Apply for a Grant
Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Naomi Foundation! We are excited to learn about your new and pioneering projects in the fields we support: innovative education and teacher training, Yiddish in academic and scholarly settings, and scientific and medical research.
The Foundation is proud to create and nurture meaningful relationships with our grantees. A Naomi Foundation grant is much more than funding: in addition to financial support, we provide grantees with advice and hands-on assistance.
We are currently accepting applications. Please visit our Applicant Dashboard page in order to register for an account and begin your application. For your convenience, you can view the application contents in a Word document here: Application Questions for Preparation.
Please note: Our primary focus this year is on innovative education, especially work in the formal K-12 sector. Feel free to contact us (email@example.com) before initiating an application to discuss whether your project is a good fit for our current interest areas.
Please check this page and our Facebook page for periodic updates. To learn more about the Naomi Foundation and its grant application process, please continue reading.
How do you select grantees?
All applications are collected and reviewed by the foundation’s executive director and adviser to the board of directors. Applicant organizations are vetted and researched. The foundation also consults with its advisory committee, which consists of practitioners, researchers, and policy experts, to evaluate the pool of applicants and identify areas where the foundation’s resources are needed most. With this input, the board of directors carefully reviews the applications and interviews select applicants. The board makes its final decisions by voting.
What kind of projects do you support?
Our ideal grantee is an early-stage project. Sometimes these are new independent nonprofit organizations, but often they are housed at more established parent organizations who can provide them with resources and administrative support. By no means do all of our grantees match this profile, and we strongly encourage you to to apply if you feel your project might be a good fit with our mission and priorities.
The projects we support must be charitable, educational or scientific, as defined under the appropriate provisions or the US tax code, and all projects must comply with US anti-terrorism laws.
How does the Naomi Foundation support projects in addition to providing funds?
We consider our grantee relationships true partnerships. We work closely with our grantees to provide mentorship and advice, and we love being involved and contributing our expertise in the nonprofit sector and entrepreneurial approach. Our board, staff, and advisers have significant experience with new ventures and take pleasure in sharing that knowledge with our grantees. Each project is different. Sometimes we help with branding, networking, organizational structure, or consulting; or we put on a joint event or create a program together. It depends on the project-specific needs and our availability.
Where can I find my saved application?
To access your application, go to our Apply for a Grant tab and select Applicant Dashboard from the drop down menu. Enter your login info. You can access your application until the application’s deadline.
Are there certain kinds of projects you don’t fund?
Unless otherwise specified, at this time we do not fund projects in the arts, religious programming, or individual scholarships.
When, exactly, are grant funds disbursed?
Funds will be disbursed in early fall. Disbursement dates will be set once successful applications enter into the contract phase. Grants may only be used for the grant year (9/19-8/20) and not retroactively for work initiated prior to 9/19. If you feel that you are a good fit for one of our grants but cannot make this disbursement timeline work for your project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can I apply for unrestricted organizational funds instead of funds designated to a specific project?
Absolutely! We prefer to give grants for specific projects, but if your organization is new, then getting the organization started is a project in and of itself. We welcome these kinds of applications.
What do you consider innovative?
We look for projects and leadership that challenge the status quo. Our mission is to “reimagine” education, and we take that seriously. Though we like to see bold decisions and inventive ideas, we appreciate them even more when they are positioned to minimize risk and maximize viability.
I didn’t hear back about an interview. Does that mean I won’t get a grant?
Hang tight. Applicants who are not invited to interview may still be awarded a grant.
What size grants do you give?
We award grants of various sizes each year. In the 2019 grant cycle, we will award several grants between $5,000 and $75,000. If you have questions about this, you can email email@example.com.
Do you offer grants that span more than one year?
We only accept applications for one-year grants, but occasionally we offer unsolicited grant commitments spanning multiple years.
Does my project need to be Jewish-affiliated to receive a grant?
Absolutely not. Our application is open to all worthwhile nonprofit projects.
Can I view an example of a completed, successful grant application?
We keep this information private. If there are particular questions that you are uncertain how to answer, you can reach out to our team for support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I get a copy of my submitted application?
No, but you can access it anytime with your login info.
Can I edit my application after it’s been submitted?
Unfortunately not. If you have additional pressing information that will change your application, you may email it to email@example.com. We cannot guarantee it will be taken into consideration.
If I don’t get a grant, can I apply again next year?
My funding request fits under two of your areas of focus. How do I submit it?
Please read Tip #5 in our 10 Tips for Creating a Successful Application section below.
My funding request does not fit clearly into one of your areas of focus. How do I submit it?
At this time, we are only accepting applications in our areas of focus: innovative education and teacher training, scientific and medical research, or Yiddish in academic or scholarly settings. Please consider this when deciding whether to submit an application.
My organization’s 501(c)(3) status is pending; can I qualify to receive a grant?
If your organization will be a 501(c)(3) before funding is dispersed, then you may qualify for a grant. In your application, we will need you to upload a letter, if possible from a lawyer, specifying your 501(c)(3) status with a definitive timeline. If you have questions about this, please contact us.
The question I have is not in this FAQ. What should I do?
If your question has not been answered in all of our supporting materials, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.
