How to Apply FAQ's
How much funding can I request from the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF)?
Grants generally range from $1,000 to $20,000. SWIF will consider funding up to 50 percent of a project. The remaining 50 percent must be provided through other sources including in-kind and a cash contribution.
Do I have to complete an online pre-application questionnaire before submitting a full application:
Yes. Preparing and reviewing full applications takes a significant amount of time on everyone’s part. In order to be respectful of this, we ask that all grant seekers complete our online pre-application questionnaire. After reviewing the questionnaire, we will notify you if we’d like to invite a full application.
Does the Southwest Initiative Foundation only make grants in southwest Minnesota?
Yes. All of our grants are made to serve the people and communities in the 18-county area of southwest Minnesota.
Does the Southwest Initiative Foundation make grants to individuals or for-profit businesses?
No. We only make grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, local units of government and school districts.
What is a 501(c)(3)? Can we apply if we’re not a 501(c)(3)?
A 501(c)(3) is the Internal Revenue Code for tax exempt organizations. To be tax exempt as an organization described in 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for one or more of the purposes set forth in the code and none of the earnings of the organization may inure to any private shareholder or individual. For more details on 501(c)(3)'s, please visit http://www.irs.gov/charities/content/0,,id=96986,00.html
Proposals must be submitted by a 501(c)(3) organization, unit of government or public agency. Organizations that are not tax exempt must apply through a fiscal agent willing to accept responsibility for the project.
What is an in-kind contribution?
In-kind contributions are gifts of goods or services instead of cash. They could include donated space, materials or time. In-kind contributions show partnership and often help to ensure the continuation of the program.
In-kind contributions are important for three reasons:
- It shows all the ways the community is supporting the project, even though not everyone is giving cash.
- It shows the true cost of the project--what you would have to spend without donated community support.
- In-kind income may be used as a part of the match that may be required by the funder.
What are your application deadlines?
We accept applications on an ongoing basis.
Who decides whether I will receive funding or not?
A staff review team carefully reviews each inquiry and determines if a final application is invited or not. The appropriate staff reviews the final application and the Board of Trustees makes the final decision to award a grant.
How long will it take for the Southwest Initiative Foundation to review my Pre-Application Questionnaire and respond to our grant request?
Most grant requests take anywhere from 30-60 days to process. However, the size and type of request determines the length of time needed for review. We do ask that you allow for up to 90 days to complete the process and that you plan your proposed projects, programs or planning efforts accordingly.