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Letters of Inquiry (one to three pages) may be sent at any time and should include: a description of the project, its goals and significance; participants; the timeframe; the project's total budget and the amount requested from the foundation; and other existing or potential sources of funding. Inquiries should be addressed to Dr. Toby Alice Volkman with a cc to Bridget Talone.

All inquiries will be acknowledged promptly, although the full review process, including conversation and correspondence between program officer and applicant, often takes additional time before a decision is made on whether a full proposal can be invited.

A formal proposal must include: a one-page executive summary; a full description of the project, including its goals and significance; how the project will be evaluated and anticipated measures of success; the total budget for the project and the amount being requested from the foundation, with sufficient detail to justify costs; other existing or potential sources of funding, including in-kind as well as financial support from the applicant and other participating institutions; and relevant information about primary participants, including their curriculum vitae.

A proposal should show familiarity with the foundation and the program. It must demonstrate a convincing fit with the program's goals, and show how the project emerges from serious interests and work already in progress. It will situate the work within a broader field, explain how the project will advance that field, and display a commitment to ensuring the work's long-term sustainability.

The proposal must be accompanied by supporting documents: the applicant's IRS tax-exemption letter, list of current trustees, and most recent audited financial statement.

The initiative does not make grants to individuals, and does not generally provide support for conferences. The initiative does not make grants to support interfaith activities or dialogues, or to religious or interfaith organizations. Such organizations should consult the guidelines of the Foundation’s Theology Program.

For additional information and guidance on proposal writing, see the Foundation Center.


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