Instructions for Submitting a Foundation Grant Proposal

General Guidelines

1. Refer to foundation website for instructions on how to apply. 

2. Pay attention to the donor’s intention. What is the founder’s goal for the allocation of funds? The philanthropic vision of the founder may provide some insight into the founder’s intent. In the event that this is not apparent, the funding priorities may provide the necessary information. Finally, you might want to talk directly to the Program Officer at the foundation.

3. Core funding areas/ funding priorities. The founder of the foundation typically establishes headings under their philanthropic intentions. The headings may include different topic areas that fall under more than one of the major headings. 

4. Relationships are important to foundations—perhaps more important than if you are applying to federal funding sources. Therefore, the prospective applicant should be willing to review other grant proposals, respond to requests for information, or assist the foundation with certain tasks as needed. Whereas the quality and fit of the project you propose are the make-or-break criteria for foundation funding, intangibles like your willingness to enter into a two-way give-and-take relationship with the foundation is important in keeping you connected and having a good working partnership.

5. Review the grantmaking process to familiarize yourself with the grantmaking process. This includes deadlines for submission, funding cycles, and notifications of the status of the application. Meet deadlines. Adhere to limitations for space, margins, style, font, etc. Grantmaking agencies try to keep grant applications on a “level playing field” and doing so requires being careful that submissions follow all procedures precisely.

6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) posted by the foundation can be useful for answering specific questions about the grantmaking process and certain qualifications. 

Templeton World Charity Foundation Grant 

Before you apply: The Templeton World Charity Foundation has not yet published its website, so we have drawn the present advice from the John Templeton Foundation because the founder of the two foundations is the same benefactor, Sir John Templeton. When the TWCF publishes its website, we will update web links and any advice that might differ.

1. Refer to foundation website

2. Review the philanthropic vision of Sir John Templeton. In sum, his vision was to use scientific research to expand the spiritual horizons of humankind. 

3. Core funding areas: The Templeton Foundation funds proposals under major headings such as five big questions — (1) Science and the big questions, (2) Character virtue development, (3) Individual freedom and free markets, (4) Exceptional cognitive talent and genius, and (5) Genetics. Creativity, freedom, gratitude, love, and purpose are examples of topics that may fall under more than one of the major headings. It is important to ensure that your proposal aligns with the funding priorities of the foundation. 

4. Funding competitions: The foundation creates funding opportunities that focus on certain research areas. These proposals address one or more of the five big questions. You can look at previous funding competitions.

5. Philosophy of grantmaking: Review this information to familiarize yourself with the goals of the foundation and the type of grants they seek to fund. 

The Grantmaking Process

Initial inquiry form: This is the first stage of the foundation’s application process. This requires the submission of an online funding inquiry (OFI). It entails a brief form that seeks to obtain basic information about your proposed research. Submissions are reviewed by foundation staff, and those deemed acceptable and align with the foundation’s goals will be invited to submit a full proposal. Special attention is given to the following sections of the OFI form: Strategic Promise, Capacity for Success, and Relation to Donor Intent. Notifications of rejections will be submitted via email. 

Note that the TWCF does not use an OFI. It uses a different form called the Initial Funding Inquiry Form, or IFIF, which requires different organization. Please do not use the OFI when organizing your initial request for funding for the TWCF.

Full proposal: This is the second stage of the foundation’s application process. After your OFI (or IFIF) has been accepted, you will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal via email and a form will appear when logged into the Templeton portal. The full proposal seeks to obtain more details about your proposed research. The full proposal is reviewed in several stages from Staff Review until the Final Decision. Strong or weak proposals may skip certain stages before approval or rejection. 

Grant Agreement: The Templeton foundation provides grants through grant agreements that include a narrative describing the terms of the grants and expectations of the grantee.