Grant Application Process

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation awards grants to eligible tax-exempt organizations serving greater Indianapolis, Indiana, in our three focus areas: Education, Health, and the Vitality of Indianapolis. Learn more about how to become a grantee below, or contact us for more information.

STEP 1: GRANT ELIGIBILITY

We support organizations that are classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under section 509(a)(1), (2), or (3) of the Code, or to public organizations that are designated under section 170(c) of the Code. We do not support certain Type III 509(a)(3) Supporting Organizations, as prohibited by the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, we do not make grants to any individuals, nor do we consider grant requests for initiatives outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. For a list of other restrictions, please refer to the Grants FAQ.

STEP 2: DETERMINE FIT

Review our focus areas, and list of previous grants to determine whether your organization, program, or project aligns with the Foundation’s current funding priorities. If you determine that your request aligns closely with our focus areas, please proceed to Step 3.

STEP 3: FUNDING INQUIRIES

Inquiries provide our staff with information about your organization, program, or project, and overall alignment with the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation. Inquiries may be submitted at any time during the year and are reviewed on a continuous basis by Foundation staff. The Foundation’s staff welcomes the opportunity to meet with prospective grantees; however, we often prefer to wait until after receiving an inquiry to determine whether a meeting would be useful for both the requestor and the Foundation. We value your time and our own, and we aim to minimize the time required to submit an inquiry as much as possible.

If you are interested in learning if your organization, program, or project matches the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation’s current funding priorities, you may contact us by telephone, email or brief written letter of inquiry. Please note that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Once an inquiry has been received, Foundation staff may conduct further due diligence, including but not limited to a site visit, follow-up meetings, and program or financial assessment. Following review of your inquiry, Foundation staff will contact you to inform you whether your organization has been invited to submit a proposal. We make every effort to respond to inquiries in a timely fashion.

Inquiries may be submitted to Sarah Sullivan, Program Officer, via telephone, email or brief written letter.

Please send letters to:

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
211 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 2500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Sarah can also be reached at (317) 663-4190 or Sullivan@rmff.org. You are welcome to call or email with questions prior to submitting your inquiry.

Download Inquiry Submission Guidelines

STEP 4: SUBMIT A PROPOSAL

Following careful review of an inquiry, an organization may be invited to submit a proposal. Please do not submit a proposal unless you have been requested to do so by Foundation staff. The Foundation recognizes the considerable effort required to write a proposal and would like to determine alignment between a potential grantee and the Foundation’s current funding priorities before requesting a proposal.

If you have been invited to submit a proposal, Foundation staff will share specific proposal guidelines and assign a due date for submission. In addition, we recommend reviewing the attached general proposal submission guidelines and checklist.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

Proposal Submission Checklist

STEP 5: BECOME A GRANTEE

Foundation staff will notify you when your proposal will be presented to the Board of Directors and when to expect a funding decision. The Board of Directors approves grants four times a year, at Board meetings held quarterly. Applicants are typically notified of final funding decisions within one business day of a scheduled Board meeting. Meeting dates vary from year to year.