How to Apply for a Grant

The Campbell Foundation is pleased to accept unsolicited grants. All opportunities are only open to new grantees, not organizations that are current or previous grantees of the Campbell Foundation.

We welcome you to submit a proposal for the following Cycles:

Cycle 1 – 2018 – Pacific Office – General – Closed

Cycle 2 – 2018 – Pacific Office – General – Closed
Proposals were due no later than 5 pm, Pacific Time on Saturday, June 30, 2018. Winners will be announced no later than August 31, 2018.

Cycle 3 – 2018 – Chesapeake Office – PA, Susquehanna Basin – OPEN June 1, 2018
Proposals are due no later than 5 pm EST, Monday, October 1, 2018. Winners will be announced no later than December 17, 2018.  We will be accepting proposals for projects that improve water quality and promote healthy communities in the PA portion of the Susquehanna River Basin with a preference given to Lancaster County.

Cycle 1 – 2019 – Pacific Office – General – Open July 1, 2018
Proposals are due no later than 5 pm, Pacific Time on Saturday, March 31, 2019. Winners will be announced no later than May 31, 2019.  We will be accepting proposals for all subject areas, geographies, and types of programs, but strong priority will be given to projects in the areas of Water Quality and the Land-Sea Connection in California.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions below prior to contacting foundation staff. If you do not follow these guidelines, you may be declined or disqualified from applying.

If you have questions after thoroughly reviewing the below guidelines, please contact Anna Lindgren only.  Do not contact other staff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How do I apply?
A:  Click here to register and begin your application.  Please note that you must choose and save the proposal at the time of registration in order to be able to come back and edit it.  We also recommend bookmarking the portal login so that you can easily access it again.  Download instructions here.

Q:  Can I see what the proposal form entails?
A:  Download the Proposal Matrix to preview which questions/attachments are required on which forms.  Please carefully consider your own capacity. On average, less than 15% of proposals are approved.

Q:  Do I need to be a 501(c)3?
A:  Yes.  Fiscally-sponsored projects and private entities will not be considered.

Q:  When can I submit a proposal?
A: Our next deadline, for Cycle 3 2018, is 5 pm, Eastern Time on Monday, October 1, 2018. No exceptions will be made for late submissions, and no extensions will be granted.

Q:  If I submit a proposal early in the cycle, will I hear back sooner?
A:  Decisions about grants will not be made any sooner than the decision date listed above,  regardless of when the proposal is submitted.  Grants are reviewed as individual requests, but also in comparison to other requests in the same pool.

Q:  How much are the grants?
A:  Grants will vary in size, but will be no greater than $25,000.  Our budget for unsolicited grants is very limited, and we anticipate that demand will be high.  Please note that the length of the form “right-sizes” to your ask amount.  A request for $10k or less is a short form; $25k asks more in-depth questions.

Q:  What is the budget for these types of grants?
A: Cycle 2 2018 has a budget of $50k.  Cycle 3 2018 has a total budget of $100k.  Cycle 1 2019 will have a budget of $25k.

Q:  How competitive are the cycles?
A:  You can view information about how many applications we received per cycle, and how many and which ones received awards, here.

Q:  My project or organization works in the Chesapeake area, but outside of the description for Cycle 3.  Can I submit a request for Cycle 1 2019?
A:  Yes, you can submit a request, but please select the Pacific office from the drop down field on the form.  We are accepting proposals for all subject areas and types of programs.

Q:  My project or organization doesn’t work in either the Chesapeake Bay or California, can I apply?
A:  For Cycle 1 2019, yes!  We’re open to requests from any geography, as long as you are a US registered 501(c)3.  Cycle 3 2018, though, is limited to the PA portion of the Susquehanna River Basin with a preference given to Lancaster County.

Q:  May I contact Foundation staff with questions about the Foundation’s interests and priorities?
A:  We regret that we are not able to provide information about probability of funding until we have reviewed your complete proposal. Please review the What We Fund section of our website as well as the searchable Grantees database.

Q:  I looked at the description of the grants that won, and looked at the Grantees database, and I don’t see that a grant has been awarded to a program like mine.  Should I still apply?
A:  For Cycle 1 2019, yes!  These are our most open cycles, and we’re looking for good organizations doing good work, even if they don’t fit into our programmatic “boxes”.   We are accepting proposals for all subject areas and types of programs.  Cycle 3 2018, though is limited to projects that improve water quality and promote healthy communities in the PA portion of the Susquehanna River Basin with a preference given to Lancaster County.

Q:  Is it possible to meet with foundation staff prior to submitting materials?
A:  Unfortunately, it is not possible for staff to meet with all applicants. If your proposal is being considered for a grant, a request for a meeting may be made by Foundation staff.

Q:  May I call the foundation with questions, or to discuss my grant?
A:  Due to anticipated volume, we are not able to accept or return calls from prospective unsolicited grantees.

Q:  Should I send an LOI or other inquiry prior to completing the proposal?  What about a proposal I’ve sent to another funder?
A:  The Foundation will only respond to full and complete proposals submitted through our grants management system.

Q:  May I submit more than one request?
A:  One request per organization only.

Q:  How does the Campbell Foundation choose the recipients?
A:  Proposals are reviewed on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Program effectiveness
  • Board giving
  • Completeness of proposal
  • Organizational financial health and sustainability
  • % the ask is compared to the organizational or project budget
  • Size of organizational/project budget
  • Ability to adhere to cycle guidelines

Q: When will Campbell Foundation respond to my request?
A:  You’ll receive an email confirmation that we’ve received your proposal when it is submitted, and we will make our funding decisions as noted above.

Q:  Will the Campbell Foundation tell me in detail about why I was declined?
A:  Due to volume, we are not able to provide feedback to individual grantees if you are declined.

Q:  Should I follow up with the Foundation about a decision?
A:  Due to volume, follow-up on unsolicited proposals is not encouraged.

Q:  Should I add the Campbell Foundation to our mailing list, or send correspondence or materials beyond the proposal?
A:  We prefer not to be included on your mailing list unless we request to opt-in.  We also appreciate your support of our effort to help reduce paper consumption.  Please do not mail any hard copy materials.

Q:  I’m already a Campbell Foundation grantee or have been in the past; can I apply for one of these grants?
A:  Unsolicited grants are for new grantees only.

Q:  If I was declined for an unsolicited grant, may I apply again?
A:  No. Organizations are eligible to apply for an unsolicited grant every other year.  In other words, if you applied in August 2016 and were declined in September 2016, you would not be eligible to reapply until October 2018.

Q:  If I’m awarded a grant, will I be eligible to reapply for a renewal the following year?
A:  This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.  The vast majority of grants that come in through this unsolicited cycle are one-time grants, and fewer than 5% are renewed.