We have created a list of frequently asked questions for both grantees and grant seeking organizations.
How will my organization be notified if we are approved for a grant?
Grants are approved at the foundation’s November board meeting. Grantees 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.
What are the reporting requirements and obligations as a grantee?
Please review the Grantee section of our website for more information.
What if my organization cannot expend the funds for the grant 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 grant period?
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 if my organization does not accomplish the goals identified in our proposal by the end of the grant period?
Grantees should contact foundation staff about circumstances surrounding a substantial 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 and needs more time, it may request an extension of the grant time period. Grant extensions require prior approval. We ask that grantees request an extension at least 3 months prior to the end of the grant period so the request may be reviewed with ample time to address any additional questions.
What if I need more time to complete a report or to provide information to the 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.
Grant seeking organizations
Please note that the Siragusa Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals. The responses included below are designed to be informational.
The Siragusa Family Foundation is working to align its grantmaking around its mission, vision and values while assessing community needs. As a result of this process, we believe the most effective way for the foundation to utilize its resources is to continue our focus on maintaining support for current grantees. However if the foundation’s situation changes in any way, we will update our website with relevant information.
What is the process for applying for a grant?
Organizations invited to submit proposals may contact the program officer to discuss whether the project or program aligns with the foundation’s priorities.
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.
What amount of support should we request in a proposal?
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, government and private funding sources for their programs.
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 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 funding priorities and review criteria. Staff may contact you for additional information if needed throughout the review process.
When are organizations invited to submit a proposal notified of funding decisions?
Proposals that are approved for grants at the foundation’s 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.
Will I need to submit a grant report?
Yes. Unless otherwise stated, grantees are required to submit a Grant Report, detailing the activities carried out during the year as supported by the foundation.
A philanthropic partner of nonprofits to improve communities throughout the Chicago region
Through its giving, the Siragusa Family Foundation seeks to fulfill its mission of supporting efforts that help people help themselves and experience a better quality of life.