Grant Making Policy
Merrick Foundation has established this policy to provide parameters and oversight for the administration of the grant making programs at the Foundation. As with all Foundation policies, this policy is a guideline and is subject to change. Merrick Foundation reserves the right to make an exception to any printed policy with board majority approval.
Merrick Foundation’s grant making programs give donors and organizations the opportunity to finance projects and programs which will enhance the quality of life for residents in Merrick County, Nebraska. The Grant Committee works to review and recommend funding allocations to qualified organizations.
Merrick Foundation strives to promote inclusivity and equity for all people. Merrick Foundation will not knowingly support organizations whose programs or services are not open to all without discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, pregnancy, veteran status, military obligations, marital status, or any other personal characteristic protected by law. We recognize that organizations may identify special needs in the community and target programs or services to a specific population based on those needs; however, the programs must be open to all people in those targeted populations to be eligible for grant consideration.
Policy and Procedure for Discretionary Grants
Merrick Foundation offers a discretionary grant program for projects, programs and events that improve the quality of life in Merrick County. Requests are accepted on a quarterly basis, and the size and number of grants awarded each year are directly related to the amount of money available for distribution. Discretionary grants are typically less than $10,000, but the Board of Directors reserves the right to make exceptions which will allow flexibility to address emerging needs. Grants awarded above $5,000 will, in most cases, require matching funds dollar for dollar. Matching funds are counted if they are received within one year of the grant request being approved. Matches can be secured in the 12 months prior to submitting the request, or in the 12 months immediately following the request.
In order to ensure a consistent and equitable way to award funds, the following guidelines have been established:
* The organization must serve Merrick County residents.
* Organizations with tax exempt status, governmental agencies for public purposes deemed to be an effective way to address a priority area, or those who have an agency fund within Merrick Foundation will be given funding preference.
* The event or program must take place in the future. Merrick Foundation will not fund projects that have already been completed. Merrick Foundation will consider funding for projects currently in progress.
* Merrick Foundation will not make grants to individuals (beyond funding for school trips), for religious purposes, for political purposes, to organizations that operate for a profit, social clubs, labor organizations or tax supported institutions.
* The Foundation will not consider more than one application from the same organization within a 12 month period.
* Organizations demonstrating broad community support for their proposed programs.
* Programs that have a long term impact on residents and/or the physical environment in the Merrick County area.
* Programs that have meaningful, reasonable and measurable outcomes.
* Requests that will strengthen and enhance community assets.
* Organizations and programs that attract additional funding in addition to those that utilize partnerships and/or collaborations.
* Grants will be considered and awarded on a quarterly basis. Grant deadlines each year will be January 2nd, April 1st, July 1st and October 1st of each year. Grants will then be reviewed at that month’s board meeting.
* Grant requests that are over $10,000 will be considered in July and October of each year.
* Funded organizations will be notified within 10 days of the decision via a letter.
* Monies will be dispersed only after receiving documentation of actual expenditures.
* Funded organizations have one year to utilize funds.
* Any changes in the scope or purpose of the approved program or project must be communicated to the Foundation. All changes in scope must have board approval.
* Funded organizations purchasing items or services must purchase such items or services in Merrick County if practical to do so.
* An interim evaluation and/or final report on a funded request may be required by the Foundation.