Carpenter Foundation FAQs

FAQs for Grant Applicants

1.  Who can apply to the Carpenter Foundation?

Nonprofit organizations that have 501 (c)(3) status, schools, and governmental entities such as cities and counties.

2.  Can individuals apply to the Carpenter Foundation?

No.  By law we cannot fund individuals.

3.  What are the Carpenter Foundation deadlines?

We have quarterly application deadlines by 5:00 pm on the last Friday of January, April, July and October.

4.  Are there geographic limitations?

We will fund programs, projects and services for the residents of only Jackson and Josephine Counties.  We will consider an application from an organization outside of these two counties, but the program or service must be targeted to the residents of Jackson and/or Josephine Counties.

5.  Does the Foundation have specific focus areas where it concentrates its funding   decisions?

We fund in four general areas: Human Services, Education, Arts and Public Interest.

6.  Why do the Foundation guidelines direct potential first time applicants to call the Foundation before submitting an application?

Having a phone conversation with our Program Officer can help an organization decide if its proposed project is an appropriate fit with the Foundation.  It is a good opportunity to ask questions and get clarification on any potential issues that may arise.

7.  Why does the Carpenter Foundation ask for a list of board members, their occupations and their addresses?

The board of directors is legally responsible for any grant award made.  Our trustees look at the makeup and size of the board to see how it reflects the broader community, for example geographically or professionally.

8.  What is Program Review?

Eligible applicants are expected to appear before our trustees at the Foundation’s office for a brief interview so the trustees can ask any clarifying questions they have before making their funding decisions.

9.  Who should attend Program Review?

A board member and a staff member should attend Program Review. Board members make policy decisions and have long-term responsibility for the organization. Staff members are responsible for the day-to-day activities of the organization and can respond to more details of their program.

10.  How does the Carpenter Foundation make decisions about an application?

The trustees look at each organization’s ability to carry out the program/project for which they are seeking funding.  Is this a program/service needed in the community?  Does the applicant have the experience needed?  Is this a duplication of another program/project that already exists in the community?  Does the applicant cooperate or collaborate with other organizations doing similar activities?  Does the program/project budget make sense?  These are all factors that are part of the funding decision process.

11.  Why does the Foundation ask about recent board fundraising activities?

Our trustees want to see how the board is actively involved in securing support for the organization.

12.  Why does the Foundation ask for a copy of the IRS exemption letter?

Legally we can make grants available only to IRS tax exempt organizations – 501(c)(3) designated – and governmental entities.  The IRS letter provides information on the specific type of 501(c)(3) status an organization has.  Not all have the same status, and we need to verify the type before we can consider it for funding.

13.  Why does the applicant need to use the organization’s exact name as registered with the IRS?

As a private foundation we can only make grants to applicants that are approved by the IRS as charitable tax exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) and to governmental entities.  We are also generally allowed to make grants only to particular types of charitable organizations.  The IRS exemption letter confirms IRS recognition as a charitable organization and also identifies the applicant’s type of charity.

14.  Will the Carpenter Foundation make a grant to a group for a program or project using a fiscal sponsor?

Yes, in certain circumstances, the trustees will agree to make a grant to a fiscal sponsor in support of a program or project being carried out by another group.  You must contact the office prior to submitting an application, as there are certain restrictions and the application process contains additional steps that must be followed.

15.  What kinds of projects/activities does the Carpenter Foundation fund?

We fund projects, programs, services, capital projects and general operating expenses.

16.  Does the Foundation fund capital projects?

Yes, but they are not our highest priority.

17.  Does the Carpenter Foundation fund operating expenses?  If so, what different information does the applicant need to submit?

We look at the whole organization in greater detail, both at its general function and its activities, and how they benefit the community.  We require an annual organizational budget, a budget for the upcoming year, and financial statements for the previous year (Balance Sheet and Income Statement) and we look at them carefully.

18.  Why does the Carpenter Foundation ask for the applicant organization’s Income Statement (Profit & Loss)?

The Income Statement shows an organization’s revenue and expenses over a period of time. We want to see an Income Statement for the most recent completed calendar or fiscal year.  We look at where the funding comes from, and what the money is spent on.

19.  Why does the Carpenter Foundation ask for a Balance Sheet?

The Balance Sheet shows assets, liabilities and equity (similar to net worth) on a particular date.  It helps indicate the financial health of your organization.

20.  Why does the Foundation ask for the organization’s current Budget and for the year the project will take place?

Your organizational budget shows us your financial plans for the upcoming year.  Comparing your budget to your Income Statement reveals changes and trends.  If there is a large difference projected in your revenues or expenses we will probably ask you about it.  We want to be able to better understand activities to be grant supported in the context of your organizational budget.

21.  Why won’t the Foundation accept 990’s for financial information?

IRS Form 990 is long and difficult to read.  Much of the information contained in them is not relevant to our grant-making decisions.

22.  Why does the Carpenter Foundation require Final Reports and financial data as part of the Final Report?

We want to know how the service/program/project compared to the original application we funded, and whether the project met its goals.  We want to hear about both what went well and any difficulties that were encountered.  The financial data shows us exactly how our grant funds were expended, what other funds (if necessary) were expended, and what the actual costs were compared to the expenses presented in the application.

23.  Why can’t grant writers be the contact person for an application?

While we understand that some organizations do use independent grant writers, we want to communicate with the staff/board member directly involved in the organization that is requesting funds.  It is important to us to establish and maintain that communication.

24.  How often can an organization apply?

An organization can apply no more than once in a twelve month period.

25.  Do governmental agencies/schools have different requirements for the application process?

Yes. We do not need the organizational budget or financial statements for a public school or governmental entity, just the program/project budget and description.  There also will be no IRS letter, as governmental entities and public schools do not have them.

26.  What is the Carpenter Foundation’s Scholarship Program?

We provide funding each year to the public high schools in Jackson County to award as college scholarships. The schools choose the recipients based on grades and financial need.  We also provide Rogue Community College with funding to award students who attend there.