FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following are frequently asked questions and answers outlining the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's grantmaking process, guidelines and eligibility requirements.
How do I submit a grant proposal?
- Begin by reading our Guidelines.
- Please see our New Applicants page. Currently, the Dodge Foundation is not accepting unsolicited letters of inquiry. Please refer to our strategic plan.
- Only organizations that currently receive funding and those invited to apply may submit a full proposal. Once you start filling out your proposal, you will be able to save it and return to it at any time.
How much funding is available?
We provide about $8 million in annual grants focused on supporting innovation, collaboration and community-driven decision-making across our program areas: Arts, Education, Environment and Informed Communities. Grant amounts vary depending on a broad set of factors. Whenever possible, program staff will meet or speak on the phone with organizations before the proposal deadline to offer guidance on the proposal scope.
What are some of the areas that Dodge does not support?
For effective focus of the Foundation’s resources, we do not support major categories of funding as higher education, health, religion and film. In addition, support for capital projects, equipment purchases, and endowment funds all are outside of our guidelines.
Must my organization be a 501(c)(3)?
Our grants are currently limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Except for Foundation-based initiatives, we do not make direct awards to individuals.
Does Dodge have a geographic focus?
Though we are open to the best thinking and models anywhere that might be applied to the challenges we face in New Jersey, our focus is on funding organizations based here, as well as projects with a direct and substantial impact on this state. We do not fund projects outside of New Jersey.
What else do you look for in organizations you support?
Organizations must demonstrate they have:
- The administrative and financial capacity to achieve and assess the stated goals of the proposal;
- Be led by an effective and professional, fulltime paid staff
- Have a high-functioning board, with an expectation of 100 percent of its trustees making an annual personal contribution
- Strive to make connections with other organizations, especially Dodge grantees, working in the same community or on complementary issues.
What types of funding do you provide?
We care deeply about the long-term health and sustainability of New Jersey’s nonprofit sector and provide both general operating support as well as project-specific support.
What are some reasons Dodge might decline an online inquiry or grant proposal?
Applying for funding is a highly competitive process. We receive several hundred online inquiries and proposals each year, and submitting an inquiry or a proposal which falls within our guidelines does not guarantee that we will either request or fund a proposal from your organization.
Due to limited resources, we look for projects and programs that will demonstrate excellence and leverage other work we are currently supporting. In addition to the restrictions we list above, we frequently decline online inquiries that duplicate work we are already funding.
What information do I need to submit a grant proposal?
In addition to a completed application, organizations must submit a list of names and affiliations of Trustees, organization budgets, audits and other criteria. Current grantees also submit a report for the previous year’s grant.
Who will review my proposal?
Dodge has a long-standing commitment to cross-program review, so program directors will review proposals from other program areas, which helps eliminate siloes and encourages fresh perspectives. In a typical grant cycle, for example, the Arts Program Director will have mostly arts proposals, but will also review some proposals from Education, Environment or Informed Communities (or all three).
Does the application process require site visits?
Typically, yes. Program staff will contact organizations to set up a site visit when necessary. Site visits generally last about two hours and often include visiting programs (e.g. artistic performances, after-school programs, etc.). Occasionally, site visits are conducted by phone.
How do you notify organizations they will not receive funding?
Applicants with inquiries that are declined get notified by email with a brief, personalized explanation for the declination.
I applied previously, may I apply again?
Yes, you may apply again.
We are having trouble submitting the online inquiry or grant proposal. Who should we contact for assistance?
If you experience technical difficulties while submitting your application, please contact Hesham Tamraz, director of technology. If you have general questions about applying, please contact Marisa Benson, grants manager.