General questions and answers about applying for a grant.

  1. How many grants do you award each year?
  2. What is the average size and duration of your grants?
  3. Do you make grants to for-profit organizations?
  4. If we have one RWJF grant, can we apply for a different RWJF grant?
  5. Do you accept unsolicited proposals?
  6. What are the chances of an unsolicited proposal receiving funding?
  7. Do you have formal application forms?
  8. How long does it take for a proposal to be approved?
  9. What are the most common reasons a proposal is declined?
  10. How do I know my proposal will receive a fair review?
  11. Are proposals reviewed by experts from outside of RWJF?
  12. Can you share a copy of a successful proposal?
  13. What are indirect costs, and how does RWJF handle them?
  14. Where can I view a sample Letter of Agreement for my institution or organization?

 

 

1. How many grants do you award each year? (Answer last updated on Feb 22, 2013)

In 2012, RWJF made more than 700 awards. The amount varies from year to year.  

 

2. What is the average size and duration of your grants? (Answer last updated on Feb 22, 2013)

Amounts awarded and time periods vary widely and depend on the scope of the project. Over the last five years, we have made awards ranging from $3,000 to $23 million with time periods ranging from one month to five years. However, most grants are in the $100,000 to $300,000 range, and run from one to three years.

 

3. Do you make grants to for-profit organizations? (Answer last updated on Apr 25, 2008)

The vast majority of our funding is to nonprofit organizations and public agencies. Historically, less than one percent of our funding has been to for-profit organizations, and always in instances where the institution's project is an excellent fit with our strategies and we felt they were best suited to do the work.

 

4. If we have one RWJF grant, can we apply for a different RWJF grant? (Answer last updated on Apr 23, 2008)

You may apply for multiple grants from RWJF, but each proposal must be for a distinct project.

 

5. Do you accept unsolicited proposals? (Answer last updated on Feb 10, 2014)

We accept unsolicited proposals for projects that suggest new and creative approaches to solving health and health care problems. To be considered for funding in this area, you must first submit a brief proposal. To learn more about our solicited funding opportunities, please be sure to review our current calls for proposals.

 

6. What are the chances of an unsolicited proposal receiving funding? (Answer last updated on Sept 14, 2012)

The Foundation receives a large number of unsolicited proposals each year and is only able to fund a small number. All proposals submitted according to the established guidelines will receive a fair, comprehensive review. However, unsolicited proposals will only be funded if they fit squarely within our areas of focus and support our strategic objectives.  

The Foundation does not provide critiques of proposals submitted. Please understand that if we decline a particular proposal, it is not a reflection of our opinion regarding the merit of your idea, nor is it a rejection of you, the grant applicant. In fact, many current grantees have had earlier proposals turned down.

 

7. Do you have formal application forms? (Answer last updated on Sept 14, 2012)

Yes. If you are applying for a grant via a call for proposals (CFP), please follow the application instructions as outlined in the CFP. Due to the differences of each CFP, the application process can vary. View a list of open calls for proposals.

 

8. How long does it take for a proposal to be approved? (Answer last updated on Sept 14, 2012)

For calls for proposals: If a two-step process is used, which involves submitting a brief proposal and then a full proposal, the review and approval time is between four and seven months. When only a full proposal is required, the review and approval process is about three to four months.

For unsolicited proposals: The amount of time from receipt of the brief proposal to award varies greatly depending on the complexity of the project. However, awards for unsolicited proposals that fit our strategies typically take an average of three months.

 

9. What are the most common reasons a proposal is declined? (Answer last updated on Apr 23, 2008)

There are several reasons why the Foundation may decide to decline a proposal; however, some of the most commonly declined proposals are those that:

  • do not fall within the guidelines of What We Fund
  • do not follow our general grantmaking guidelines
  • are not new or innovative
  • are more appropriately funded by another organization, either public or private
  • are not sustainable without reliance on RWJF funding
  • are not likely to generate significant long-term impact
  • are similar to projects we are already funding.

 

10.  How do I know my proposal will receive a fair review?

One of our Guiding Principles states, “We must select grantees fairly.” We have processes in place to honor this principle including the requirement that proposal reviewers acknowledge our “Guidance for NPO Staff and Reviewers on Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality Related to Proposal Review.” Approximately seven percent of proposal reviewers have disclosed a conflict of interest. Those disclosures generally resulted in the reassignment of that proposal to another reviewer.  The percentage is lower than what might otherwise be expected because often actual or perceived conflicts are known and avoided in advance by assigning the proposal to another individual for review.   

 

11. Are proposals reviewed by experts from outside of RWJF? (Answer last updated on Apr 23, 2008)

In many instances, RWJF asks outside experts on a particular topic to review proposals. By doing so, RWJF aims to ensure that we remain fair and rigorous in evaluating proposals.

 

12. Can you share a copy of a successful proposal? (Answer last updated on Apr 23, 2008)

No, we consider proposals the intellectual property of the applicant and do not share them outside the Foundation.

 

13. What are indirect costs, and how does RWJF handle them? (Answer last updated on Feb 15, 2013)

Indirect costs are overhead expenses incurred by the applicant organization as a result of the project but that are not easily identifiable with a specific project. These are administrative expenses that are related to overall operations and are shared among projects and/or functions. Examples include executive oversight, accounting, grants management, legal expenses, utilities, and facility maintenance.

The Foundation’s approved rate is 12 percent of all RWJF costs (Personnel, Other Direct Costs, and Purchased Services) associated with the project. However, if the Purchased Services category equals more than 33 percent of the total of Personnel, Other Direct Costs and Purchased Services, RWJF allows 12 percent indirect on Personnel and Other Direct Costs, and 4 percent on Purchased Services. State the amount requested from RWJF and the amounts being provided from other sources.

Applicants with a different indirect cost rate or other questions should call RWJF at (609) 627-5845. Grantees should contact their program financial analysts.

 

14. Where can I view a sample Letter of Agreement for my institution or organization? (Answer last updated on Mar 17, 2011)

Click on the links below to preview a Letter of Agreement (LOA) specific to your institution/organization.

Organizations that are Public Charities, Exempt Operating Foundations and Governmental Entities

Private Foundations Other than Operating Foundations

Private Operating Foundations

Organizations Not Exempt Under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)

 

 

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