Frequently Asked Questions
The Foundation awards grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies working to improve the health and wellness of the people of Spartanburg County. Agencies that are located outside of Spartanburg County may apply if the proposed project will benefit primarily the residents of Spartanburg County.
Like other private foundations, the Mary Black Foundation is ethically and legally bound to spend a minimum of 5% of our total assets on charitable activities, including grants. The Foundation’s goal is to fund as many high-impact projects as possible while continuing the legacy of the Foundation to benefit our community for the long-term. The annual grants budget depends significantly on the Foundation’s investment returns.
Grants funded through the Foundation’s two focus areas, Early Childhood Development and Healthy Eating | Active Living, vary greatly with an average size of $70,000. The average size grant funded through the Community Health Fund is $20,000. Grants outside of these ranges are awarded depending on the focus of the grant cycle or the size and scope of the proposal.
Award sizes are influenced by the amount of funds that the Foundation has available for new grant commitments.
The Foundation does provide multi-year funding depending on the specific grant request. We encourage you to reach out to the Foundation for guidance on available grant funding.
The Foundation would prefer to fund direct costs, including realistic projections of overhead costs. However, when the Foundation commissions a substantial research project requiring the use of significant institutional infrastructure or resources (e.g., space, computer technology, laboratories or sophisticated equipment, library or accounting services), the Foundation may provide up to five percent of the total direct costs for the reimbursement of direct costs (i.e., institutional administrative support expenses). To read the Foundation’s Indirect Cost Policy, click HERE.
The grant review process takes approximately 75 days. Once a grant is approved, generally, grant funds are available within 15 – 30 days.
Yes, there may be times when the Foundation has multiple grant cycles in a single year and approves funding for a new project to an organization that has already received funding for a different project.
No, if an organization has multiple projects for which it needs funding, the organization should determine its priorities and how the projects align with the Foundation’s mission and focus areas.
Yes, if the preschool program is operated by an eligible 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or governmental agency. To apply for funding, child development, child care, or preschool programs must (1) be licensed or registered by the SC Department of Social Services, (2) participate in SC’s ABC Quality program, and (3) participate in Spartanburg’s Quality Counts initiative.
The Foundation prefers that individual schools not apply directly. However, schools are encouraged to talk with their district superintendent about the needs of the school. Superintendents should determine if the needs are a priority for the district and whether the request for funding is appropriate.
If you receive a grant, you will be required to participate in site visits throughout the grant period and to submit mid-term and final evaluation reports, including data to demonstrate the results of your efforts.
The Mary Black Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations for the following:
- General Operating Support – to cover day-to-day activities and ongoing expenses.
- Programs & Services – activities directly targeting individuals to achieve specific results.
- Policies & Places – activities to change or modify policies or to create new or improved places that increase opportunities for the residents of Spartanburg County.
- Planning & Capacity Building – to plan for or study future projects or to implement efforts that improve the capacity of the organization to achieve results.
The Mary Black Foundation makes an effort to minimize sponsorships so that it can use its resources to provide direct assistance to nonprofit organizations through grants and organizational capacity building efforts. However, on a very limited basis, the Foundation will sponsor events or conferences.
Click HERE to learn more about sponsorship guidelines.