Application Guidelines

Grant Application Guidelines

The Nellie Leaman Taft Foundation’s grantmaking falls into two major categories, Competitive Grants and Trustee-Advised Matching Grants. These guidelines primarily concern the Competitive Grants and are designed to assist 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations seeking Competitive Grants.

The Foundation remains committed to Ms. Nellie Taft’s interest in the arts and the environment. In recent years, the board members have updated the focus of the Foundation and made some changes to its geographic priorities. Grants currently range from $5,000 to $15,000. The majority of grants will be awarded in the Cincinnati area with some competitive grants made in Boston, Mid-Coast Maine and Orange County, California. Grants are awarded for projects starting in the fall of the year awarded or in some cases, later than that. Grants for spring or summer projects are not eligible.

Eligibility and Limitations

All applicants must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and must be classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a) of the Code. No grants are awarded until evidence of public charity status is verified.

Grant projects must not begin before the grant is awarded. However, in most cases, projects are expected to begin within 90 days after the funds are received.

The Foundation does not make awards for programs which fall outside its fields of interest and geographic focus and it does not make grants for:

  • endowments
  • major capital projects
  • individuals, including scholarships for specified individuals
  • advocacy and community organizing
  • grantees which have not submitted progress reports for previous grants
  • organizations which have received a grant in the past three years
  • organizations that have been turned down for grants in the past three years
  • projects that have already been completed.

Fields of Interest

The Arts and Arts Education

The Foundation’s interest in the arts is concerned with, but not limited to, helping small and mid-size organizations and new projects, which expand education in the arts for children and youth, particularly for those who may not otherwise receive any arts education. Although the Foundation welcomes applications to support any area of the arts, the primary focus is on visual arts, music and theatre. Exhibitions, performing arts and video projects will be considered. The majority of Competitive Grants will be for this field of interest.

The Environment

The Foundation’s environmental funding is focused on promoting greater human well-being by supporting grassroots and other efforts to promote clean air, protect water resources and coastal areas, and preserve open space resources, including recreational space and natural areas in urban, rural and wilderness locations. Fewer than half of the Competitive Grants will be given for this field of interest.

Geographic Focus

The Foundation makes grants that benefit citizens of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio; Mid-Coast Maine; Boston inside the Route 495 beltway; and Orange County, California. Mid-Coast Maine is defined as the towns of Bath/Brunswick/Topsham, Belfast, Boothbay Harbor, Camden/Rockport/Lincolnville, Cushing, Damariscotta, Rockland/Thomaston/Owls Head, Searsport and Union.

Grant Range and Types of Grants

The Foundation’s typical grant range is $5,000 to $15,000.

Types of grants include seed funding for new ideas and initiatives, start-up and on-going support for grass roots organizations, and entrepreneurial projects that may enable an organization or its constituents to achieve greater self-sufficiency. The Foundation has a preference for small to mid-sized organizations and typically does not fund large institutions.

In addition to making outright grants, the foundation makes occasional challenge and conditional grants. These grants generally are intended to achieve a greater long-term benefit for the grantee.



How to Apply

Application Calendar

March 1: Deadline to Request Application Access
March 4: Application Opens
April 8: Application Deadline
June 15: Grant Award Notifications Sent
July 15: Grant Payments Issued
October 1: Previous Year’s Grant Reports Due

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