DSF Charitable Foundation

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Grant Program
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Grant Program

The DSF Charitable Foundation Board of Trustees acts on grant requests at least three times per year. Inquiries may be submitted at any time. The Foundation supports projects in health, human services, and education in southwestern Pennsylvania, as set forth in the grant program description. The Foundation does not consider requests for support of individuals or contributions to endowments.

Initial inquiries should be in the form of a letter (signed by the applicant organization's executive director or authorized representative) and supporting material not to exceed five additional pages. The letter and supporting material should provide general programmatic and financial information on the applicant organization and should include a concise description of the project for which funds are being sought. Initial inquiries should be addressed to:

J. Nicholas Beldecos
Executive Director
DSF Charitable Foundation
5840 Ellsworth Avenue, Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

The Foundation will review the information submitted, make a preliminary determination of the potential for funding, and notify the applicant organization of its decision. Where there is potential for funding, the Foundation will advise the organization on subsequent steps in the consideration process. These steps entail one or more site visits as part of staff due diligence and, ultimately, the submission of a full proposal.

The Foundation accepts the Common Grant Application Format of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, but does not require its use. In particular cases (e.g., requests for support of biomedical research), other formats may be more appropriate. In all cases, full proposals must include a narrative, project budget, the organization's current operating budget, and audited financial statements for the two most recent years. Also required is a copy of the organization's current determination letter regarding tax-exempt status under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. If the organization does not qualify as a statutory public charity under Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(i-v), a copy of the public-support-test calculation from the most recent tax return, Form 990, is required as well. The Foundation may request additional information, such as a cash-flow budget.

All grants have follow-up requirements that include the submission of reports accounting for the use of funds. Additionally, the Foundation conducts one or more follow-up site visits. In the case of multi-year grants, payments beyond the first are subject to interim program evaluation by the Foundation.

While not required, all material may be submitted in electronic format (PDF preferred).

In general, the Foundation requires that two years elapse between the end of one grant period and the consideration of a new request from the same organization, especially in cases where a grant is made for operating support. Exceptions are more likely to be made in cases where an organization is starting up or where the project or organization can demonstrate realistic prospects for sustainability beyond a particular point. The Foundation also generally requires that two years elapse between the time a funding request has been declined and a new one submitted by the same organization.