FAQ

LOI FAQs:

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
See the eligibility criteria on TLLF’s “Apply” page.

When can my organization submit an LOI?
TLLF accepts LOIs on a rolling basis; however, organizations can only submit one LOI during TLLF’s July 1-June 30 fiscal year i.e. we reserve the right to turn down a repeat request for funding made in this time period. Visit the “Apply” page of our website to begin the LOI process.

Can my organization meet or talk with a foundation representative prior to submitting an LOI?
No. Due to the overwhelming volume of requests we receive, foundation staff do not consult on LOI submissions.

Why are LOIs declined?
TLLF’s senior staff review LOIs and can elect to pass on potential funding opportunities. The foundation declines LOIs submitted by organizations:

  • That are start-ups and/or requesting funding for pilot programs
  • That do not have 501(c)(3) status
  • Requesting funding twice for the same project in a given 12-month period
  • Operating outside of the foundation’s geographic focus
  • Experiencing significant leadership turnover

Funding FAQs:

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

How long does it take the foundation to make a grant decision?
Deadlines and award notification periods are determined by the quarter in which you apply for funding. Our due diligence and board deliberation process lasts approximately six months. To see timelines broken down by quarter, visit the “Apply” page of our website. These timelines are usually the same for both renewal requests and proposal requests.

Will the foundation provide seed money or start-up grants?
TLLF rarely provides start-up funding and/or seed money. The foundation evaluates leadership, sustainability, and track record of success when reviewing grant requests. Per TLLF’s Board of Directors, a sustainable organization should have at least $500,000 in annual revenue prior to applying for a grant.

What kind of funding does the foundation provide?
TLLF awards general operating support, project/program support, and, on occasion, capital campaign support.

What type of funding should we apply for?
If the majority of your organization’s programs are a mission fit, consider applying for general operating support. When TLLF is confident in the strength of an organization’s leadership, track record of success, and sustainability, it is common for the board to award general operating funds to be used at your discretion. If you feel that just one program is a true mission fit, consider applying specifically for programmatic support. To see a brief overview of our mission areas, click here.

How much should we ask for?
Ultimately, the amount is up to you. TLLF does adhere to grant sizing guidelines set forth by its board. The foundation:

  • Is rarely the largest donor to an organization
  • Is rarely the only funder of a specific program
  • Is typically in the middle of an organization’s top 5 private donors

TLLF’s board also sizes grants at or below 10% of the applicant’s contributed revenue (as stated on the organization’s most recent 990). This guideline helps prevent an unhealthy dependence on TLLF support.

Are naming opportunities attractive to the foundation?
A naming opportunity does not drive the foundation’s decision to participate in a project. TLLF’s board will consider naming opportunities as part of a comprehensive request.

Does your staff conduct site visits?
Yes. If your LOI or renewal request is approved and you are invited to submit a grant application, TLLF staff will review your application materials and contact you regarding next steps. Typically, we’ll schedule a meeting at your location. These visits last for approximately one hour and should include 2-3 members of your executive leadership team, including board representation. We’ll begin our site visit by sitting down to ask questions and learn more about the mission; we’ll conclude our site visit with a brief tour of your facility.

Renewal FAQs:

What are the renewal application deadlines?
Visit the “Apply” page of our website to view deadlines for each of TLLF’s grantmaking quarters.

How do I know which quarter I’m in?
Log in to TLLF’s online portal and navigate to your organization profile page. You’ll see your organization’s designated quarter in the upper left corner of the profile page.

Is my request to open a renewal the same thing as my renewal application?
No. Every grant applicant is required to submit a preliminary request to open a renewal. This form is comprised of several questions. Your responses help TLLF understand any major organizational changes that have occurred in the past year. The renewal application is a more extensive form that dives into your organization’s leadership, track record, and sustainability.

What happens once I submit my request to open a renewal?
Staff will review your request to open a renewal and contact you with next steps. This process can take several days.

How does the renewal process work?
Once TLLF opens your application, you’ll receive a link to the application form. After you submit your renewal application materials, staff will schedule a time to further discuss your request and pertinent organization updates. This due diligence process takes approximately one quarter to complete, at which point, your request is given to TLLF’s Board of Directors.

Throughout the subsequent quarter, the board reviews requests in the context of the entire foundation portfolio. This process can take some time, so we don’t set a specific board meeting date; instead, we give our partners a window of time in which to expect award notification.

Once the board communicates award decisions, TLLF’s staff contacts each renewal applicant. At this time, we provide further direction on how to formally acknowledge and accept a potential award, when to expect payment, and how to publicly announce the award, should you choose to.