The Foundation’s Trustees wish to make grants that will be of true significance to the organization in question. The object of the grant does not have to have mainstream appeal so long as it is important and meaningful. The request should be carefully considered and presented. The Foundation encourages organizations to present more than one option for a grant if practicable. An organization receiving a Sheridan Foundation grant is not normally eligible for another grant from the Foundation for four years.
*The Sheridan Foundation is currently not considering grant applications from schools or cultural arts institutions with whom the Foundation has not engaged in recent years.
The grant applicant must be designated as a non-profit organization exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The applicant should carefully review the grant philosophy of the Foundation expressed above to determine whether its intended grant request is eligible for consideration. Any grant request that is not eligible for consideration will be denied by the President without submission to the Board.
A grant request should contain the following minimum information:
1. A history of the organization and its role and accomplishments in the community.
2. A detailed description of the program for which the request is being made.
3. A breakdown of the cost of the program. If the grant request is for partial funding of the program, the request should specify the other intended sources of funding.
4. Proof of the organization’s tax exempt status, preferably in the form of a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service.
For any grant request of $20,000 or more, the applicant also needs to submit the following additional information and documents:
1. Audited financial statements for the past three years, plus operating budget for current year (including both forecast numbers and YTD actual numbers). Please provide a detailed explanation for any years in which there has been either a deficit or other significant financial loss, and the measures taken to correct that situation. If a final audited financial statement is not yet available for the previous fiscal year, then a draft of that statement is requested. In the absence of such a document, then internal financial statements that would include a balance sheet, budget with actual year end numbers, and profit and loss statement are requested.
2. A list of all trustees or directors and their business affiliations.
3. A summary of its fundraising efforts for the past three years, including a breakdown of amounts raised from individuals, foundations, organizations, and board members. Please itemize amounts from foundations, including names of foundations.
4. The current endowment of the organization, including investment performance (please include % increase/decrease) and amounts withdrawn in the past three years. Please include the % spending rule used in each year and whether it was followed. Please do not answer by responding “See attached financial statements.”
5. Please explain in layperson terms the nature of any debt and plans/timeline to repay.
In addition to the above, all middle school or high school applicants should also submit the following information:
1. Student population for the past three years, including for coed schools % figures for boys and girls.
2. Number/percentage of minority students for the past three years.
3. Tuition for the past three years.
4. SAT scores for the past three years, as contrasted with national averages. With regard to middle schools, please provide any standardized testing results. Please comment on any variance from Maryland state or national averages.
5. Number of students on financial aid and the average financial aid awarded.
6. A description of the school’s financial aid program, its source(s) of funding, and the percentage of the school’s budget devoted to financial aid.
7. Please provide details concerning merit scholarships, including the nature and amounts.
8. Student/Faculty ratio and average class size.
9. Number of administrators/staff and number of faculty; please indicate how many administrators also teach.
10. Ratio of development costs to monies raised.
11. For schools with a religious affiliation, a percentage breakdown of the student faiths.
The following criteria will be applied when considering a grant request from a cultural arts organization:
1. The organization must supply the financial and other information requested under our Application Process.
2. The Foundation is highly unlikely to provide a grant to an organization in existence less than 3 – 5 years.
3. For grants of $20,000 or more, the Trustees give preference to grants seeking infrastructure or technology improvements rather than general support or funding for a new program or exhibits. The Trustees will not support funding for an individual artist or performer.
4. What is the value of the grant request? Especially for larger grant requests, what long-term effects would a grant have?
5. The organization must have in place a Board of Trustees and staff with demonstrated experience and leadership skills. Have its trustees demonstrated a personal commitment to the organization with individual giving?
6. Does the organization have a strategic plan in place?
7. What impact does this organization have in Baltimore? Would its loss or improvement make a serious difference?
8. What audience is served by this group and what are the attendance figures for recent years?
9. Does its work intersect in any areas with our educational mission, e.g. outreach or educational programs provided to area school students?
10. What is the quality of the organization’s work? Its reputation in Baltimore and elsewhere?
11. Are the offerings of this group matched or exceeded by a similar organization in Baltimore? How do they differ?
12. How much financial support does the organization receive from local, state or federal government sources as well as the private sector? From foundations?
13. A grant will not be made where the financial stability of the organization is in serious doubt. Grants are not made to reduce debt.
SUBMISSION OF GRANTS:
Mr. John B. Sinclair
The Sheridan Foundation
11350 McCormick Road
Executive Plaza II, Suite 704
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031