Application Process

The McElhattan Foundation accepts applications only via our online application portal. This is our process at the moment; we are always looking to make it a better experience for applicants, though, and we would welcome your feedback at any time.

Please note: If you plan to apply for a grant in our Education program area, please schedule a 15-minute meeting with our program officer, Gina Evans, to discuss your proposal. We have a very high volume of applications and are testing this approach to see if it saves time for you and for our staff. Thank you! Click here to schedule a meeting

Stage 1: Letter of Inquiry

We don't want to waste anybody's time, so we require a brief Letter of Inquiry (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 soon 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.


Stage 2: 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 fill out a full application.

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

5. We will acknowledge receipt of your completed application.


Stage 3: Staff Review

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


6. We will schedule a site visit. We'd like to meet the team who will be directly involved with the project you proposed, with your executive leadership, and, if possible, with representatives of the population you serve. We have been doing a combination of in-person and remote site visits due to COVID-19; we will work with you to determine which is best given the current conditions.

7. We'll conduct legal and financial due diligence. We will ask you to upload the most recent versions of several financial documents, including your balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and projected cash flow. 

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

Stage 4: 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. Foundation staff will notify you of the board's decision.

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

12. The Foundation will distribute funding. For the Spring Cycle, this will happen before June 30; for the Fall Cycle, you will receive your funding by December 31.