Competitive Grant Program Criteria
Submitting a Letter of Intent to the Competitive Grant Program begins with reviewing your organization’s eligibility and the Albuquerque Community Foundation’s criteria and priorities to determine if the Foundation might be a good match for your needs. By submitting a Letter of Intent and/or Grant Proposal, you give the Foundation permission to share your information with other interested individual donors in a confidential manner.
Organizations must provide services to the people of the Albuquerque metropolitan area and must meet the following criteria in order to apply for a grant:
- Be a nonprofit organization, exempt from Federal Income Taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public educational institution or be a public agency
- Have been incorporated in the state of New Mexico for a minimum of 5 years – verified by the NM Secretary of State, Business Services Division (certain exceptions can be made to this, including, but not limited to: an organization operating with a fiscal agent or an organization spinning off from a parent nonprofit and establishing its own separate entity. If your organization is less than five years old and you feel you meet the requirements to be eligible, please contact the Foundation).
- Be current with all state and federal reporting requirements
- Clearly demonstrate how the organization or program provides access to economic opportunities
- Have 100% of its Board of Trustees providing a meaningful financial contribution to the organization
While the Foundation remains flexible in trying to meet community needs, in general, competitive grants are not made for or to:
- Political or religious purposes
- Retire indebtedness
- The payment of interest or taxes
- Annual campaigns, capital campaigns or fundraising events
- Travel for individuals or groups
- Conferences, workshops, symposia; including speaker fees, room and board, related travel
- Medical, scientific or academic research
- Emergency funding
- Influence legislation or elections
- Private foundations and other grant-making organizations
Criteria and Priorities for Applicants:
- Well-established organizations with a proven track record providing services benefiting people in the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area
- Clearly and specifically aligned with one of the Foundation’s Fields-of-Interest
- Have clearly defined organizational goals and measurable program outcomes
- Build on community, regional and organizational assets and strengths
- Organizations should demonstrate their ability to work with other partners to identify community needs and gaps in services
- Arts and Culture: Arts & Culture grants will focus on two primary funding areas: organizations and programs that provide access to arts and culture for low-income and/or at-risk populations and organizations supporting the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area through visual and performing arts.
- Economic and Workforce Development: Economic & Workforce Development grants will support intentional, inventive efforts to ensure a strong local economy. This new field promotes social, economic and environmental growth by supporting innovative support systems for entrepreneurs and the state’s workforce.
- Education: Education grants will focus on supporting at-risk populations to ensure they receive educational opportunities to better the course of their lives and careers. Specific focus areas in this field are: elementary education literacy programs, at-risk youth, students with special needs and skills-based education for youth and adults.
- Environmental and Historic Preservation: Environment & Historic Preservation grants will focus on the “environmental economy” and the preservation of historic landmarks, attractions, buildings and venues. The “environmental economy” can be defined as organizations working within the environmental sector to bolster economic growth.
- Health: Health grants will focus specifically on meeting the mental health needs of individuals in the Greater Albuquerque Metropolitan Area. Populations served through mental health programs may range from early childhood to seniors and will include the many diverse populations in between.
- Human Services: Human Services grants will serve as “springboard” grants to help individuals transition to more self-sustainable lifestyles. Special focus will be given to organizations and programs that support one or more of the following: parental or guardian skills training, teen pregnancy, job training, independent living and teens aging out of foster care.
Scope of Funding
The range for grant requests is based on the organization’s total income from the most recently completed fiscal year.
- If your total income was under $500,000 you may apply for up to $10,000 in funding, but not more than 20% of that income amount
- If your total income was $500,000 or more, you may apply for up to $15,000 in funding.
- Grant requests must be a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $15,000
- As a short-term funder providing relatively small grants, the Foundation recognizes the goals and outcomes discussed are likely to be initial or intermediate in nature and the long-term goals may be beyond the scope of a one-year grant.
Types of Grants – Program or Operating Grants
The Foundation offers Program grants only in five fields-of-interest: Economic & Workforce Development, Education, Environment & Historic Preservation, Health and Human Services. Program requests should focus on the organization’s program or project and how Foundation funding will be used to support these activities. A detailed program/project budget will be required outlining use of Foundation funding.
Operating Support Grants: Arts & Culture Only
The Foundation considers requests for General Operating Support to be awarded as core support or unrestricted grants. Organizations must comply with all eligibility guidelines for organizations to apply for grants from the Competitive Grant Program. An operating grant shows trust in the grantee’s expertise. Organizations may use these grants to cover day-to-day activities or ongoing expenses such as administrative salaries, utilities, office supplies, technology maintenance as well as for project costs, capital, technology purchases and professional development.
Parameters for Operating Support Grants, an organization must:
- Be applying within the Arts & Culture field-of-interest
- Have at least one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee
- Show expenses as part of a board-approved annual budget.
- Show evidence of sound financial condition for three years or more with no deficits greater than 10% of the budget
- Show 100% of board members making annual contributions to the organizations
- Have a proven track record in the community
Types of Arts & Culture organizations ineligible to apply for Operating Support are:
- Schools - K through 12, colleges and universities (Arts & Culture programs within education systems are accepted)
- Government entities
- Umbrella funding organizations whose sole purpose is re-granting
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions in order to facilitate a successful grant application process.