Photo Credit: Jackson Blackhurst

Renewal Application Guidelines

 

We are relatively new to the world of strategic philanthropy. We actively seek to learn more about how to improve our operations, portfolio, and impact, and this leads us to new lessons each year. Additionally, our applicants impress us more and more each year (you guys are amazing).

 

Between these two facts, one major challenge emerges: sometimes a partner that we felt incredibly aligned with 2-3 years ago no longer feels as aligned as some of our new applicants when renewal requests come around. One thing we've learned in our short history is that we need to handle those transitions clearly and do our best to "do no harm" to organizations we've supported in the past if we decide to transition away from a funding relationship. To that end, in 2018, we created the following policy.

  1. RTNF typically engages in longer-term partnerships, and often with funding that is unrestricted. As we move to single-year commitments, we are open to renewals, but they are not guaranteed. Hitting milestones and/or continued staff enthusiasm for an organization or program also does not guarantee renewal. We recommend that applicants plan to apply for renewal funding and that applicants build in risk management strategies in the event that RTNF cannot renew funding at the completion of a grant period. Please consider the appropriate ask size that, if funding is not renewed, will not leave your organization in a very difficult situation (i.e. needing to let staff go, discontinuation of services, etc.) if continued renewal from RTNF is not possible.

  2. Second, if grant funds are not renewed, we ask that the applicant wait 2 years before reapplying for funding. This means if the final installment of your current grant came in November of 2021, and you were not selected for renewal, you would be asked not to reapply until the Fall 2024 cycle (thereby skipping the 2022 and 2023 cycles).