Granting Facts, Answers, and Questions

Who, What, Where, When, Why for PACF Grants

Who can receive grants from the Parsons Area Community Foundation?
The Parsons Area Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life within Parsons and communities within a 25 mile radius. By law, we may only grant to other 501c3 charitable organizations, churches, schools or government entities. We cannot grant to individuals or non-profit organizations that are not recognized by the IRS as having 501c3 status.

What type of grants does PACF generally make?
PACF is a unique charity in that it encompasses all aspects of community improvement – from helping community members with basic needs, to providing financial support for parks, festivals, and the arts. Grants from unrestricted funds are made at the discretion of the PACF Board of Directors. Their goal is to fund those organizations or projects that best promote the amenities, not covered by tax dollars, important to quality of life in our area. Annually, the Community Foundation receives total requests that far exceed the amount of granting dollars available. Many proposals may only receive partial funding and others are regretfully denied.

What are the elements of a good grant proposal?

  • Need is clearly stated with factual evidence
  • The organization or project is viable and explains how it will address this need and offers specifics on how its goals will be accomplished
  • Clear means are stated for measuring the success of the proposal
  • A budget is submitted showing the overall financial picture of the organization, other fundraising efforts, and how much additional money is needed.
  • A compelling vision that the funding of the grant will improve quality of life in our area

Where does the money come from for PACF grants?
The Parsons Area Community Foundation is funded solely through individual or corporate donations. Grants from unrestricted and field of interest funds are made at the discretion of the board. As most funds are endowed, the PACF spending policy is 3-5% of the total assets averaged over the prior three years.  Other grants and scholarships are made through donor advised, designated, scholarship, provisional, and agency funds per the terms of the original fund agreements.

When are grants given?
The competitive grant cycle for grants from unrestricted and field of interest funds begins in January with grant proposals submitted to PACF for review by January 31. Final decisions are made in late March or early April, and the grants are awarded later in April or early May. Donor-advised funds provide grants throughout the year as requested by the advisor for the fund. The PACF board will only consider a grant proposal out of cycle if there is evidence of critical time sensitive need.

Why are some grant proposals rejected or only partially funded?
Each year PACF receives proposals requesting far more in total dollars than it has available to spend, so it is impossible to fund every proposal. Grants are reviewed online by each board member and scored. Using the average score from the individual reviews, grants are then placed in order from most favored to least. In initial board review, each proposal is discussed for its merit. If there are further questions or clarifications needed, the applicant will be asked for that information. At the subsequent board meeting final decisions for funding are made.

Why do some organizations receive funding every year? 
An organization or donor may establish a Designated Fund for which a specific agency receives annual grants from the Fund. PACF encourages all local non-profits to establish endowed funds designated for themselves. Through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation investment pools, the fund will be invested for growth per the donor’s comfort level. PACF will seek to attract third party donors to these funds through an annual Match Day.

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