Required Documents and Templates
Applicants must upload certain documents before they can submit their application for review. These may be submitted as Word, PDF, or Excel files. We suggest applicants collect the following before beginning the online application:
- Your project’s budget List each staff line separately and include % time spent on the project. In the same document, include a list of committed support (donations) and expected revenue. For the purposes of this document, please include your grant request to the Naomi Foundation as a highlighted item in the committed support section. Do not list other anticipated/potential support in this section. You may download our Sample Budget, though you should feel free to use whatever format works best for you as long as it has all the required information. All amounts must be in USD.
- Your organization’s financial statements for the current and most recent years. These reports may span calendar years or fiscal years; just be sure to include the dates your report covers. All amounts must be in USD.
- A list of your board of directors with their affiliations.
- A copy of your most recent IRS determination letter indicating your organization’s tax-exempt status. For Israeli amutot, please include your amuta determination letter and a letter of good standing. If you are a different foreign 501(c)(3) equivalent organization, please include your relevant documentation. If you do not fit any of these criteria but feel that you still might qualify for a grant, please email email@example.com for next steps.
10 Tips for Submitting a Successful Application
- Get to know the foundation. Check us out! Take a look at our areas of focus, learn about our grantees and their projects where possible, and read our bios. This will help you craft your application with a clear sense of how your project fits in with our goals.
- Manage your time. Although we tried to make our application user-friendly and put space limits on questions, all grant applications take organization and careful thought. Make sure to allow enough time to submit your application by our deadline, and be aware that we cannot accept late materials. We recommend you download the Application Questions for Preparation to plan and save your answers before starting your application online.
- Read all the applicant resources before beginning the application. If you’re reading this, you’re already on the right track. We provide information about the process, our required documents, FAQs, timeline information, and budget. If you aren’t sure about something, and you can’t find it within our application resources or on our website, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re here to help!
- Be ready to partner. The Naomi Foundation favors projects that are in their early stages and can benefit from the mentorship we provide. We want to be in regular contact with each of our grantees to really get to know the project leadership and influence the project’s trajectory. We hope that together, we can take your project to new heights!
- Classify your project correctly. Most successful applications will fit clearly into one of our three areas of focus: innovative education, Yiddish in academic and scholarly settings, or scientific and medical research. If you believe your project fits into two or more areas, think about the overarching vision of your project. For example, if your project request is to launch a program in the sciences, ask yourself what challenge you are trying to address, and what the vision for the project is. In the prior example, if your vision is to increase access to high school science education for underprivileged students, then this project fits more squarely under our education category. If your vision is to advance high-level scientific inquiry, then it belongs under our scientific and medical research rubric.
- Prepare. Our application includes questions about vision, evaluation, and future planning. We think it’s critical for organizations to reflect on these questions; the most effective organizations do so regularly.
- Prepare some more. Have all your organizational and supporting materials handy and in our requested format before beginning the application so you can easily upload these documents. All documents must be uploaded before you will be able to submit your completed application. Click here for more info on our required documents.
- Stand out. At its core, the Naomi Foundation is an education foundation, and a thread of teaching, learning, and mentorship runs through all our projects. However, we aren’t looking for cookie-cutter projects or replicas of projects we’ve already supported or are currently committed to. Your uniqueness and vision should bring something new to the table – we love innovation and fresh ideas.
- Convey enthusiasm and authenticity. In addition to knowing about the technical aspects of your project, we want to feel your passion for the work. Consider sharing what drives you to the work, an anecdote about its impact, or something else personal. We’d also appreciate an honest assessment of gaps, challenges and areas for development. We’re not looking for perfection, but rather to support your growth. An optional essay space has been provided at the end of the application for thoughts you may want to convey that don’t fit within the conventional grant application narrative.
- Be clear, complete, and concise. You know your project intimately, and if we award you a grant, we will too, but the application is meant to provide a snapshot of the work you do. Explain it to us in clear, basic terms, and make sure to answer all the questions. We’ve designed our space and character limits to be generous and to accommodate all kinds of organizations and projects. You should have ample space, and it is just fine if you do not use the full character limit in any given question.
The foundation strongly supports diversity and inclusion in the projects it funds. We encourage applicants to reflect these principles when identifying target audiences, constructing research teams, creating advisory panels, and assigning leadership and management responsibilities on a project.
Our grant cycles typically run over the course of a year and a half. Generally, we follow a cycle like the one below.
- October-December 2018: Read online materials, ask questions, gather supporting documents
- November 15, 2018: Application opens
- January 1, 2019: Application deadline
- January-March 2019: Foundation staff and board review applications
- January-March 2019: Select applicants contacted to schedule interviews
- April 12, 2019: Award decisions made, all applicants notified
- May-July 2019: Contract period – grant agreements executed, disbursement dates set
- September-December 2019: Disbursement of grants
- March-June 2020: 6 month financial and narrative reports report due
- September-December 2020: 1 year financial and narrative reports report due
Review Application Questions and Apply
We recommend you utilize the Application Questions for Preparation resource, and write out your answers in advance. Once you are ready to apply, visit our Applicant Dashboard to create a profile and start your application. Your application does not need to be completed in one session – you may save your application and continue at a later point in time by logging into the Applicant Dashboard.
We require answers to all the application questions unless otherwise noted. When you download the Application Questions for Preparation, you can prepare all your answers for the application and see our word limits.
We thank you for your interest in the Naomi Foundation and for reading our materials. We hope to hear from you very soon.