Grant FAQs

Below are a list of frequently asked questions about grants.

If you can not find the answer to your question here, please email us.

How do I know if my organization is eligible for a grant from OICF

Nonprofit organizations that serve Orcas Island are eligible to apply (must have a copy of IRS Letter of Determination). If yours is not a nonprofit organization and you are proposing a beneficial community project, you may be able to apply by partnering with a qualified organization. Please call us at 360-376-6423 to discuss!

What organizations are not eligible to receive grants?

OICF does not provide grants to individuals, to for-profit organizations, or to religious organizations if the monies would be used in whole or in part for religious purposes. Grants may not be used for political purposes. OICF does not award grants for fund-raising expenses or contribute to endowments. Organizations that discriminate on any prohibited basis may not apply.

Are grant applications limited to capital items only?

No. One-time capital items, special non-recurring expenditures, specific needs and special programs are given equal consideration. OICF will consider grant applications for a small percentage of an organization’s general operating budget if the applicant can demonstrate a compelling need.

Does OICF favor applications for specific causes or types of projects?

OICF’s board reserves the right to concentrate our grant-making activities in specific areas of greatest need. However, grant distribution is determined through our assessment of community needs, and the merit and impact of individual projects.

Can my group apply for two different projects in the same grant cycle?

No; we ask organizations to limit their request to one per grant cycle. Only if your organization serves as a Fiscal Sponsor to one or more programs – then you may submit one request per program.

My group’s project was funded last year; can we apply again for the same project?

Yes, but… OICF does not provide recurring, sustaining funds for any given project. We understand that sometimes it takes more than one year to get a new program off the ground. If you believe that your project will fall into this category, please consider a multi-year plan so that you can apply for a multi-year grant. We hope to provide “start-up” funding that will enable organizations to find other sources of support in years to come.

How do I find out about the grants process and timeline for submission of a proposal?

You’re already in the right place! Please read the Grant Guidelines page on this website. Also, do not hesitate to email us or call 360-376-6423.

I’ve never written a grant before. Help!

OICF’s grant application process is among the easiest around. The Grant Application Form is simple to follow and asks for basic information about your organization and the project for which you need funding. The Grants Committee chairperson can assist if you have questions or need help. If you would like someone to review a draft of your application before you submit it, please call us at 360-376-6423.

What happens after I submit my grant application?

A member of the Grants Committee will contact you to schedule a meeting and a site visit to discuss your application. After site visits have been completed, the Committee meets to review and consider all applications. Approved grant requests will participate in the GiveOrcas Campaign during the first three weeks in May. This is when OICF works with your organization to fund-raise for your request. Checks are distributed at the Grants Awards Ceremony, usually in late May or early June.

What happens after I submit my grant application?

A member of the Grants Committee will contact you to schedule a meeting and a site visit to discuss your application. After site visits have been completed, the Committee meets to review and consider all applications. Approved grant requests will participate in the GiveOrcas Campaign during the first three weeks in May. This is when OICF works with your organization to fund-raise for your request. Checks are distributed at the Grants Awards Ceremony, usually in late May or early June.

What size grants does OICF give out?

While grants have ranged from $500 to $25,000, the average amount is $3,000 to $8,000; $15,000 is a fairly large grant for our Annual Grants Cycle.

How many grants do you fund?

In 2017, OICF funded 24 grants for a total of $224,420 including unrestricted donations to local charities selected by the 2017 High School class.

What if my application asks for funding beyond OICF’s resources?

If your grant application is approved, OICF may fund only part of the project total. Organizations must be prepared to work with partial funding.

What if my organization doesn’t use all of the funds for the approved project, or the project changes?

Grants are provided by OICF (and often funded by donors) for the specific purpose stated in your application. Each project is weighed against all other proposals that year. If your project changes, or you do not require all of the funds award, email us or call 360-376-6423 to discuss your situation. In most cases, excess or unused funds must be returned to OICF.

More Questions?

Email us or call 360-376-6423.