Our Challenge Grant Philosophy
A challenge grant is the Foundation’s commitment to award a specified amount of money to a grantee based upon the amount of new funds raised in response to our challenge. We believe that challenge grants present a powerful opportunity for our grantees to broaden their base of support by attracting new donors and new dollars. The Foundation believes it is appropriate to use challenge grants to:
Seed new projects or programs
Revitalize or expand a funding base
Call a particular constituency to action
The Foundation expects that a grantee would leverage a challenge grant by crafting its fundraising strategy and communication plan to include the terms of the outstanding challenge grant.
Challenge Grants FAQ
What does our organization need to provide to the Foundation as evidence that we have satisfied our challenge?
You must provide a letter from your organization’s president or chief financial officer certifying that the entire amount required to satisfy the challenge has been received in the form of contributions and pledges that meet the requirements. The letter must be accompanied by a completed “Challenge Grant Documentation Form,” which documents the contributions and pledges being counted toward satisfaction of the challenge and their eligibility.
Download the Challenge Grant Documentation Form
What contributions are eligible to be counted toward satisfying the challenge?
The Foundation’s challenge can be met by contributions from individuals, foundations, or corporations, unless otherwise specified in the grant agreement letter. Eligible grants must be awarded and eligible donations must be received after the date of the Trustees’ meeting referenced in our grant agreement letter and before the challenge expiration date. Unless otherwise specified in the grant agreement, eligible donations must be from new donors or increases in contributions from previous donors. “New” donors are defined as those who have never contributed previously or have not contributed to your organization for two or more years. In the case of “increased” contributions, only the increased amount over the previous year (and not the entire contribution) is eligible to be counted toward the challenge.
What types of assets can be applied toward the challenge?
The following are acceptable forms of contributions: (1) cash; (2) publicly traded securities at the published price on the date that they are received by your organization; and (3) pledges at their face amount, provided that the period over which the pledge is to be paid does not exceed three years and that any pledge of $10,000 or more is evidenced by a dated, written instrument executed by the donor. No in-kind contributions will be considered.
How does our organization document anonymous donors or those requesting to remain anonymous?
If you do not wish to disclose, or are prohibited from disclosing, the names of some or all of the individual donors, you must provide a statement from an independent accountant certifying receipt of donations from undisclosed, qualifying contributors, their dates, and amounts.
Does our organization need to raise all the funds to be eligible to receive the challenge grant award?
If the grant award agreement states that your organization must raise the total by the date of grant expiration, then no portion of the challenge dollars will be awarded until and unless the total amount is raised. If the challenge grant is termed as “up to” a certain amount, then the Foundation will match any amount of funds raised by the expiration date, up to the total granted.
Is it possible for our organization to get an extension if we have not satisfied the challenge by the expiration date?
Except in special circumstances, the Foundation does not usually grant extensions to challenge grant expiration dates. We suggest that you contact the Foundation program officer with whom you worked on the challenge grant, well before the challenge expiration, to discuss problems that your organization is encountering in satisfying the challenge.