FAQ

The Leon Levine Foundation funds a variety of organizations and programs that serve the public without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or national origin.

How does The Leon Levine application process work?
Please see the “How to Apply” page of our website.

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Organizations that have qualified for exemption as public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, governmental units, and established religious organizations fitting the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation does not provide grants to foreign organizations, individuals or 509(a)(3) supporting organizations. Please note that if your organization has applied for 501(c)(3) status and not yet received it, you are not eligible to apply until the 501(c)(3) letter has been received.

What is the Foundation’s primary geographic focus?
The Foundation’s primary geographic focus is Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding region. In 2017, the Board will also consider requests from North Carolina based organizations beyond the above geographic focus. Please see the 2017 Application Schedule for more information on when to apply.

What kind of funding does the Foundation provide?
The Foundation will provide funding consideration for general operating support, project/program support, scholarship support, capital campaign support, and in some cases, endowment support. Please see the Foundation’s most recently filed Form 990PF for more information.

Will the Foundation provide seed money or start up grants?
Not generally, but these requests may be considered under unusual and compelling circumstances.

When can my organization submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI)?
If your organization fits the Foundation’s mission, you are eligible to submit an LOI once per calendar year. We accept LOI’s on a rolling basis. You can begin an LOI by completing the eligibility quiz on the “” page of our website. Once received, your LOI will be reviewed by our Grants Committee. Typically, you will receive notification of next steps within 2 months of the LOI submission. If you are not notified within this time period, please contact Sarah Ott at sott@leonlevinefoundation.org

Our organization has many needs; how can we determine which will most closely fit the interests of the Foundation?
Apply for the area of most need that is the best fit under the Foundation’s mission.

Can my organization meet with a Foundation representative prior to submitting an LOI, proposal or renewal application?
No, due to the overwhelming volume of requests we receive, Foundation staff is not able to meet with organizations prior to the submission of an LOI, proposal or grant renewal application.

What are the Foundation’s application deadlines?
Deadlines for full proposal and renewal applications are listed on the “How to Apply” page of our website. These deadlines do not guarantee an organization will be considered during the stated Board meeting.

When is the best time to submit an application?
Organizations should apply only when there is a well-defined plan, other funders have been identified and organizational leadership/management is stable.

What are the size, duration and frequency of grant awards?
There is no minimum or maximum grant size. The amount an applicant receives is based on a number of factors including the magnitude of the project, the level of the Foundation’s interest and other considerations. The Board will only consider multi-year funding for capital campaigns. Please note that it is the Foundation’s policy not to provide multiple grants to the same organization within a single fiscal year. While this policy includes capital and operating grants, the Board may be willing to consider both on an exceptions basis, taking into account factors including overall impact and total combined funding.

How much should we ask for?
Typically, the Foundation does not like to be the largest or single donor to an organization or program. Therefore, your request should be sized proportionate to your organizational/project budget and other expected income sources. Please note that it is possible to ask for too much, and optimism should never be a substitute for good judgment.

May we ask for a larger grant because we are in a capital campaign?
Decisions regarding grant award amounts are based on the merits of individual projects.

Are “naming opportunities” attractive to the Foundation?
The Foundation’s Board of Directors appreciate appropriate recognition, but it never drives the Foundation’s decisions or participation.

Will the Foundation consider a “leadership gift” to provide early traction for a campaign?
In most cases, the Board of Directors expect a significant portion of the campaign to be completed, in process, or realistically identified prior to making an award. On occasion, there may be a compelling reason for the Foundation to consider a leadership gift.

Does the Foundation provide multi-year funding?
The Foundation will only consider multi-year funding for capital campaign requests when other large donors are also making payments over a number of years. Otherwise, the Foundation values multi-year relationships and requires organizations to submit requests annually.

Does the Foundation fully fund projects/programs?
No, the Foundation looks for fundraising participation and a well-developed plan to secure other funders.

Would the Foundation consider being the largest donor for an organization or specific program?
Generally, no.

Does the foundation offer matching and challenge grants?
Yes, the Foundation recognizes matching and challenge grants as effective tools for leveraging additional financial support for certain projects. Please see our Matching Challenge FAQs for more information.

May we send videos, DVD’s, brochures, etc. (via mail) to supplement the application?
The Foundation prefers to receive all supplemental materials through the Grants Management system uploaded as optional attachments.

What are the next steps following request submission?
Following request submission, you will be immediately notified by email that our staff has received the completed application. Then, a program officer/associate will contact you to communicate the next step in our due diligence process.

Does your staff conduct site visits?
Generally, yes, a program officer/associate will contact you to schedule a visit to your location after receipt of the proposal or renewal request. Our site visits typically last an hour and include a brief tour of the facility followed by a time to sit down with your executive staff and members of your Board to ask questions about the submitted application. If your organization does not hold programming at your location, we may recommend a meeting in our offices.

How are grant decisions made?
Grants are approved only by action of the full Board of Directors following a rigorous internal review process.

How often can my  organization request a grant from the Foundation?
The Foundation will accept one Letter of Inquiry and one Proposal from an organization within a 12 month period.  Grant Renewal/Continuation requests may be submitted once per the Foundation’s fiscal year (July 1st –June 30th).  Please see the “How to Apply” page of our website for additional information about Renewal/Continuation timing.