Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for grant proposal submissions?

The Foundation accepts grant proposals twice a year, generally in the fall and spring. Deadlines are posted on the website. It’s a good idea to submit your proposal several months before the funding is needed.

Can you send me an application?

No. All proposals must be submitted on line. You can access the application on our website.

How do I get a copy of the guidelines?

Grant application guidelines and funding priorities are available on the website.

Can we meet with someone to discuss a possible proposal?

Yes. We recommend that you call the Foundation’s grant staff to schedule pre-application interviews about your proposal. Grants staff is also available by phone or email to discuss your project.

How will I know you received my application?

We acknowledge receipt of every proposal by letter or email.

Does the Foundation fund general operating expenses?

Generally we do not fund the annual budget of established organizations. Rather than being a source of funds to maintain the current level of services, we prefer to help organizations reach more people through new programs or expansion of existing services.

Do you give grants to individuals?

No. Under the terms of its charter, The Mary E. Bivins Foundation can distribute grants only to qualified public entities or 501(c)(3) charities.

Do you give grants to organizations outside of the Texas Panhandle?

On rare occasions, the Foundation may award grants to organizations outside its geographic area of support, provided that the funding is directed toward a program or project that benefits residents and communities in the twenty-six county area of the Texas Panhandle.

When and how will I know if my application has been accepted or rejected?

All applicants receive communication regarding the disposition of their proposal by phone or by letter.

We recently submitted an application and were declined. May we re-submit?

Yes. However, our policy limits grant requests from eligible organizations to one within each twelve-month period; i.e. if the application you submit in May of any given year is denied, you may submit the following May.

My grant was denied. Can you tell me why?

Our geographical area is large and its needs are great. Competition for grant funds is intense and Foundation funds are limited. There are a number of factors that determine if a request is declined.

Most frequently it is because we are unable to fund every request that we receive. The Board of Directors looks for programs and projects that best meet the areas of interest outlined in the grant guidelines.

Do you prefer capital or program?

We prefer that you determine your highest priority. At any given time, about half of our grants are for capital projects and half are for program support.

Can you help us with writing the proposal?

While the Foundation does not provide a grant-writing service, we encourage applicants to follow our guidelines in preparing a proposal and to call if they have questions. There are local and online services which offer assistance.

We’re a new organization and don’t have all the information requested in the guidelines. Can we still apply?

We recommend that you visit with Foundation grants staff to determine if a submission at the current time is appropriate.

Do you require a letter of intent before submitting an application?

No. We prefer that applicants submit a complete proposal through our online process.

Should we wait to hear from you before applying to others?

No. It is a good idea to submit applications to multiple sources of funding, as doing so will improve your changes of success.

Will MEBF consider loans?

No.

Are there areas in which you don’t make grants?

Yes. As listed in our guidelines, the Foundation does not make grants to the following: new organizations; new initiatives that do not receive their primary funding through other sources; reduction of an operating deficit; travel, tours or trips; fundraising activities, such as annual campaigns, courtesy advertising, benefit tickets, special events and telephone solicitations; endowments; capital campaigns of area churches for building and facility projects; capital campaigns of area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The Foundation does not grant funds for the purposes of political lobbying or legislative activities.

Should we include letters of support?

Generally, they are not necessary. If they are needed, the staff person reviewing your application will ask for them.

Before I submit an application, can you tell me if the Foundation is interested or would consider the type of grant I am looking for?

We can give you a better response after seeing a complete application. As long as the proposal reflects the interests of requirements for funding the Foundation has outlined in the guidelines, we will review it.

Will you do a site visit and should we invite your Board members for a visit?

The staff person reviewing your application will determine the need for a site visit.

Does the Foundation grant money to commercial businesses?

No. The Foundation does not fund for-profit organizations.

Do you fund scholarships?

The Foundation has a scholarship program for students pursuing a career in pulpit ministry. More information about this program is available on the website.

Is there a person responsible for reviewing applications in specific areas of funding?

No, the grants program officer is trained to review all types of requests.

Can grant dollars awarded go toward indirect costs associated with a program?

It is the Foundation’s policy to review inclusion of overhead support on a case-by-case basis. Modest indirect costs are sometimes approved for small nonprofit organizations. Currently, with fewer grant dollars to award, the Foundation prefers that every dollar goes toward direct services.