Proposal Guidelines

Proposal Guidelines

The Lavelle Fund for the Blind provides funding to organizations with U.S. 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status or verifiable non-U.S. charitable status (in the case of foreign-based, non-profit organizations without a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) fiscal intermediary).

A complete grant application includes the following components:

Cover Letter

A brief cover letter, on your organization’s letterhead, to be signed by the executive director or organization head. The letter should include a one-paragraph summary of the request, including its amount and purpose. It should also indicate the name, phone number and email of the contact person for this proposal, if other than the executive director.

Narrative

Complete responses to the questions in the proposal template in the Fund’s grants management system, CyberGrants, pasted directly into the provided textboxes. (A complete list of these questions appears below.)

Financial Information
  • Project budget*: please include either (a) a complete budget narrative – a line-by-line description of each expense line in the proposed budget or (b) simple annotations beside expense lines that are not self-explanatory. Please list each staff line separately and include the percentage of time to be spent on the project. (In the case of project-related capital expenses, please provide professional cost estimates.) Please submit budgets in Excel format, using appropriate formulas. Do not submit a PDF
  • The applying organization’s total, current-year operating budget
  • Organization’s two most recent audited financial statements
  • A list of grants awarded (from non-Lavelle sources) in the most recent fiscal year
  • Expected income sources for the project* (actual and prospective, including the applying organization’s own in-kind or cash contributions to the project)

*Clearly indicate the dates of the financial period(s) covered in each document.

Additional Information
  • Organization’s List of Board of Directors (with their professional affiliations)
  • Organization’s IRS Determination Letter (confirming tax-exempt status)

 

Ophthalmologist carrying out low vision exam on elderly man

Courtesy of Lighthouse Guild

 

Narrative Questions

Below is a complete list of the questions included in the online grant proposal application found on the CyberGrants platform. All prospective grantees must create a CyberGrants profile and apply online.

Background

Describe the work of your agency, addressing each of the following:

  1. A brief description of your organization’s history and mission.
  2. The need or problem that your organization works to address and the population that your agency serves, including the population’s visual and other impairments, geographic location, age-range and, if known, socio-economic status, race, and gender.
  3. Recent achievements.
  4. Number of paid full-time staff; number of paid part-time staff; and number of volunteers. How many are blind or visually impaired?
  5. A brief summary of your organization’s key relationships — both formal and informal — with other organizations working to meet the same needs or providing similar services.  Please explain briefly how you differ from these agencies.

Funding Request

Please describe the project for which you seek funding, including:

  1. A brief summary of the need or problem that you are seeking to address, including relevant supporting statistics.
  2. The project’s goal(s) and objectives and expected impact. In the case of numbers to be served, please indicate absolute numbers to be served in each grant year rather than the expected percentage increases.
  3. The population that you plan to serve and how this population will benefit from the project.  Please indicate the total number of people to be served, their age range, the nature of their visual impairment (and non-visual impairments, if any), and the geographic area from which they will be drawn.
  4. Strategies that you will employ to implement your project.
  5. The names and qualifications of the key people who will be responsible for achieving the anticipated results.
  6. Potential risks to the success of the project, if any.
  7. Anticipated timeline for the project.

Evaluation

Please describe the results you expect to achieve under the grant and how you will assess project success.