Photo by Argenis Apolinario, courtesy of Casita Maria.
For Our Grantees
Preparing for Your Grant
Requirements for U.S.-based and non-U.S. organizations differ. Please make note below of the requirements that apply to your organization.
- I’ve been invited to apply for a grant. How do I submit my application?
The Fund uses an online portal for managing the entire grants process, from submitting an application to completing final reports. We are unable to accept grant applications sent by mail, email, or fax.
All necessary forms are included in the application (including those available for download below), as are instructions on how to complete them.
- Do I need to set up an account to submit the application?
All invited applicants will need to set up an account. After your program contact invites you to submit an application, you will receive an email to register for the portal from [email protected]. Click the link to set up your account. If you have any issues accessing the portal, please email your program contact or Grants Management.
- What should I include in the proposal?
The online portal will prompt you to include the following:
- Cover Letter stating the amount requested, timeframe of the project, and desired start and end dates for the grant. The letter must be on institutional letterhead and signed by the chief executive officer (or authorized official) of the organization or fiscal sponsor.
- Concise Narrative (3–10 pages) describing the organization and the nature of support requested, including:
- background on your organization, mission, and issue areas
- a discussion of how race, ethnic, and/or gender discrimination and exclusion shape your context, your work, and your organization
- a description of the proposed work and methods
- desired/expected outcomes
- background and research that led to the development of the proposal
- partners on the project
- information about advocacy and lobbying (see below)
- brief background on key staff
- Current Institutional Budget
- Full Project Budget, including details on how the requested funds will be used (Applicants seeking general support need only send the institutional budget; no project budget is required.)
- Other Sources of Institutional Support, including pending requests
- List of Board Members and their affiliations
First-time grantees may be required to submit additional documentation, including documentation of tax status and most recent audited financial statements. All grantees must have an audit no more than five years old on file with the RBF. Your program contact will advise you on what is required.
- Can I use a proposal narrative submitted to another funder?
Yes. If you have already prepared materials for another funder that address the points above, please feel free to send or add to them instead of starting from scratch. .
- Can I use my grant to support advocacy or lobbying?
The work of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund often includes funding organizations or projects that focus on policy and involve advocacy (active support of an idea or cause), both in the United States and in other countries.
As a private foundation, the RBF is prohibited from engaging in or supporting lobbying (attempts to influence legislation) but may provide general support to organizations that engage in lobbying, as long as the RBF's funds are not “earmarked” for that purpose. A grant from the RBF for general support may be used for any purpose, including lobbying, within the legal limits for public charities.
The RBF may also fund the non-lobbying portions of specific projects that include lobbying.
Please indicate in your application if your project will include any lobbying activities, including, but not limited to, the drafting of model legislation or advocacy concerning a specific legislative proposal. If so, please identify the expenses in the budget related to lobbying activities or estimate the percentage of the project budget that relates to lobbying.
- My U.S.-based organization is not 501(c)(3) tax-exempt. Can the RBF still support my project (fiscal sponsorship)?
Prospective grantee organizations in the United States must either be 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or seeking support for a project that would qualify as educational or charitable.
If the entity conducting the project does not have 501(c)(3) status, the project can be carried out under the auspices of a tax-exempt Fiscal Sponsor. The sponsoring organization will receive the grant. Therefore, the cover letter and all proposal materials should be sent to the RBF by the sponsoring organization. The online application should be completed jointly by the project and sponsoring organization. If a grant is awarded, the sponsoring organization is responsible for all grant reporting requirements.
It is important for the RBF to understand the relationship between the sponsoring organization and the project. Additional information for sponsored projects is required in the cover letter, proposal narrative, budget, and supporting materials.
- My organization is based outside of the United States. Can the RBF support our work?
Non-U.S. organizations must satisfy a determination that they would qualify as tax-exempt if incorporated in the United States, or that the project for which support is sought would qualify in the United States as educational or charitable.
The RBF has engaged NGOsource, an independent third-party service, to determine whether your organization can be considered equivalent to a U.S.-based public charity. After you are invited by RBF staff to apply for a grant, NGOsource will reach out to you directly to complete an online Equivalency Determination questionnaire. NGOsource may require you to provide your organization’s statutes, governing documents, and an affidavit completed by an authorized representative of your organization.
