own distinct governing board and operating budget.
  • If your Routt- and Moffat-based services reach people from outside these two counties (such as performances attracting visitors), this does not require you to submit a program grant.

Faith-based organizations

  • We define a faith-based organization to be one whose published mission or vision includes values attributable to a specific institution of religion or belief.
  • These grant funds may not be used for religious activities including, but not limited to: religious services, promotion of religious beliefs, or activities that are restricted to church or religious group membership.

NEW FOR 2024

  • Higher maximum: the new $10,000 maximum grant request allows for potentially larger grants but also means the overall process will be more competitive. Make sure to read all guidelines and take advantage of training materials listed below to improve your application.
  • Separate questions: if you are required (or choose) to submit a programmatic grant, note there are separate questions, intended to save both you and our reviewers time and focus on what matters most.
  • More Changes: Applications and scoring rubrics have been updated to respond to applicant and review committee feedback. All applicants, whether new or returning, please read all guidelines and the scoring rubric. Free trainings should prove very helpful for all applicants: see the schedule below.
  • Scoring Rubric: review detailed criteria by which your application will be evaluated:
  • Application questions: view the application questions (for reference only; does not include tips and links to resources available through the online application):

Eligibility

  • Grant requests must be limited to $10,000 or less.
  • Only one application per organization, per year (organization defined as a unique identity registered with the IRS). Please note: when starting a new application you may see a note about submitting multiple applications—this feature is for grantwriters serving more than one organization; each organization/unique IRS identity may apply only once per year.
  • IRS status: 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored through a 501(c)(3) organization.

Learn more

  • Geography: Funds must serve Routt and/or Moffat County. Organizations operating beyond these two counties must apply for a programmatic grant and explain how the funds granted by YVCF would be used only within Routt and/or Moffat County.
  • Report: Past grantees must have submitted a report on the previous year’s grant prior to new applications being considered. Please submit your report by 6/15/24 (if all funds have not been expended by that date, submit a preliminary report then; once complete, update us with a final report). Click to download our simple one-question report form (Microsoft Word document – contact us if you need a different format).
  • Grant funds may NOT be used for:
    • Debt reimbursement, retroactive grants, or projects already completed.
    • Purposes that do not meet YVCF’s policies, including non-discrimination and anti-hate.
    • Religious activities (see “Faith-based organizations” above).
    • Political activities (including any amount of campaigning, as defined by the IRS; nonpartisan voter education is not considered a political activity.)

Important Dates

  • Mon, May 6, 2024 – Application opened (apply here)
  • Tue, May 7 (10:00-11:30am) – YVCF Grant Application Training (STEAMBOAT) in-person at YVCF, Steamboat Springs (virtual/online access available and session was recorded: see link below and to the left).
    11:00-11:30am: financials training for grant applicants (in person +virtual/online/recorded).
  • Wed, May 8 (10:00-11:00am) – YVCF Grant Application Training (CRAIG) – in-person at Craig Chamber (virtual/online access available and session will be recorded)..
  • Wed, May 29 – Deadline to contact YVCF to discuss your organization or program (technical assistance only with the application after this date)
  • Sun, June 9 (11:30pm Mountain) – Grant applications due
  • Mon, September 16 – Organizations notified of grant award

If you have any questions, please contact Greg Hamilton at greg@yvcf.org.

APPLICATION CLOSES 11:30PM (MTN) SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 2024

Training, Technical Assistance, & Resources

  • Watch our 2024 Training video for grant applicants (90 min.)
    • View the presentation slides/links
    • Highlights from the video:
    8:25 – What’s new for 2024
    16:40 – General principles for grant-seekers
    24:15 – Scoring rubric
    28:35 – Our webpage for this grant – you are here!
    32:15 – Online grant application site
    54:00 – Your “meaningful numbers” and shared goals/collaboration
    59:25 – Impact grants
    1:03:50 – The review process: written application, reviews/scoring, site visit, rescoring, allocation meeting
    1:11:25 – Multiyear grants (they sunset last year)
    1:14:15 – Why not ask for the full $10,000 max?
    1:18:10 – Why might someone choose to apply for a program grant (if they qualify to apply for general operating)?
    1:21:25 – Other resources for grantseekers
    1:23:50 – 2.5 min video from Candid (better audio if you watch it at link below)
    1:26:30 – Q&A on financials and budgets for your grant application
  • Video on “What do funders look for in grant proposal budgets?” (2.5 min) from Candid.
  • Video on “Essentials of Financials for Grantseekers” from YVCF finance director Karen O’Connor: Click here to view (18 min).
    • View the presentation slides

