Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For Current Grantees:
PLEASE NOTE: The foundation continuously strives to align its grantmaking with its mission, vision and values while simultaneously addressing community needs. In light of these efforts, and for the purpose of maintaining a high level of effectiveness and support for our grantees, we do not currently accept unsolicited inquiries or proposals. We invite you to visit the Resources page for links that may help you in your search.
How will my organization be notified if we are approved for a grant?
Grants are approved at the foundation's mid-November board meeting. Existing grantees and organizations invited to submit proposals will be notified via decision letter shortly thereafter. If approved, the letter will stipulate the terms of the grant, scheduled payment date(s) and other relevant information.
How will my organization receive grant payments?
Payments are distributed via check through the U.S. Postal Service. The payment date is set by the foundation and is included in the initial decision letter notifying the organization of approval.
If my organization is awarded a grant, what are the reporting requirements and obligations?
Grant Report: Unless otherwise noted, organizations receiving grants in the amount of $2,500 or more must complete the foundation's grant report form and submit via email by the date indicated. Organizations receiving multi-year grants must also submit a grant report each year. Please note that effective 2016, scholarship recipients and special initiative grants need NOT submit a grant report. Please reference the 2017 Grant Report page and your award letter for more information.
Acknowledgement Letter: A letter that includes the program name, the grant amount and the statement, "No goods or services were provided as a result of this contribution" should be submitted as soon as possible.
Additionally, we request the following:
- An updated list of staff contacts for the funded project/program. A Staff Update Form is available in the Grantee section of the foundation's website.
Notification if your tax exemption is revoked or if there are any reasonable grounds to believe that your exemption may be revoked, you believe that you cannot expend the funds provided for the purposes specified in the award letter, there is a change in your corporate structure, or there is a significant change in your management or operation.
How else will my organization be evaluated during the grant period?
All grantees are encouraged to coordinate with staff at least one site visit per year so that the foundation may observe and more fully understand the programming supported. The foundation understands that some programs occur during certain times of the year and looks forward to working with its grantees to schedule these visits at the most convenient and appropriate time
What if my organization cannot expend the funds granted during the period?
Organizations may not use all the funds granted during the grant period due to several reasons, including: a late project start; a change in key project staff; increased funding from other sources that may reduce the amount required from the Siragusa Family Foundation in a given year; and/or a change in the project that reduces expenses
Grantees must notify foundation staff as soon as possible about a change in how or when they will expend the funds granted. The course of action will vary depending on the situation and staff will work with the grantee to establish an appropriate resolution.
Can my organization request an extension to the award date?
Grantees must communicate with foundation staff regarding a change in their program or project that would affect funding or use of funds from the Siragusa Family Foundation. Requests to delay or alter the award date for grants will be reviewed for both financial and programmatic feasibility and are not automatically granted.
What happens if my organization accomplish the goals identified in our proposal by the end of the grant?
Grantees should contact with the staff about circumstances surrounding a delay or change in the program's/project's progress. It is best to notify the foundation as soon as a challenge is encountered so that staff may work with the organization to establish next steps that make sense for both the foundation and the grantee.
If the grantee is still able to complete the project, but simply needs more time, it may request an extension of the grant time period. Grant extensions require prior approval and we ask that grantees requests at least 3 months prior to the end of the grant period so the request may be reviewed and any questions addressed.
What do I do if I need more time to complete a report or to provide information to the Siragusa Family Foundation?
We ask that grantees alert the foundation of the situation as soon as possible. Staff will make every effort to work with grantees to ensure that they are able to provide the information required in a fashion that is suitable to both the organization and to the foundation. Contact Us
For Grantseeking Organizations:
What is the process for applying for a grant?
Organizations invited to submit proposals may contact our program staff to discuss whether the project or program aligns with the foundation's program
Does the Siragusa Family Foundation have deadlines for proposals/applications?
Yes, the deadline for the application will be discussed following the invitation to submit a proposal.
Is there a standard format for proposals?
There is a standard grant application form that will be provided by foundation staff following the invitation to submit a proposal.
For how much should we apply?
If invited to apply, foundation staff will advise the organization on the appropriate amount of funds to request, taking into account its organizational budget, project budget and expected income from other sources. The foundation rarely is the sole funder of a project and encourages applicants to develop a variety of individual, governmental and private funding sources for their programs.
May I e-mail my application materials?
Does The Siragusa Foundation make multi-year grants?
The foundation rarely funds multi-year projects.
Does the foundation fund operating expenses?
Yes, the foundation funds both program-related costs and general operating expenses. It should be clearly stated what aspects of operating expenses funding from the foundation will help cover. Furthermore, the foundation will support expenses associated with implementing the specific project for which you are requesting funding. These expenses may include administrative costs, such as salaries and facility usage, and should be included as specific line items in the project budget submitted with your application.
Is there anything that the foundation does not support?
The foundation typically does not support capital or endowment campaigns. The foundation also does not support individuals or advocacy initiatives.
Does my organization or project have to be located in the greater Chicago area?
The foundation's priority is to fund projects and programs that enhance the quality of life in the greater metropolitan Chicago area. A small percentage of funding is granted to initiatives outside the area, based on the interests and relationships of foundation board and family members.
What is your grant review process?
Invited proposals are reviewed by staff and the foundation's board to determine which projects best meet the foundation's funding priorities and review criteria. Staff may contact you for additional information if needed throughout the review process. If a proposal is viewed favorably, the foundation may partially or completely fund the request. Funding is ultimately contingent upon the board's decision regarding alignment with the foundation's priorities and availability of funds within the foundation's annual budget.
How long does the review process take?
The foundation generally responds to grant requests within three months after receiving a complete proposal, typically after our board meets to render decisions in mid-November.
When are applicants notified of funding decisions?
Organizations invited to submit proposals that are approved for grants at the foundation's mid-November board meeting will be notified shortly thereafter via an award letter. The letter will stipulate the terms of the grant, distribution date(s) of the funds, and other relevant information regarding your relationship with the foundation as a grantee.
What can I expect if my organization's proposal is approved?
The foundation will mail your organization an award letter that includes the grant terms, conditions and expectations. The letter will also outline the payment schedule and other pertinent details and requirements, including acknowledgements and reporting.
Will I need to submit a grant reports?
Yes. Unless otherwise stated, foundation grantees are required to submit a Grant Report, detailing the activities carried out during the year as supported by the foundation.
If I know members of the Siragusa Family Foundation's Board of Trustees or grants committee, does it increase the likelihood that my proposal will be funded if I contact them?
The foundation encourages all trustees and/or committee members to refer calls regarding grant requests to foundation program staff. Ultimately, grants are approved by the entire board at its annual board meetings.
If I have questions about the foundation, whom should I call?
Please contact Siragusa Family Foundation staff.