Our Application Process

Letter of Inquiry

We don't want to waste anybody's time, so we require a brief LOI before we allow grantseekers to submit a full application.


1. Create a login and password for our online application system.

2. Submit “Application Part 1: Letter of Inquiry."

3. The Foundation will review your submission and get back to you as quickly as possible. We will decline your proposal if it's not a good fit, ask for more information, or invite you to submit a full application.

Full Application

If your LOI indicates your proposal might be a good fit for the Foundation, we'll send you an e-mail containing a unique URL where you'll submit a full application.


4. Submit “Application Part 2: Full Application."

5. We will acknowledge receipt of your completed application.

Staff Review

Our staff will be in touch with you frequently as we review your application.


6. We will schedule a site visit. We'll be interested in meeting the team who will be directly involved with the project you proposed, with your executive leadership and/or members of your board of directors, and, if possible, with representatives of the population you serve.

7. We'll conduct legal and financial due diligence.

8. We may ask for experts in your field to weigh in on your application.

Board Decision

Our board meets twice per year, in November and May. All complete applications that have successfully passed staff review will be presented to the board.


9. The McElhattan Foundation board will vote on which grants to approve and the amount and term of each grant.

10. The Foundation will notify you of the board's decision.

11. Successful applicants will receive a letter containing conditions of the grant, including deadlines for progress reports.

12. The Foundation will send checks out by June 30 and December 31.

Reporting Results

This probably goes without saying, but we are very interested in the outcomes of projects we support. We understand that some projects may be experimental in nature and may not achieve their projected results, but we believe there are lessons to be learned from all good efforts.


13. Grantees will submit regular progress reports during the grant period. (Frequency and format will be determined on an individual basis.)

14. All grantees will submit a final report within 30 days of the end of the grant period.

15. Grantees will make their findings available to the public (ideally on the web), so that others may build upon their learnings.