The Small Grants Program (SGP) allows smaller nonprofits in Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Greater Chicago to apply for a grant of up to $50,000 for two years ($100,000 total). This program includes all Foundation areas of giving.
Since its inception in 2007, the Small Grants Program has awarded hundreds of grants totaling more than $25 million to hundreds of Maryland and Northeastern Pennsylvania nonprofits.
The Small Grants Program differs from the Foundation’s standard grantmaking process. There is no deadline for grant requests, and a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is not required. Funding is available through the SGP for up to four years. Organizations are required to take a year off between every two years of funding.
To participate in the Small Grants Program, an applicant must meet several requirements:
- Be a nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3), tax-exempt status; have operated for a minimum of three years; and have audited or reviewed financial statements.
- Maintain an annual organizational budget of $1 million or less within Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, or Greater Chicago.
- Provide direct services primarily to residents of Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, or Greater Chicago.
- Meet the Foundation’s mission of providing direct services to low-income and vulnerable populations.
- Request funds for general operating support, program support, or capital projects.
- Submit requests that represent no more than 25 percent of the organization’s total annual operating budget.
The Foundation does not fund
|Individuals||Arts and culture||Post-secondary scholarships|
|Debt reduction||Colleges and universities||Think tanks|
|Endowments||Political action groups||Annual appeals (in most cases)|
|Publications||Academic or health research||Fundraising events|
Before You Apply
Before applying for a Maryland Small Grant, the applicant is required to speak with the program team member for the appropriate geographic area.
This conversation will ensure that the proposal is a fit with Foundation guidelines and goals. In advance of the conversation, you can also send an email identifying your fit with the program area’s goals and priorities listed on our website, and the applicant’s ability to meet the nonprofit budget and geographic requirements.
If you are unsure of the program team member responsible for your area of interest please refer to the list below:
To Apply for a Small Grant
Once you have spoken with the appropriate program team member, click the button below to apply for your Small Grant. Applications that do not include answers to each question will not be considered. Also, please number your responses so that they match the application page and ensure that your organization’s executive director and board chair have signed the final page of your application.