Funding Process and FAQs
Questions and answers about calls for proposals (CFPs).
- What is a national program?
- Do I have to be on a special list maintained by RWJF or otherwise be pre-qualified to respond to a call for proposals?
- My organization is local and doesn't work throughout the United States. Can only national organizations participate in a grant managed by a national program?
- Do you make grants to for-profit organizations?
- If we have one RWJF grant, can we apply for a different RWJF grant?
- What are your deadlines for receipt of proposals?
- Do you have formal application forms?
- How long does it take for a proposal to be approved?
- Are proposals reviewed by experts from outside of RWJF?
- How do I know my proposal will receive a fair review?
- Can you share a copy of a successful proposal?
- What should I submit when asked for a detailed budget?
- What are indirect costs, and how does RWJF handle them?
- Where can I view a sample Letter of Agreement for my institution or organization?
What is a national program?
A national program consists of a cluster of grantees and other interested parties who work together to create impact in one of the Foundation's program areas. National programs are generally long-term commitments that warrant the Foundation's investment in establishing and maintaining the infrastructure of an intermediary organization that supports the program activity (e.g., a national program office).
Do I have to be on a special list maintained by RWJF or otherwise be pre-qualified to respond to a call for proposals?
No. Any organization is welcome to respond to a call for proposals (CFP), although prospective applicants should read the CFP carefully to ensure that they meet eligibility requirements. To learn when CFPs are released, sign up to receive RWJF Funding Alerts or add a feed of CFPs to your news reader.
My organization is local and doesn't work throughout the United States. Can only national organizations participate in a grant managed by a national program?
No. While national programs manage grants awarded across the country, organizations of any size may be awarded grants through them. Please review the eligibility requirements outlined in each call for proposals.
Do you make grants to for-profit organizations?
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.
If we have one RWJF grant, can we apply for a different RWJF grant?
You may apply for multiple grants from RWJF, but each proposal must be for a distinct project.
What are your deadlines for receipt of proposals?
Each call for proposals has its own schedule of deadlines. Please make note of these deadlines when applying.
Do you have formal application forms?
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 differences between CFPs, the application process can vary.
How long does it take for a proposal to be approved?
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 award details regarding a specific call for proposals (CFP), please check the key dates outlined in the CFP.
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 the team's strategy typically take an average of three months.
Are proposals reviewed by experts from outside of RWJF?
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.
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.
Can you share a copy of a successful proposal?
No, we consider proposals the intellectual property of the applicant and do not share them outside the Foundation.
What should I submit when asked for a detailed budget?
Complete instructions and materials for preparing your budget will be provided in RWJF’s online system.
What are indirect costs, and how does RWJF handle them?
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.
Questions on this policy should be directed to the program financial analyst assigned to the grant or the RWJF contact provided in the application materials.
Where can I view a sample Letter of Agreement for my institution or organization?
Click on the links below to preview a Letter of Agreement (LOA) specific to your institution/organization.