nonprofits

Grantseeker FAQs

These questions pertain to all grants received through The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC). For information related to specific funding opportunities, please refer to the detailed grant guidelines available on our website.

Applying for a grant from TFEC

What Is The First Step In Applying For A Grant?

All potential applicants should review and identify the TFEC funding opportunity or opportunities that best meets their current need and service area at https://www.tfec.org/nonprofits/grants-overview/. Applicants may begin an application at any time by clicking on the desired funding opportunity; applicants are not required to contact TFEC prior to beginning an application

Does TFEC Offer Technical Assistance (Draft Reviews) To Grant Applicants?

Applicants may request a draft review of their application materials by our Community Investment team prior to submission. To submit a draft review, email all materials to be reviewed as an attachment to grants@tfec.org.  Draft review requests are limited to one review of each grant opportunity and submissions must be received at least two weeks prior to the application deadline.

Can An Applicant Apply To More Than One Grant Opportunity?

Yes, applicants may apply to multiple grant opportunities, but may not submit more than one grant application to each opportunity. When submitting an application to multiple grant opportunities, do not seek funds for identical services and/or programs within identical regions. However, you may seek grant funds for the same service and/or program, if serving a separate region. If applying to the Children’s Home Foundation Fund, organizations awarded funds within one round of grantmaking are encouraged to wait for the next round out before submitting a new application.

Must An Organization Be Physically Located In The Geographic Service Area That Is Specified In The Grant Guidelines?

An applicant organization may be physically located outside TFEC’s service area but must demonstrate that the proposed program or service will serve a significant amount or group of individuals within the targeted service area. You will need to present a quantifiable number of individuals to be served and it will benefit your application to note a presence in the local community through board membership and/or collaboration or partnership with organizations serving the targeted region.

What Is Considered An Ineligible Activity For Grant Funding?

TFEC and its grant opportunities do not fund individuals, capital campaigns, religious organizations for the propagation of religious doctrine, advertising, direct lobbying to influence legislation, and retroactive projects. All applicants must also adhere to the posted grant guidelines for additional information regarding eligible or ineligible activities within each grant opportunity.

What Are The Criteria Used To Evaluate Grant Proposals?

Each grant proposal is evaluated upon adherence to the posted grant guidelines, provided criteria for evaluating proposals, and connection to the stated funding priorities of each grant opportunity. Specific criteria for evaluating proposals will be found within the posted grant guidelines.

Can We Insert A Picture Or Graph Into Our Narrative?

No, but you may provide a link to information that you would like to share in your narrative or in any supporting materials. Please check all links prior to inclusion.

How Much Funding May An Organization Request?

The maximum request and/or average grant amount may be found within the posted grant guidelines for each funding opportunity. TFEC will not fund 100% of any project and grants are frequently awarded at lower levels of funding. Funding for retroactive projects (reimbursement of program activities that have occurred prior to the grant application) is not permitted.

Does TFEC Require Matching Funds?

TFEC does not require matching funds for a proposed project. However, TFEC is unable to fund 100% of any project and asks that applicants demonstrate where the remaining supporting funds for the proposed project will come from. Please note that a grant review committee may choose to conditionally award an application upon the organization’s ability to leverage additional funding from outside sources.

How Important Is The Sustainability Of My Project?

Sustainability and planning for sustainability from a project’s beginning is very important. TFEC believes that funding through our grantmaking process should be used as a piece of the puzzle to develop a comprehensive strategy to sustain vital programs and services. We are most interested in organizations that demonstrate the ability to leverage additional community resources and partnerships to ensure the continuation of the project after TFEC funding has ended.

Submitting a Grant.

What Are The Deadlines For Applying For A Grant?

Our grant opportunities are available annually through 1 of 2 grant cycles with deadlines of February 1 and August 1. Please visit our website for the deadline date of the grant opportunity you are seeking to apply to.

How Do I Submit My Application?

While the majority of TFEC grant applications are submitted through our online portal, each TFEC grant opportunity utilizes its own guidelines and submission process. Follow the submission process stated in the grant guidelines for the grant opportunity you are interested in.

What Is Your Mailing Address And Where Is TFEC Located?

TFEC’s MAILING & PHYSICAL ADDRESS:

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities
200 North 3rd Street – 8th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Will We Receive Notification That Our Grant Application Has Been Received And Is Being Considered?

Yes, the provided grant application contact will receive an email from the Program Officer for Community Investment stating that the application has been received and is complete. If materials are missing or incomplete, the Program Officer for Community Investment will contact the provided grant application contact prior to disqualification of the application.

What Could Cause My Application To Be Eliminated From Consideration?

Applicants must follow the grant guidelines for each funding opportunity. An application that is submitted after the application deadline, does not include all required information and forms, or neglects to supply original signatures where required will not be forwarded to the grant committee for review.

