Grant Making Guidelines

  • The majority of the Laura J. Niles Foundation’s grantmaking is focused in the northeastern United States, although, occasionally, grants may be made in other regions of the country and/or abroad.  However, any grant for international programs or projects will be made only through US tax-exempt organizations.
  • All applicants must have tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Grants may range from a few thousand dollars up to $50,000. In unique circumstances, the Foundation does consider a more significant grant for a program having a major impact in one or more of its areas of interest.
  • Of particular interest to the Foundation are organizations that promote partnerships and collaborative efforts among multiple groups and organizations.
  • The Foundation encourages pilot initiatives that test new program models.
  • Priority will be given to requests that show specific plans for financial sustainability.
  • The applicant must have an active board of directors with policy-making authority. The board should demonstrate competence in the sound financial management of the organization.

Screening Process

  • Applications are accepted throughout the year. Upon arrival, grant applications are reviewed for completeness by the Foundation’s administrator and assembled into the meeting agenda packages which are sent to the Foundation’s Directors approximately two weeks prior to the next scheduled board meeting.  
  • Applications are reviewed in the order they are received and the Board will review up to thirty-five (35) applications per meeting.   
  • After evaluating an application, the Board will choose to: decline, approve, defer, request additional information, schedule a site visit, or invite the applicant for an interview.
  • Applicants, if declined, may not reapply for at least one year from the date of the application unless the nature or circumstances surrounding the request changes significantly. The subsequent application should describe these changes in full.    

Areas of Exclusion

  • The Foundation generally will not provide grants to the following: organizations not determined to be tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code; individuals; general fundraising drives; endowments; government agencies; or organizations that subsist mainly on third party funding and have demonstrated no ability or expended little effort to attract private funding.

Helpful Tips

  • Prior to requesting a Grant Application, please review the Foundation’s Mission and Grant Making Guidelines (above) to ensure that the application will receive the consideration that it deserves.
  • Applicants should be as concise as possible when responding to all grant application questions.
  • Should any questions remain after reviewing the Foundation’s guiding principles and guidelines, the applicant should contact Ashley Garan prior to submitting its grant application.


2016 Meeting Dates (subject to change)

January 5th
March 8th
April 12th
May 10th
June 14th
July 12th
September 7th
October 11th
November 8th
December 6th