Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about our grantmaking process.
Do you have application deadlines for Letters of Inquiry?
There are no deadlines for letters of inquiry—LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis through the foundation’s online application form and are reviewed by Surdna staff within 90 days.
I created an online account and now I'm unable to log back in. What should I do?
What happens after I apply?
Do you have application deadlines for full proposals?
If you're invited to submit a full proposal, the Office of Grants Management will be in touch with you with specific deadlines for submission (roughly four months in advance of the approval dates). Grants at the full proposal stage are approved three times per year: in April, July and December. Note these dates DO NOT apply for Letters of Inquiry -- only for invited full proposals.
Does Surdna make multi-year grants?
Organizations are eligible for a maximum of three consecutive years of funding. Those that have received funding from Surdna may apply for continued support. If you intend to apply for additional support you must inform us in writing within eight months of the receipt of your grant.
Does Surdna make grants outside the United States?
No. Surdna only makes grants within in the United States. We do not make grants that are internationally-based or focused, nor do we fund grants in US territories outside of the 50 states.
Does Surdna make grants to individuals?
No. Surdna only makes grants to nonprofit organizations.
What amount should I ask for?
The grant amount you ask for should relate directly to the size of your organization's budget and the amount that is needed to successfully complete the project. Beyond that, you can review Surdna's grant amounts by search through our grants database.
Where do I send additional materials that I cannot send online?
Materials that cannot be sent through our online application system should be clearly labeled with the name of the organization and the grant request number that you received by e-mail after your application was submitted. Mail materials to: Grants Manager, Surdna Foundation, 330 Madison Ave., 30th Floor, New York, NY 10010.
Who do I send an LOI to by mail?
We strongly recommend that letters of inquiry be sent via our online application system if at all possible as it will be processed much more quickly and you will receive acknowledgement of receipt. However, if you cannot send the LOI online, you can send it by mail. Please see formatting and mailing instructions by clicking here. Please note that all full proposals MUST be submitted online.
Can I speak to a program officer on the phone?
Can I meet with a program officer or with the president to explain what we do because we will be in town?
We would love to have the time to meet with everyone who requests a meeting. Unfortunately that would leave us no time for making grants. We ask that you first submit a letter of inquiry so that we can become familiar with your organization and project request. If it is determined that there is a possible match with our funding priorities, we will contact you for a meeting at that time.
Can we apply if we are not a nonprofit organization?
No. Only nonprofit organizations may apply for funding.
Can we apply if we are a government entity?
No; unfortunately, government agencies are not eligible for funding. While some of our projects support public/private partnerships, the grant must be made directly to the nonprofit organization.
Can we apply through our fiscal sponsor?
In certain circumstances you may apply through a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has a formal relationship with the organization working on the project. Please note that in such cases the grant goes to the fiscal sponsor directly, and the fiscal sponsor is responsible for the proper expenditure of funds and all reporting requirements.
What if my project fits into more than one of your programs' guidelines?
If your project fits into more than one program's guidelines, or if you are unsure about which program is the better fit, just select the program you think is the best fit. We will review your request and, if we feel it is a better fit in another program, we will make sure it is reviewed by the proper program staff.
What should I do if I sent in an LOI and I haven't heard back?
Can I apply for an Organizational Capacity grant?
Organizational capacity grants are reserved for past (within the last 10 years) and current Surdna grantees only. If you have never received a Surdna grant, you may not apply in this category.