Q: What is the difference between a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and a Full Proposal?
A: A Letter of Inquiry is a brief introduction to your organization and is used as a tool to help the Fund select which organizations will be invited to submit a full proposal. An LOI does not need to have a specific funding request and requires less information than a full proposal. Proposals are used to determine which organizations will receive funding and therefore require much more detailed information. You do not need an invitation to submit an LOI, although we suggest reading our guidelines carefully to ensure your organization is eligible for funding. Proposals are accepted through invitation only.
Q: If LOI's are received year-round, how far in advance should I send an LOI if I want to be considered for the next meeting on the calendar? Why is there not a due date for LOI's?
A: We no longer have a due date for LOI's because we tend to receive so many LOI's on the due date that it was impossible for our small staff to sort through them. Additionally, the date of each of our meetings fluctuate from year to year, sometimes by 4-6 weeks. If you want to guarantee that an LOI is received with enough time to get it into the next meeting on the calendar, send it by the end of February for the spring meeting and by the end of August for the fall meeting.
Q: If I am a returning grantee, do I need to submit another LOI?
A: If you are a current grantee, you will automatically be considered for renewal funding unless we have indicated otherwise or if you received funding through a discretionary grant by a Cudahy Family member. If you received funding more than one year ago, you will need to begin the LOI process again.
Q: Can I request an in-person meeting with Cudahy Fund staff or Directors?
A: We generally do not meet with applicants until a proposal has been invited or because a Director has requested a meeting. Speaking with Cudahy Fund staff before the LOI or proposal submission will not increase an organization's likelihood of funding as this decision is made by a board committee. However, you may contact the office with any questions.
Q: What is the difference between a General Grant and a Discretionary Grant?
A: A General Grant is made through the general LOI process and must fit into the fund's guidelines. Discretionary grants are recommended by Directors who are family members and may be given to organizations that are outside of our geographic focus or guidelines. If you have questions about any grant, including discretionary grants, please contact the Fund's office at (312) 422-1442.
Q: If my organization is outside of Metro Chicago or Wisconsin, can I send an LOI?
A: You may send an LOI, but the likelihood of receiving funding is quite slim. If your organization's programming is based outside of the USA even if it is headquartered in this country or has a 501(c)3 partner, you are not eligible for funding through the general grant process.
Q: What is the average grant size?
A: Our grants generally range from $5,000 - $15,000, although we do make smaller and larger grants.
Q: If we receive a grant, what are the reporting requirements?
A: Most grantees are asked to submit a final report at the end of the grant period. For grants that are larger than average, we may require a mid-year report as well. Some discretionary grants that are general operating do not require any reporting. Reporting requirements are included in your grant agreement and transmittal letter.
Q: Do you support multi-year grants?
A: Occasionally, but not very often.
Q: If we have received a grant, will we be able to receive funding in subsequent years?
A: Yes, although you will have to reapply. A previous grant is not a guarantee of future funding.