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Please be advised that the SDCF has temporarily set aside many of our Grantmaking Guidelines in order to respond to the coronavirus.

1. Discrimination

The South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF or Foundation) closely scrutinizes all grant proposals for discriminatory practices and will not fund grants that discriminate based on race, color, creed or national origin.

2. Application Procedures

2.1. Innovation

SDCF funds both ongoing, well established projects as well as innovative projects designed to address South Dakota community needs. Staff is available, on a limited basis, to work with to address those needs and to offer assistance in arriving at solutions.

2.2. Volunteerism

Projects which have paid staff but involve significant and continuous community volunteer support to enhance their existing programs will be favorably considered.

2.3. Statewide Distribution

SDCF funds will be distributed statewide to best meet the needs of the statewide constituency, except for the endowed funds designated for specific charitable purposes by the donor. Grantmaking decisions will be made by the Foundation Board of Directors based upon their evaluation and the recommendations of the Grantmaking Committee and staff.

2.4. Project Longevity

The SDCF prefers to fund projects that begin and end the same calendar year. If projects require more than one year to accomplish their objectives, the applicant must submit a letter with the first application indicating its intent to request additional years of funding. No guarantee of continued funding will be made. Projects that need multi-year funding are usually given low priority. No more than three years of sequential grant funding shall be awarded to any one grantee for the same purpose.

2.5. Public Non-Profit Organizations

The SDCF will concentrate on funding public non profit corporations, but will consider other organizations which meet grant guidelines.

2.6. Capital Improvements

Costs of building, remodeling, and capital bricks and mortar projects are funded on a limited basis and receive low priority. The SDCF generally will not provide transportation vehicles or equipment purchases over $10,000.

2.7. Minimum & Maximum Awards

Grant applications requesting less than $2,000 and over $20,000 will usually not be considered, although there can be exceptions.

2.8  Total Project Cost

Applications that are requesting more than half of the total project cost will receive low priority.

2.9. Challenge or Matching Grants

The SDCF encourages matching funds from all grant applicants. When the Grantmaking Committee sees the need for more local involvement and support of a given project in order to establish ownership in the community, it may require challenge grants in any proportion. Funding may be contingent upon acquisition of the required matching money. There may be times when the Foundation perceives a need is not being met, it may issue a challenge grant or request for proposal to participate in a challenge grant to address that need.

2.10. Seed Grants

Applications requesting start up money must provide feasibility data indicating a need for the project, support for the project and the ongoing probability of success.

2.11. Collaborative Projects

Applications received from collaborative applications of two or more organizations will be considered if their proposal meets the guidelines of the Foundation. All communications and accountability must be established with only one of the organizations.

2.12. Financial Literacy Projects

Applications may be submitted for credit or debit education or other charitable or consumer education purposes. Requesting funding for financial literacy opportunities, does not preclude applying for other projects within the South Dakota Fund in a 12-month period. Applicants may apply for more than $20,000.

2.13. Fiscal Sponsorship

The SDCF accepts grant applications from organizations serving as a fiscal sponsor for charitable projects.

  • Fiscal sponsors may apply more than one time in one year on behalf of different applicants
  • Fiscal sponsors will be required to submit application attachments if applicable to entity.
  • Checks will be issued to the fiscal sponsor for use by the applicant.

2.14. Operating Expense for Governmental Entities

No SDCF funds will be awarded to pay for operating expenses for governmental entities.

2.15. Loans

The SDCF does not make loans.

3. Exceptions to Application Procedures

The SDCF may make an exception to any grantmaking guideline upon motion duly made, seconded and carried by the majority of the members present and voting. Motion must state rationale for the exception. Exceptions taken in one instance do not constitute precedent exceptions for future grant decisions.

4. Letter of Inquiry, Review Process and Communications

4.1. Grant Review Process

Letters of Inquiry (LOI) will be accepted throughout the year. The Foundation will respond to all applicants in a timely manner. LOI’s which do not fit the mission of the Foundation, or clearly do not qualify will be eliminated by staff. Following review of the LOI, applicants may be invited to complete a full grant application. All grant applications will be forwarded by staff to the Grantmaking Committee. The Grantmaking Committee will review the applications, and make their recommendations to the board of directors who will review the recommendations of the Committee and may approve the awards.

4.2. Communications with Applicants

All applicants will be informed by e-mail in a timely manner of any action taken on their grant application. The Grantmaking Committee will hold decisions in confidence until publicly announced by the SDCF.

5. Re-applications

Multiple or repeat applications from one organization in less than a twelve month period are not allowed, except as may be allowed under Section 2.11.

6. Project Updates

6.1. Due Diligence

A due diligence form shall be completed and returned to the Foundation before a grant of funds is disbursed. Applicants shall inform the Foundation office by e-mail of any significant changes in grant applicant status, organizational status or project status. Funding may be changed based upon the significance of changes in project status.

6.2. Final Evaluation Report

A final evaluation report shall be submitted to the Foundation office immediately following project completion. A grant file is considered complete only after the final evaluation report is received in the Foundation office, and until received, no additional grant requests will be considered.

7. Verification

Organizations applying for funds from the SDCF must be verified by the Internal Revenue Service under Publication 78.

Revised October 2013

Have Questions?

We have answers! Contact us online or at 800.888.1842 with any questions. You can also contact Ginger Niemann, SDCF Program Officer.

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