How to Apply

How to Apply

“Thanks to the support of foundations and supporters like The Ronald Naito MD Foundation, we achieved our largest growth yet, enabling our programs to heal domestic violence survivors, train multi-disciplinary professionals, and build hopeful communities in every state across the nation.”

— William Ackerman, HOPE Alliance

The Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation supports local, national, and international initiatives in the following categories: climate and planet, health and health equity, and sustainable communities. We also support Oregon-based arts and education organizations, especially those focused on under-resourced communities. 

We offer unrestricted grants, mostly ranging from $5,000-$50,000. We occasionally fund smaller, larger, and multi-year requests. We tend not to fund organizations with annual budgets over $20 million, although there are some exceptions. We often fund grassroots initiatives.

With our grants, we try to keep a balance between organizations providing frontline services and organizations working to find systemic solutions and innovations. We also try to keep our application and reporting forms straightforward: we don’t want nonprofits to be distracted from fulfilling their missions by complicated forms. 

“[This] generous grant brought us a uniquely creative, committed, and just teammate… Hiring Aviva would not have been possible without Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation funding… Thank you for taking this important step with us.”

— Eden Redmond, Signal Fire
Funding Priorities
  • Climate and Planet*
    Initiatives that tackle the root causes of climate change and mitigate its damage.
  • Health and Health Equity*
    Initiatives that provide or advocate for compassionate and accessible healthcare, especially for under-resourced people and communities. Also the physical and social determinants of poor health: clean water, nutrition, housing, inequity/prejudice, etc.
  • Sustainable Communities*
    Innovative programs to address pressing social issues and develop new and equitable models of infrastructure so that communities can thrive (environmentally, economically, socially).
    * For these categories, we accept applications from US-based or -affiliate organizations working at both grassroots and systemic levels in the US and internationally. Organizations with equivalency determinations will also be considered.
  • Oregon Arts and Education
    Imaginative arts and education programs focused on under-resourced Oregonians, that nourish our humanity and help build healthy, soulful, and vibrant communities.

Timeline

In 2020, our first full year, we expect to have only one grant cycle. Its dates are:

June 8: LOIs open

July 10: LOIs close

July 31: Selected organizations invited to submit full application

September 2: Applications close; review begins. Grant reports from 2019 grants are also due on this day.

October 13: Grants will be announced

Please note: Because this is our first public grant cycle, it will take longer from start to finish so that we can raise awareness and finesse processes. Thank you for your patience. In 2021, we expect to have 2-3 quicker grant cycles and expect to accept rolling LOIs.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation funding, your organization must:

  • Be a Section 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that is classified as a public charity under Section 509(a) 1 or 2 of the United States tax code, or have a fiscal sponsor with documented MOU.
  • Have an office or affiliate office within the United States and a US EIN.
  • Foreign organizations with active US-equivalency determinations may also be considered.
  • Comply with Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation’s anti-discrimination policy that ensures it does not grant to organizations that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.

In order to ensure conformity to IRS rules for private foundations, and to ensure impactful grantmaking, we will not consider grant requests for:

  • Medical or pharmaceutical research
  • Hospital systems and their affiliate clinics or provider groups. (Note: we will consider applications from stand-alone 501(c)3 community clinics)
  • Fraternal organizations, service clubs, labor organizations, merchant associations, chambers of commerce, etc.
  • Section 501(c)4 or (c)6 organizations or 509(a)3 supporting organizations; political organizations or organizations designed primarily to lobby or advance legislation or political candidates
  • Private foundations (in limited circumstances, private operating foundations may be acceptable)
  • Debt retirement, deficit reduction, memorial campaigns, or sponsorships
  • Programs operated by religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Individuals
  • Private or public schools and universities (however, 501(c)3-run educational programs that operate across multiple schools will be considered)
  • Athletic teams, school bands and choirs, etc.
  • Any cause from which our trustees or their family or business partners would benefit financially, professionally, educationally, or otherwise
  • Any other activities or organizations for which support would violate IRS regulations governing private foundations.

How to Submit

Once you have reviewed eligibility requirements and restrictions (above), please follow our submission process:

  1. Go to our grant application site (click “Apply Here” below).
  2. Log in with your existing account or set up a new account.
  3. Fill out and submit an LOI.
  4. Once we have reviewed your LOI, we will let you know if you’ve made it through to the full application stage. If you have, you can access the main grant application through the same site.
  5. Once you’re logged in, click “edit application.” Draft your application (it will auto-save as long as you’re connected to the internet), and attach the requested documents. (Note: if you lack any of these documents, please reach out to us: we may be able to waive certain requirements.)
  6. When you are finished with your application, please go back through to make sure you have ticked all the relevant boxes and filled in all the mandatory fields. We strongly suggest you save your application elsewhere before you submit it.
  7. Select “Submit.” You will receive an email confirmation that your application has been received. (NOTE: We encourage you to submit early, as late submissions will only be accepted in extraordinary circumstances.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answers you’re looking for here (please do read them!), you are welcome email info@rwnfoundation.org.

Are you offering Covid-19 funding opportunities?

Yes and no. We do not have a public funding cycle right now for Covid-19 relief. But in mid-March, we reached out to all of our 2019-2020 grantees to convert their remaining grants to flexible funding for use however most needed. And we granted $200,000 in emergency funds to four different responsive funding coalitions: the Oregon Worker Relief Fund/Oregon Worker Relief Infrastructure Fund, MRG Foundation’s Since Time Immemorial Fund, First Nations Development Institute’s native communities Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, and the Women’s Foundation of Oregon’s Covid-19 Rapid Response Fund. We also will be granting almost twice as much this year as we had initially budgeted, which, because our grants are unrestricted funds, can be used as needed.

