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Piper Trust Grant Process

Piper 101 Prior to Applying – We recommend all new applicants attend an informal information session, known as Piper 101, held the first Wednesday of each month. This informal session offers answers to frequently asked questions and offers a basic overview of the Trust’s core areas and funding strategies. Staff will also offer insights into what makes a strong proposal and how grant seekers can best work with staff to develop a proposal. Reservations are required because these workshops fill quickly.

Developing a Proposal

Program Officers are eager to discuss your proposal prior to official submission and will provide transparent feedback and guidance that values your time and effort. Our goal is to help applicants understand the Trust’s funding priorities and shepherd applications through our process step-by-step. The Trust’s work and staff understanding of the community benefit from the strong relationships built through our grantmaking process.

Application Process

The entire application process takes between four and six months from the time of first contact with a program officer to the Board of Trustees’ decision on the application.

Step One – Letter of Inquiry When to Apply

A two-page letter of inquiry should briefly summarize the project, its budget, and timeline. The letter of inquiry should also address the Trust’s consideration of landscape, impact, effectiveness, feasibility, and sustainability. For more information about these considerations, attend a Piper 101 session or contact a program officer.

The letter of inquiry serves to establish the basic elements of the proposal prior to application and helps staff to identify areas of misalignment with the Trust’s priorities. Trust staff work in a collaborative manner and apply many perspectives to each inquiry received. Your assigned program officer will synthesize staff’s feedback and questions and provide guidance, collect additional information, etc. to help inform your thinking about the application.

Step Two – Full Proposal

If staff believe there is sufficient alignment between your project and the Trust’s priorities, they will invite a full proposal, which includes:

  • A detailed project narrative, project budget, and bios for key staff
  • Three years audited financials, year-to-date internal financial statements, board-approved organizational budget, organizational chart
  • Information about the Board of Directors, donors, and other sources of support
  • Other documents as applicable

Staff will work to ensure that all the necessary pieces are in place and that they have everything needed to present your proposal to the Trustees.

Step Three – Recommendation

The Board of Trustees review all applications and approve or decline requests on an ongoing basis–there are no deadlines. Program staff present applications and make recommendations at monthly Board of Trustee meetings held ten times a year. Trustees generally make a final decision at the time of the presentation and staff will typically notify applicants of their decision immediately.