How Long Does It Take To Review A Proposal?

Organizations who submit a grant application to the August 1 deadline will receive a notification letter on or by December 1 of the same year. Organizations who submit a grant application to the February 1 deadline will receive a notification letter on or by June 1 of the same year. Some grant opportunities may use a slightly shorter timeline, see the grant guidelines for the opportunity you are interested in.

Receiving a grant from TFEC

What Is The Grant Term For A Project?

Each grant term consists of 12 months unless otherwise stated within the grant guidelines. Proposed projects may take place at any time during the posted grant year. We encourage applicants to review the specific grant guidelines for each funding opportunity available with TFEC.

How Does TFEC Measure A Project’s Success?

TFEC seeks both quantitative and qualitative measures of success and asks grantees to state how project success will be measured within their grant application. All grantees are required to complete Final Evaluation materials that address the success of the carried out work in comparison to the proposed work. TFEC frequently conducts scheduled site visits during or following the grant year to supplement provided information.

Are Grant Recipients Required To Submit A Final Evaluation?

Yes, all grant recipients are required to submit a Final Evaluation. A copy of the required evaluation form is included in the grant award packet and all Final Evaluation forms are available for download on the Grantee Toolkit page. Please note that it is the grantees responsibility to contact the Program Officer for Community Investment should the grantee need to seek any grant project changes. All grant shifts are submitted to TFEC and the respective grantmaking committee for evaluation, approval, and/or denial.

Fiscal Sponsor

We Are Using A Fiscal Sponsor—What Do We Need To Know?

If using a fiscal sponsor, your application must include a letter signed by the Executive Leader of the organization who is acting as your Fiscal Sponsor indicating their agreement to act as your Fiscal Sponsor. An original signature is required and the letter should be submitted via mail or delivery with your application attachments. The organization acting as your Fiscal Sponsor will receive notification of whether or not a grant has been awarded. If a grant is awarded the Fiscal Sponsor be required to execute the Grant Agreement and awarded grant funds will be sent to the Fiscal Sponsor to be allocated to your organization appropriately. The Fiscal Sponsor will be responsible for ensuring the funds are used as indicated in the original proposal and/or Grant Agreement. If using a fiscal sponsor, be sure to follow all direction under the “Fiscal Sponsor” heading within each grant application’s grant guidelines.

Getting to Know TFEC

Who is TFEC?

The Foundation for Enhancing Communities (TFEC), founded in 1920 by Donald McCormick, is a community foundation, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. TFEC accepts gifts from individuals, families, organizations, institutions, and through bequests and planned gifts all of which make up its permanent and non-permanent fund portfolio. Investment returns earned from these funds are returned to the community through TFEC’s discretionary and donor-designated grantmaking programs. TFEC’s discretionary program service area is the South Central Pennsylvania counties of Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, and Perry, and the Dillsburg Area. Our donors can also distribute grants to many qualified charitable organizations across the United States and internationally.

Does TFEC Have A Mission?

Yes! TFEC’s mission is to inspire giving by partnering with donors to achieve their charitable goals, and strengthen our local communities by investing in them now and for future generations.

What Is A TFEC Regional Foundation?

TFEC is home to five regional foundations. Each of these regional foundations serves a particular geographic area and has their own grant guidelines, grant deadlines, and grant review committees. Each regional foundation’s grant information is posted on TFEC’s website.

TFEC’s regional foundations are:

  • Dillsburg Area Community Foundation
  • Franklin County Community Foundation
  • Greater Harrisburg Community Foundation
  • Mechanicsburg Area Community Foundation
  • Perry County Community Foundation
What Are TFEC's Values?

TFEC believes that all voices are vital for our region’s future. We promote equity and embrace the diversity of individuals, ideas, and expressions. We are prudent and grateful stewards of the assets, time, and talent entrusted to us. We value creating permanent legacies that support long lasting community change. We will accept nothing but the highest standards of honesty, mutual respect, confidentiality, and transparency.

Online Help

I Have Forgotten The Email And/Or Password Used To Access The Online Grant Application. Whom Do I Contact To Get That Information?

TFEC and TFEC team members value your privacy and do not have access to your email or password information and cannot access materials that have been drafted but not submitted. If you are a new user, use the “New Applicant?” link on the log in page. If you have forgotten your password, utilize the “Forgot Password?” link on the log in page; a new password will be emailed to the recognized email.

Please keep in mind that your password is linked to the email that was used when the account was created; if you are not receiving a link to reset your account, be sure to check all possible email addresses. Please feel free to contact our Community Investment team at grants@tfec.org or 717-236-5040 for assistance.

Questions regarding our grant opportunities?

get in touch with us
Andrea Iguina-Pérez