The Grantmaking Process
Below, we have outlined key points about our grantmaking process, including important due dates and when you can anticipate hearing from us. Please note, the process outline below applies only to new applicants, or those who do not currently receive funding from RTNF. For information about the new process for renewal applications, see this our Renewal Grantmaking Process page.
Read more about our recent process changes in this blog post.
NOTE: This process begins in 2023. The application cycle for 2022 is now closed.
BEFORE APPLYING- Self-assess your organizational alignment
Before you can begin an application for funding, check whether you meet our page "Before You Apply". This helps you determine if, as a prospective applicant, you will be able to complete the due diligence process. You should also review our eligibility and grantmaking criteria to evaluate whether or not your organization is a good fit for RTNF.
BEFORE APPLYING - Create an account
If your organization/program is aligned with RTNF and able to complete our due diligence process, you may proceed to create an account on our grantmaking portal. This will include providing some basic information about your organization (e.g., contact information, address, EIN, etc.).
BEFORE APPLYING - Select a cycle
New applicants can apply for funding once per year, but can choose one of two cycles.
Cycle 1 runs from April to October, with grants being sent by December 1st. Key dates for each cycle are shown below.
Cycle 2 runs from October to April, with grants being sent by June 1st. Key dates for each cycle are shown below.
STEP 1 - Submit Primary Application materials
Applications are open:
January 1st to April 1st
When you'll hear back:
No later than July 15th
Once you've created an account, you may proceed to submit your organization's Primary Application materials. This will include a short application including:
An uploaded copy of a 3-4 page Letter of Inquiry (LOI)
Geography served and a summary of the Program Model
Summary financial information, including the total grant requested, whether you are seeking general operating support or programmatic support, institutional funding sources over the last 5 years, and a financial snapshot upload for which we provide a template
You can submit an application once per year in either Cycle 1 or Cycle 2. See respective dates to remember in boxes on left. You can also download a snapshot of key application dates.
STEP 2 - Due Diligence stage
After reviewing the Primary Application, the board and staff will determine whether to continue to due diligence review. During Due Diligence, staff dedicates more time to applicants to attempt to get to know them on a deeper level and determine fit.
This stage of review includes submission of additional information and internal strategy documents, submission of proposed milestones for the requested grant period (you can find milestone instructions here), conversations with key staff and board members, conversations with other partners, stakeholders, and funders, and, occasionally, site visits.
STEP 3 - Award and Finalizing grant
Organizations that are approved for a grant will return a signed grant agreement, send finalized Milestones, and provide payment information within one month from the final decision date. Approved grants are typically sent in June or December, depending on your application cycle.
STEP 4 - Annual reporting
New partners will be reviewed for a two-year initial grant period (with a few exceptions for special single-year requests), but will only be required to submit a formal report once during the grant period. That is, new partners will report on use of funds approximately 14 months from the time they receive funds. This means partners receiving first funds in December 1st will report about 14 months later, on March 1st. New partners receiving first funds in June will report September 1st of the following year. This is to allow enough time between award and reports to make reports more meaningful.
After submitting your report, your Program Officer will reach out to schedule check-in calls or visits, as time allows.