Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley
(630) 896-7800

Discretionary Grantmaking Program FAQ


How do I apply for a grant?
In order to apply for a grant, you will need to first complete a Letter of Intent. It is a simple online application that you can access from the Grantmaking page. Once completed, you will be contacted by the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships to schedule a site visit and review your proposal.

When are Letters of Intent available?
The Letter of Intent is available in the spring and the fall of each year.

  • The spring 2018 cycle Letter of Intent will become available February 1, 2018.
  • The fall 2018 cycle Letter of Intent will become available August 1, 2018.

When are Applications available?
Applications are not accessible through the website. Once you complete the Letter of Intent and a site visit, the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships will provide an application link via e-mail to you if it is determined that you are eligible and the project meets the guidelines of the foundation (see eligibility and guidelines information on website).

Thus, the sooner that you complete the Letter of Intent, the more time you will have to complete the application.

When is the application due?
The Application is available in the spring and the fall of each year.

  • The spring 2018 cycle Application will close May 1, 2018.
  • The fall 2018 cycle Application will close November 1, 2018.

Can I submit a paper copy of the Letter of Intent or full application?
No, paper copies are not available. All applications must be submitted through the online application process.

Can I save information and return to the Letter of Intent?
No, you will need to complete the Letter of Intent and then submit it.  You can view the Letter of Intent information, but you cannot return to a saved document.

Can I save information and return to the Application?
Yes, you will be e-mailed a link that will provide you access to the application. You can enter information, save and then return to complete additional information. You will have 30 days to finish completing the application. Once the 30 days have passed, however, you will have to start over. The link you are provided is not accessible by Community Foundation staff. Likewise, the application is not accessible by the Community Foundation staff until it is submitted.

When I upload a document, will it still be there the next time I return to my application?
Unfortunately no, it will not. You will need to upload all documents at one time when you are ready to submit the application.

Is there a size limitation on uploaded documents?
There is not a per-file restriction but rather an overall submission restriction. The combined size limitation on all uploaded documents is a maximum of 25 MB.

If you want to reduce the size of your uploaded documents, you can try the following:

  •  If you are uploading PDFs and have Adobe Acrobat (not the free version), to reduce the size of your PDF, go to File > Save As Other >Reduced Size PDF.
  •  If you are uploading Word Documents with photos, you could use lower resolution photos.

If you continue to have issues with size limitations, contact the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships.

What is the average grant size?
Over the past five years, the average grant size is approximately $12,000. The size of grants awarded ranges primarily between $2,500 and $20,000.

It is not suggested that you apply for a grant beyond this range. Grants are rarely awarded over $20,000. If you have a project or would like to discuss a grant request that does not fall within this range, please contact the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships about it prior to submitting a Letter of Intent.

Once Letter of Intent is Completed, how long does it take till I have a response from the Community Foundation?
You will be contacted within days of completing the Letter of Intent by the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships. You will then be asked to schedule a site visit.

What happens during the site visit?
The Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships will meet with you, the agency contact, administration, and anyone else that you feel would be relevant to the application at your agency’s facility. The Director will want to learn more about your organization and the project you are considering applying for from the Foundation. The Director will want to see the space, equipment, items, etc. relevant to the project in consideration. Additional information will be given to you about the process of the application and you will be given an opportunity to ask questions.

When will I receive an application?
Within one week of the site visit, you will be sent an e-mail either providing a link to the application or explaining why you may not be eligible to apply or do not fit the guidelines of the Community Foundation’s Discretionary Grantmaking Program.

What criteria is used to review my application?
Please refer to the guidelines for grants listed on the grantmaking page. The number of applications approved for funding and the dollar amounts granted is dependent on the number of applications presented and the dollar amounts requested and available as well as the impact that the projects will have on the service area of the foundation.

When will I hear if my application is approved?
You will receive a phone call, e-mail and letter approximately 30- 45 days after the due date providing you with information on whether your grant request was approved or denied funding.

Who can I contact if I have questions about my organization’s eligibility and/or the process of applying and/or have difficulty completing the documents?
Please contact Julie Christman, Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships at You can also reach her at the Community Foundation office at 331-208-9428.

We were approved for a grant. What happens next?
You will receive a letter and a grant agreement in the mail.

  1. Sign and send a copy of the grant agreement to the Community Foundation. You can e-mail a scanned copy or sign the extra copy and return via mail.
  2. Decide when and how you will spend the approved dollars. Grant agreements expire within one year of the grant.
  3. Contact the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships to determine how best to acknowledge the grant, formulate a press release, etc. Many times it is stipulated in the grant agreement, but if not, please contact the Director of Community Involvement and Partnerships with some ideas and suggestions.

The Board of Directors and staff would like the opportunity to see first-hand the difference that the funding made on your organization and the clients you serve.

When are grants awarded?
Checks are requested and approved for distribution upon receipt of the following:

Just as you submitted your grant application online, we are also using our online system to have you submit the requirements for the grant award. There are four separate forms that you can utilize to submit your documentation. Follow the links below to access these forms:

(630) 896-7800