Grant Guidelines

Grant applications for the 2016 cycle must be submitted online by Friday, March 10th, 2017We strongly urge you to discuss your grant proposal ideas with OICF before you submit the final application. Applicants to the 2016 Holiday Catalog are welcome to apply for the spring cycle, but are strongly encouraged to submit a different program/ask. Contact OICF if you have questions.

Important changes to the OICF grant process:

OICF’s mission is to “foster philanthropy to enhance the quality of life on Orcas Island.” OICF’s Annual Grant Program, together with our Holiday Catalog, is one way we try to build community awareness about the good work you do in our community, and raise funds to support your programs. With 111 nonprofits on Orcas, not everyone can be included in every cycle. Our hope is to strengthen as many organizations as possible. Please keep this in mind when submitting your application.

Important Updates to the OICF Grant Process
All grant applications will be considered, OICF will prioritize proposals based the criteria below.

  • Does the proposal address a specific need?
  • What is the likelihood for success of the proposal?
  • Is there duplication of services offered on Orcas for this service/request?
  • Does the proposal serve a large number of islanders?

OICF will consider applications to provide a percentage of a nonprofit’s critical or general operating funds. OICF wishes to help nonprofits become as healthy effective and efficient as possible, and be good stewards of community resources. We will not consider multiple requests in the same cycle.

All questions have a 1000 character limit (Word.doc will count characters for you). Please stay within this limit and remember that an OICF Grants Committee member will interview you and you’ll be able to elaborate on the details of your request at that time.

In 2016 over $2 million was distributed through OICF—$202,700 in the annual grants process. Consider this application an opportunity to showcase your organization and enhance awareness of the important work you do to make Orcas Island a healthy, vibrant community.

2017 Grants Cycle Schedule:

  • The 2017 Grant Application package must be received no later than Friday, March 10, 2017.
  • Applications will be reviewed in late March. A knowledgeable contact person from your organization should be available from March 16 – 28.
  • A member of the grants committee will contact your organization to schedule a meeting and site visit, if applicable.
  • Grant recipients will be notified by late-May.
  • Grant checks will be presented at the Awards Reception.
  • Grant reports for 2017 grants are due January 16, 2018.  Any successful proposal of $10,000 or more will be required to meet with a committee member and OICF board or staff member mid-year to discuss the progress of the project and the impact of your efforts.

Who qualifies for OICF Community Endowment Fund Grants?

  • Applicants must be qualified nonprofit organizations (usually Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) organizations). No grants are made to individuals, private foundations, or for-profit enterprises.
  • We are precluded from making grants to any religious organization if the funds would be used in whole or in part for religious purposes.
  • Grants are not made to any group that discriminates on the basis of age, color, race, national origin, gender identity, marital status, sensory, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
  • No grants are made to conduit organizations which pass funds through to other organizations for distribution to ultimate beneficiaries of their own choosing (e.g., United Way).
  • Grant requests are not retroactive; i.e. requests must be for an project or activity that is planned for the future.

What types of projects are funded?

  • One time, non-recurring expenditures, specific capital needs, and project-related expenses for programs are given equal consideration.
  • Part of a nonprofit’s general operating funds if the applicant can demonstrate compelling need.
  • OICF encourages nonprofit applicants to work collaboratively in developing projects to benefit the Orcas Island community. If an application is being made for a collaborative effort, it must include letters of support from the Boards of all organizations involved.
  • Requests for funding for projects of two or three years’ duration will be considered. Funds may be dispersed yearly, subject to reporting, due diligence and other requirements imposed by OICF.
  • No grants are made for political purposes.
  • No grants are made for general fund drives, for endowments, or for fundraising expenses or charitable appeals.

Other Considerations:

  • Grant approval is based on an evaluation of the significance of a project, its purpose, its likelihood of success, and its potential benefit to the Orcas Island community.
  • OICF has limited funds available, and a large number of requests for valuable projects. While recognizing that multi-year funding may enable an organization or a project to succeed, we discourage nonprofits from applying repeatedly for continuing funding of the same project. If an applicant predicts that a project will require more than one year to succeed, we encourage the applicant to apply for a multi-year grant. This is merely one factor in evaluating the merits of a grant proposal.
  • Please be concise when composing the application, and supply all requested attachments.
  • We do require current financial statements and annual budget.
  • We may ask to review your organization’s most recent IRS Form 990, but please do not submit the 990 with your application.

Reporting Guidelines:
All reporting requirements are included with the letter of notification; grant reports are due January 16, 2018.  Successful proposals of $10,000 or more will be required to meet with a committee member and OICF board or staff member mid-year to discuss the progress of the project and the impact of your efforts.Questions?

Please contact Hilary Canty or Kate Long at OICF if you have questions along the way.  (360) 376-6423 or