Applying for a Grant
Q: How does my organization apply for a grant?
To get started, carefully review the “For Grant Seekers” section.
Request For Proposals (RFP) announcements are posted on the Sunflower Foundation’s Web site and sent by email to those organizations that have requested to be on the RFP mailing list. Click here to join the e-news alert mailing list. When a new Request For Proposals (RFP) is launched, the foundation will host conference calls to help organizations better understand the purpose of the RFP and how to submit a proposal. Dates and times of conference calls are included in the RFP documents and posted on the Web site.
Our program staff is available to discuss ideas and help you become familiar with our interest areas and funding opportunities.
Q: What are the foundation’s areas of interest, and do they change often?
Click here to review the foundation’s Areas of Interest. Interest areas do not change often because the foundation is committed to evaluating the impact of its grants. Changes to interest areas (modifications, additions, deletions) are guided by the Board of Trustees. Each RFP clearly references the Areas of Interest covered.
Q: How often do you issue a Request for Proposals (RFP)?
The Sunflower Foundation's RFPs may be released throughout the year. To sign up for notification of RFP announcements, click here.
Q: What are the foundation’s guidelines for funding?
Guidelines for funding are included in each Request for Proposal (RFP). Applicants are encouraged to review this information and participate in the RFP conference call briefings that occur shortly after the release of a new RFP. If more information is needed, program staff members are available to answer questions about funding guidelines.
Q: Who approves grants?
The program staff evaluates grant applications and makes recommendations to the Sunflower Foundation Board of Trustees. All proposals are reviewed by at least three members of the program team before recommendations are forwarded to the Board of Trustees for a final decision.
In most instances, the foundation also asks outside experts to review proposals. By doing so, we endeavor to remain fair and objective in evaluating proposals.
Q: Does the foundation give multi-year grants?
Yes. The foundation approves multi-year grants, depending on the type of project. Grant term guidelines are provided with each RFP. Regardless of the length of the grant, grant reports are required at least annually.
Q: How do I know if my organization is eligible to apply?
The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:
- Organizations that are classified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code; and
- Organizations that are recognized as an instrumentality of state or local government, provided Sunflower Foundation support does not supplant governmental funding.
If your organization has a question about whether it qualifies under these guidelines, please contact Cheryl Bean.
Q: Does the foundation fund start-up projects?
Yes. The foundation will consider supporting start-up projects and start-up organizations based on the RFP guidelines. If the applicant organization does not have a 501(c)(3) designation, a fiscal agent with this designation is necessary to apply for the grant.
General Funding and Exclusions
Q: What is your service area?
The Sunflower Foundation is a statewide foundation serving all 105 counties in Kansas. For a map of our service area, click here.
Q: Do you fund outside of the state of Kansas?
All grants must benefit the health of Kansans. In some areas of the state, the official office or location of the grantee may be outside of Kansas. In these cases, the grant funds are restricted to the services that benefit Kansans.
Q: Does the foundation award grants to individuals?
No. The foundation does not provide grants or funding to individuals. For other exclusions, click here.
Submitting a Proposal
Q: When will I know if my proposal has been accepted?
When an online proposal application is submitted to the foundation, an email is automatically generated acknowledging its receipt. In most cases, proposals are reviewed and a final decision made within 60 – 90 days after receipt. Applicants receive a letter informing them of the funding decision.
Q: I currently have a grant from the Sunflower Foundation. How long do I have to wait before I can submit another application?
This depends upon the type of grant you have. In most cases, the Request for Proposal indicates any restrictions. As a general rule, current grantees are not eligible to apply for the same type of funding for at least 12 months from the current or prior grant’s ending date. Always check with program staff if you are unsure.
Q: If I apply to the Sunflower Foundation for a grant and am turned down, can I reapply?
Yes. However, we encourage organizations that are reapplying to contact us before submitting a proposal to discuss how to make their project plan as competitive as possible.
Q: If an agency does not receive a grant, will the Sunflower Foundation explain the reasons for the decision? If so, how will this be done?
Yes. The foundation is committed to responding to all applicants about any decisions affecting a grant proposal. Although a letter is sent to all applicants that are not accepted for funding, it is difficult to include all of the review notes in that letter. The staff encourages applicants to call for more information.
Reports, Forms, Payments
Q: How does the Sunflower Foundation monitor its grants? Are written performance reports required? Do you conduct site visits?
Our program staff monitors grants. Depending on the scope of the project, the staff will require periodic progress reports. Site visits are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Where can I find documents (i.e. reports, forms, RFP info, etc.) on your Web site?
Please refer to the Downloads & Forms section.
Q: How are payments set up once an organization receives a grant?
Payment schedules are established depending upon the grant. In all cases, the payment schedule will be part of the Letter of Agreement (grant contract) that is signed with each grant award. If you have further questions, please contact the program staff.
About the Sunflower Foundation
Q: Where does the foundation’s grant money come from?
The initial endowment came from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as a result of a settlement agreement between the company and the state of Kansas. The foundation’s investments generate income for annual operations and grantmaking funds. The foundation was established to operate in perpetuity, which is why managing its assets is so important. The Sunflower Foundation annually disburses about five percent of the market value of its investment assets. For more about the foundation's history, click here.
Q: How much money does the foundation distribute annually?
The foundation’s annual grantmaking and related operations budget is based on five percent of its charitable assets for the prior fiscal year. For a history of the foundation's grantmaking, click here.
During the grant application process, applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate program officer listed here.