In the future, we may be issuing more discretionary grants in the future and/or opening up a public Covid relief cycle. If you subscribe to our mailing list (see “Contact” page), we will let you know if that happens.

We are deeply aware that the economic and health impacts of Covid-19 will be felt across the global nonprofit sector, and the communities it serves, for years and that there will be an ongoing need for flexible funding and for higher levels of grant support.

Thank you for your good work in protecting our communities, and please stay safe.

What types of grant requests do you fund?

Our grants are unrestricted and can be used for general operating, program/project, capacity building, capital requests, endowment, seed funding, etc. We do ask you in the application to anticipate the funds’ likely uses, although we know contingencies arise and their use may change. We don’t privilege program or other categories above general operating requests: we are firm believers that you know best what your needs are. We don’t fund debt retirement and a few other categories–please check Eligibility criteria, above.

Is my organization/project a good candidate for funding from RWN Foundation?

To find out whether your proposal is a good fit for our grants, we would encourage you to read our eligibility requirements (above) and the rest of this page, and also read Who We Are and look through our Grants History. If these resources don’t help answer your questions, you are welcome to reach out to info@rwnfoundation.org. We don’t want you to spend your valuable time on a LOI if you’re not a good fit for our priorities, so we would love to learn more and perhaps schedule a call with you. If you can, please reach out well in advance of our LOI deadline: we only have one part-time staff person.

We are not a 501(c)3. Can we still apply?

Yes, in some circumstances. We do require that our grant is channeled to you through fiscal sponsor with 501(c)3 status, and we will need an MOU between your organization and your fiscal sponsor before we can decide upon your application. Please note that if you are applying via a fiscal sponsor, we cannot accept a general operating request from you: we need a restricted request from you to ensure that your project receives and uses the funding. We do not fund individuals in any scenario, regardless of fiscal sponsorship.

We are not a US nonprofit. Can we still apply?

Yes, if you have an office or affiliate office within the United States and a US EIN, or if you have an equivalency determination. You’re welcome to reach to info@rwnfoundation.org with questions, although fair warning that we are still learning how to navigate this space as well and that we may not have immediate answers for you!

We are a faith-based organization. Can we apply for one of our programs?

You may apply for one of your programs as long as the program itself is secular, does not prosthelytize or witness to clients, and meets our anti-discrimination standards, meaning that you accept people of all faiths, genders, sexual orientations, and other protected classes to use this program without bias or judgment.

Our budget exceeds $20 million. Can we talk to you about applying?

You are welcome to send us an email. We occasionally consider some bigger organizations, particularly if it is for a particular project in which a grant of our size might make a difference.

If our 501(c)3 organization engages in lobbying, are we eligible to apply for RWN Foundation funding?

Yes, provided that you meet our eligibility requirements, but none of our grant funds can be used for lobbying. Here is a helpful resource (thanks to MRG Foundation) to explain why.

Where can I find a list of the questions you’ll be asking?

You can download our LOI questions here and our full application here. Please check back annually–our questions may change from year to year. These .pdfs will also tell you what attachments/documents you will need.

This is my first grant application and/or my first grant application to RWN Foundation. Can someone review my LOI/application before I submit it?

First of all, don’t panic: we know that people have varying levels of experience in grantwriting, and also that everyone makes mistakes. We also know that some organizations have paid grantwriters and some don’t have development departments or professional fundraisers: we try to focus on your work and not the way your grant is written.

You are welcome to reach out to us with any questions you have. (We will also be adding some grantwriting resources to this site in coming weeks.) If there is a question we have during application review or if we spot an error, we will try to reach out to you for a clarification/correction.

I missed a final report deadline. What do I do?

If you missed a final report deadline, please just get in touch. We’ll figure it out.

Can I apply for your arts and education funding if our nonprofit is headquartered outside of Oregon?

Not at this time. Our arts and education funding goes to organizations that are based in and serve Oregonians.

How do I determine how much I should request from RWN Foundation?

There are no hard and fast rules. We prefer to be neither your largest funder nor your smallest (institutional) funder. If we fund you, we might not fund your full request, so please be prepared to adapt accordingly. We enjoy capacity building requests and requests that use our funds to magnify/leverage other funding sources (matching campaigns, collaborations, etc.), but we equally enjoy supporting general operations. We mean it when we say that our grants are unrestricted–we’re most interested in your mission and in the impact our grants can have against your organizational or project budget.

What is your process if we are awarded a grant?

You will be sent an electronic grant agreement through our grants portal for e-signature. Once you’ve submitted that, we will send you your grant funds by check (we are looking into digital funding methods and may be able to offer them in the future) within two weeks (usually much sooner) of receiving your agreement.

We may check in with you during the year for an informal site visit (telephonically or in person based on your consent and convenience). Our reporting requirements are minimal: unless you have a multi-year grant, we only require one report from you, due roughly 9 months after you receive your grant. If you need an extension, no problem.

We’d love to meet you in person. Is that possible?

We’d love to meet with you too. We have lots to learn. We welcome invitations, but if we can’t accept, please don’t assume it’s out of disinterest. We have only four trustees, located in two states, and one part-time staff person–it may just be a matter of bandwidth!

We may occasionally contact grantees to request a site visit. If your organization is selected, we will work with you to find a convenient time (or to postpone it if work is too hectic–we understand). Our site visits are low-key conversations: our goal is to not be too burdensome, and to listen and learn. We’re always grateful for your time and expertise.


Get in Touch

If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to info@rwnfoundation.org. We welcome any inquiries and try to be as responsive as possible. If you’d like to have a chat before you apply, we’d welcome that too. That said, we have only one part-time staff person and may not be able to respond immediately or field emergency requests. Thank you for your patience!


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