- When will I know if my grant has been approved?
While the approval process is generally completed within three months, the exact timeline may vary. Staff will be in touch with you throughout the process.
- How do I receive grant payments?
Grantees located in the United States will receive grant payments by Electronic Funds Transfer via Bill.com. Please provide your RBF program contact with the name and email of an appropriate finance/accounting staff person at your organization. Once we have received this information, the RBF will initiate an email invitation to set up a free Bill.com account, which allows us to transfer grants payments seamlessly into your organization's bank account.
International payments are made via bank wire transfer. To set up a wire transfer, please complete all fields on the form below and return it to your program contact at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Wire Transfer Form [PDF]
- What reports or updates do I need to submit during my grant?
Grantees are required to submit narrative and financial reports at specified intervals during the grant, as well as at its conclusion. The RBF uses an online portal for the entire grants process, from submitting an application to completing final reports. The portal will send you a reminder to begin the reporting process.
Grant reports become part of the Fund's permanent records. All required reporting on previous grants must be submitted before an organization can apply for a renewal.
- Can I request an extension or budget modification for my existing grant?
Yes. Reach out to your program contact to arrange for a no-cost extension or budget modification.
- Will the RBF share information about my grant with the public?
Details about all grants, including purpose, amount, and date awarded, are available to the public in our online Grants Database and via Candid. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund does not generally announce our grants through press releases.
We also like to share updates and information about our grantees in short profiles on the RBF's website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you have a story, update, report, photos, or other information you would like us to share, please email the Communications Team.
- Will the RBF provide a quote for my press release or publication?
All requests for quotes from RBF staff should be sent to the Communications Team. Please allow 2–3 days for a response. The Communications Team is also happy to provide you with media tips prior to interviews.
- Can I use the RBF name or logo in my publication, multimedia project, event, or other materials?
The RBF requests that all publications and multimedia productions (including, but not limited to, podcasts, slideshows, and videos) that are funded in part or in entirety by the RBF include the following disclaimer:
This [report/paper/multimedia presentation, etc.] was made possible with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF). The opinions and views of the authors do not necessarily state or reflect those of the RBF.
Current RBF grantees may use the RBF's logo for materials and events with permission. Logos may only be used in accordance with the RBF's visual identity guidelines, which also contain downloadable logo files.
All materials that use the RBF's name and/or logo, including, but not limited to, press releases, reports, and multimedia projects, must be reviewed by the Fund prior to publication or distribution. Please send a draft, screenshot, or description of how you intend to use the name or logo to the Communications Team.
- Who will own the copyright to my RBF-funded publication?
Unless otherwise noted in the grant agreement, the grantee organization retains all copyright interests to the work created as a result of the grant. However, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund retains a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to reproduce, publish, and otherwise use such work, including posting the materials on our website and social media pages.
Reporting on Your Grant
- How do I submit my final grant reports?
The RBF uses an online portal for the entire grants process, from submitting an application to completing final reports. The portal will send you a reminder to begin the reporting process one month before the end of the grant period. All required reporting on previous grants must be submitted before an organization can apply for a renewal.
- What should I include in the narrative report?
The narrative statement should include an analysis of what was accomplished during the grant. Consider the following:
- What progress has been made toward achieving the goals of the project? Please highlight progress on the grant objectives as appropriate.
- Were the grant funds expended in the way that you anticipated when the grant was requested? What other funders have contributed to this project? Have any new funders come on board after the RBF's grant was awarded?
- What do you consider to be the impact and value of this work? What is your overall assessment of the grant to date?
- What lessons are being learned? What obstacles were encountered, and how have you overcome them?
- Do I need to provide a financial accounting of the grant?
All grantees are required to provide the RBF with a financial accounting of the use of grant funds. The report should be presented in comparison with the approved budget and with an explanation of any variances. Download the template below. Non-U.S.-based grantees may complete the report in your local currency and the template below will convert to U.S. dollars.