Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my organization is eligible to apply?
The Foundation awards grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies working to improve the health and wellness of the people of Spartanburg County. Agencies that are located outside of Spartanburg County may apply if the proposed project will benefit primarily the residents of Spartanburg County.
How much money does the Foundation grant each year?
Like other private foundations, the Mary Black Foundation is ethically and legally bound to spend a minimum of 5% of our total assets on charitable activities, including grants. The Foundation’s goal is to fund as many high-impact projects as possible while continuing the legacy of the Foundation to benefit our community for the long-term. The annual grants budget depends significantly on the Foundation’s investment returns. In 2015, the Foundation paid over $3.3 million in grants.
What is the average grant amount awarded?
Grants funded through the Foundation’s two focus areas, Early Childhood Development and Healthy Eating | Active Living, vary greatly, with an average size of $70,000. The average size grant funded through the Community Health Fund is $20,000.
Award sizes are influenced by the amount of funds that the Foundation has available for new grant commitments, in addition to, the kind of project being proposed, the need for the project, the amount of the project budget, and the amount of other in-kind or cash raised by the applicant. Applicants should request the amount needed to successfully complete the proposed project and have the greatest impact on the health of our community.
Does the Foundation fund multi-year requests?
Yes, the Foundation often provides multi-year funding in its two focus areas: Early Childhood Development and Healthy Eating | Active Living. Generally, grants awarded through the Community Health Fund are one-year grants only.
Does the Foundation fund indirect costs?
The Foundation would prefer to fund direct costs, including realistic projections of overhead costs. However, when the Foundation commissions a substantial research project requiring the use of significant institutional infrastructure or resources (e.g., space, computer technology, laboratories or sophisticated equipment, library or accounting services), the Foundation may provide up to five percent of the total direct costs for the reimbursement of direct costs (i.e., institutional administrative support expenses). To read the Foundation’s Indirect Cost Policy, click here.
How long does the grant review process take once a proposal is submitted?
The grant review process takes approximately 75 days. Once a grant is approved, generally, grant funds are available within 15 – 30 days.
Can my organization receive more than one grant in the same year?
Yes, there may be times when the Foundation approves funding for a new project to an organization that has already received funding for a different project.
Can I submit more than one grant during the same grant cycle?
No, if an organization has multiple projects for which it needs funding, the organization should determine its priorities and how the projects align with the Foundation’s mission and focus areas.
Do you fund preschool programs?
Yes, if the preschool program is operated by an eligible 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or governmental agency. To apply for funding, child development, child care, or preschool programs must (1) be licensed or registered by the SC Department of Social Services, (2) participate in SC’s ABC Quality program, and (3) participate in Spartanburg’s Quality Counts initiative.
I work for a school in Spartanburg County; can my school apply for funding?
The Foundation prefers that individual schools not apply directly. However, schools are encouraged to talk with their district superintendent about the needs of the school. Superintendents should determine if the needs are a priority for the district and whether the request for funding is appropriate.
If my grant is funded, what kind of reporting is required?
If you receive a grant, you will be required to participate in site visits throughout the grant period and to submit mid-term and final evaluation reports, including data to demonstrate the results of your efforts.