General Advice on Preparing to Apply

  • Primary grantwriter: log in now to the application system. Create your log-in details (or confirm they still work).
  • Review questions and rubric now. The rubric is your key to how your answers will be evaluated: think creatively about how your organization can score highly in all sections. Large or small, new or old, and whatever the focus of your work, there is a way for every organization to make your case.
  • Plan ahead for anything you may need to gather, from financials to details of programs.
  • Consider who else needs access or will be providing materials such as budgets. The application has as a feature to invite collaborators to work with you.
  • Gather required materials so they are handy.
  • Work offline (e.g., in Microsoft Word or Google Docs) to prepare your answers then copy-paste them into the online grant application when final. SAVE OFTEN when working in the online application portal: it does not automatically save your work and tends to log you out (without notice) after sometimes only a matter of minutes.
  • Prepare/submit your report on last year’s grant by 6/15 (see Eligibility above).
  • Plan enough time: Application includes 34 questions – estimated time to complete: 1 to 3 hours
  • Ask for technical assistance prior to May 29. This includes clarifying requirements for organizations that must apply for a program grant, questions about budgets and financials, or any other questions about the application or our review process. In the final 10 days prior to the deadline, assistance is limited to technical issues with the application software; other assistance can not be guaranteed.

Specific Tips for Applicants

  • Emphasize both need and impact: these are charitable grants, so make the case for why our funds are needed (versus other forms of funding). Also make sure to demonstrate how that funding is likely to make a positive impact.
  • Provide evidence: back up plans, assurances, aspirations, or promises with past impact data, testimonials, case studies, research, or other compelling arguments for the viability of your plans.
  • Explain jargon, acronyms, etc. on first usage. Better: use language that “cannot be misunderstood.”
  • Do not repeat answers in multiple sections: you may reference answers provided in other sections, e.g., you could mention: “See ‘Vision’ section above.” No two questions are identical: make sure to read carefully and respond to the specific requests in each question.
  • Anticipate reviewer questions (and address them): If, for instance, something in your budget might be concerning or confusing, include an explanation on a cover page or as a note adjacent to that part of the budget. Consider adding margin notes or an extra column to explain any terms or budget categories that aren’t common knowledge.
  • Check documents to be uploaded for legibility and completeness: text large enough to read? Nothing cut off? Header text to explain which document is which?
  • Our in-person and recorded trainings will provide many more tips to set you up for success!

Technical Assistance with Application and Online Grant Software

Web browser issues? Having trouble logging in or saving application?

  • We suggest you clear your cache and some other backend web browser data that can cause problems. Click here for an article on how to clear them in Google Chrome. For other browsers do a web search for your browser name + “how to clear cache.” We suggest clearing:
    • Cookies and other site data
    • Cached images and files
    • Site settings
    • Hosted app data

Document uploads

  • Must be in PDF format. Access a free online PDF converting tool here: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/convert-pdf.html
  • If providing multiple documents for one question, you must combine into a single PDF. Access a free online PDF merging tool here: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/merge-pdf.html
  • Watch for errors or lost data! Please proof all your documents before uploading.
  • File size too large? The system has a 10MB limit. If you encounter that limit, please try the following:
    1. Access a free online PDF compressing tool here: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/compress-pdf.html
    2. If that doesn’t get it below 10MB, please email greg@yvcf.org with:
      a) [preferred] a link where we can download the file from the cloud, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or others (please make sure permissions allow us to download the file).
      b) the file attached (some large files may not email easily).
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