Who is eligible to apply for funding?
To be eligible for funding, an applicant must be a public charity with tax-exempt status under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a federally recognized Tribe. Under certain circumstances, applications from public entities such as school districts, municipalities, or unincorporated groups or associations may be considered. Please contact our program staff for more information. In all cases, the applicant organization/program must have a clear charitable purpose.
Are there regional restrictions?
INWCF awards grants to programs benefitting 20 counties that comprise Eastern Washington and North Idaho. In Washington, we serve Adams, Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties. In Idaho, we serve Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce and Shoshone counties. Some grant programs are restricted to specific communities. For example: The Palouse Region/Pullman Community Grant Program awards grants that benefit the region around Pullman, Washington; the Columbia County Children's Fund awards grants that benefit children in Columbia County, Washington; and the Equinox Grant Program funds organizations only in Bonner and Boundary counties in Idaho. Be sure to read grant guidelines carefully to find out if regional restrictions apply.
Our organization's center of operations is located outside of INWCF's 20-county service area, but we provide services to people who live within the 20-county region. Are we eligible for funding?
Requests from locally-based organizations are given preference over organizations whose center of operations and/or governance is located outside of our 20-county region. Should you choose to submit an application, you must specifically address how the requested funding will benefit the INWCF service area and how you will ensure that INWCF funds will not be used outside our service area.
How often can we apply?
An organization may apply for funds once every twelve months per grant program. Organizations may apply to more than one grant program per year. For example, an organization may apply to the Community Strategies Grant Program and the Florence Wasmer Fund for Arts and Culture. An organization may apply to both of the Wasmer grant programs, provided they are applying for different projects. If you have previously applied for a grant from INWCF and have questions about your eligibility to apply again, please contact us.
Are there specific types of requests that you will not fund?
Generally INWCF does not fund the following:
- Academic or scientific research
- Debt retirement
- Direct lobbying expenses to influence legislation or elections
- Expenses, including travel expenses to attend conferences, workshops, events or symposia, unless part of a broader capacity building request that improves the organization’s ability to deliver services
- Publications, video or film production
- Private or parochial education
- Programs with religious content
- Replacement of lost/expired government funding
- Programs addressing specific disease or health conditions
- One-time fundraising events or fundraising campaigns
- Chambers of commerce
- Fraternal organizations
- Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability.
Does INWCF award grants for operating support?
INWCF will consider operating support grants for start-up or existing organizations if the applicant can make a clear case for how short-term operating assistance can make a difference to those served or the capacity of the organization at this time.
Does INWCF provide capacity building support?
INWCF will consider funding requests for projects designed to improve an organization’s long-term ability to serve its constituency and/or increase the quality of its programs.
Does INWCF award grants for capital expenditures?
Although a lower priority, INWCF may consider requests for capital and equipment support when it is convinced that such funding can make a difference, and that access to such funding elsewhere is limited. For both capital and equipment requests, the applicant should show how the project will enable the organization to carry out programs that would not otherwise be possible, and how the quality of life in the community will be improved as a result. For large capital requests, INWCF generally will not provide a grant until a significant majority of other funding has been secured.
Does INWCF award grants for existing programs?
INWCF awards grants to support new or existing programs/projects.
Does INWCF award grants to newly established 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for start-up costs?
INWCF does consider grants for start-up or recently formed organizations if there is evidence of thorough planning and a strong sustainability plan.
What information do you consider when making a funding decision?
In addition to the specifics of your proposal, we will consider whether:
- The organization appears to have the capacity to carry out the project, including necessary staff and financial resources
- There is an adequate plan to collect outcome data and evaluate the impact of the project
- The project is change-oriented, addressing root causes and systems, rather than just providing for current needs
- Other funding been requested or secured. (INWCF prefers to share funding responsibilities with other stakeholders rather than being the sole funder.)
- The organization has been timely in completing reports for previous awards, and the success of previously funded programs
Does INWCF fund faith-based organizations?
INWCF does fund faith-based organizations provided their activities address the needs of the wider community without regard to religious beliefs. We do not fund religious activities or organizations that require religious activity or affiliation as a condition of receiving services.
If our organization receives an unsolicited grant from an INWCF donor-advised fund, does that affect our eligibility to apply to competitive grant programs?
Eligibility for INWCF’s grant programs is based solely on the criteria established for each specific program. Other grant awards received through INWCF, whether from a donor-advised fund or another grant program, do not affect an applicant’s chances of being funded.
Can I apply for grants from your donor-advised funds?
Organizations cannot apply for grants from INWCF’s donor-advised funds.
Can I meet with a grant program officer in person before submitting an application?
Although the volume of applicants precludes meeting with each organization prior to submission, program officers are available to meet at various times throughout the year. We are always happy to take your call if you have any questions.