Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Does TFF have a specific geographic focus?
What areas does TFF support?
What organizations or programs are generally not eligible?
Does TFF fund multi-year grants?
May an organization that has previously received a grant from TFF apply for new grants?
Is there an application deadline?
How does TFF determine grant amounts?
What is the application process?
If my application is declined, am I eligible to apply again?
How do I know if my application was received?
Will TFF conduct a site visit?
When will I find out the foundation's decision?




Q: Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
A: Nonprofit organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code and fall within the TFF program areas.



Q: Does TFF have a specific geographic focus?
A: In Texas, the greater Austin metropolitan area; in Illinois, the greater Chicago metropolitan area, with preference given to organizations serving Cook and DuPage counties.

Note to Chicago Area Applicants:
TFF has suspended accepting unsolicited proposals for the Chicago metropolitan area for the foreseeable future due to limits on our current and anticipated grantmaking portfolio.
Current TFF grantees are eligible to aply for renewal funding. Prospective grantees must receive an invitation from TFF to apply for funding. Organizations are welcome to send basic information about their programs via mail or email, but please note that we are not able to respond. If the program aligns with our funding priorities and immediate grantmaking goals, we will follow up with you.



Q: What areas does TFF support?
A: TFF partners with organizations whose programs empower others to build independent, fulfilling lives, including:


For more details, see Application Guidelines



Q: What organizations or programs are generally not eligible?
A: Organizations and programs must be consistent with TFF's mission (link to areas). TFF grants are not intended for:

  • Individuals, for-profit organizations, or tax-generating entities (municipalities, school districts, etc.)
  • Programs that exclude participants on the basis of race or religion
  • Loans
  • More than 20 percent of an organization's operating budget
  • Indirect or administrative costs, including mass mailings, advertising or marketing
  • Purchase of dinner, gala or raffle tickets, or participation in school fundraisers, special events or sports events
  • Support of political agendas or candidates
  • Funding of academic or scientific research
  • Public or private educational institutions for recurring administrative or operating expenses, capital expenses (acquisition, construction, improvement and maintenance of buildings and equipment), or scholarships that subsidize an existing scholarship funding base.



Q: Does TFF fund multi-year grants?
A: TFF generally gives grants for the current year only; however, all applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.



Q: May an organization that has previously received a grant from TFF apply for new grants?
A: Yes, TFF will consider applications from previously funded organization for a distinctly different program during the same year; or the organization may apply again for the same program during the subsequent year(s).



Q: Is there an application deadline?
A: No, applications are accepted throughout the year and scheduled for consideration by the Board of Directors at their quarterly meetings in the order they are received. Applicants are encouraged to submit requests as early as possible to allow for timely review before these meetings, generally held in March, June, September and December.



Q: How does TFF determine grant amounts?
A: TFF does not pre-determine funding levels for any applicant or program area, and the grant amount varies widely based on the needs of the program and the organization's capacity to support the program. In general, TFF does not support more than 20 percent of an organization's operating budget. TFF applicants should be able to demonstrate a reliable, diversified funding base.



Q: What is the application process?
A: The application process is simple:

  • Log in or create your TFF account to fill out the online application.
  • TFF will contact you with an email message confirming receipt of your application.
  • TFF may contact you during the review process to clarify or request information regarding your application. TFF will schedule a site visit only if needed.
  • If you have questions during the review process, contact TFF by phone, 512-329-0009 (toll-free 866-897-0298) or email, info@topferfoundation.org.
  • Applicants can expect to receive a response within two weeks following the quarterly Board of Directors meeting at which the grant is reviewed (generally March, June, September, and December).



Q: If my application is declined, am I eligible to apply again?
A: No, not for the same program in the same calendar year. However, you may apply for a distinctly different program, or in subsequent calendar years.



Q: How do I know if my application was received?
A: TFF will confirm receipt of your application by email. If you do not receive confirmation within a few days, please contact us by phone, 512-329-0009 (toll-free 866-897-0298), or email, info@topferfoundation.org.



Q: Will TFF conduct a site visit?
A: It is not usually required. If necessary, TFF will contact you to schedule a site visit.



Q: When will I find out the foundation's decision?
A: Applications will be considered at the quarterly Board of Directors meetings (generally held in March, June, September and December). You will receive a response within two weeks following the meeting at which your application is reviewed.

 
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