Reframing <Washington> Empowerment Fund

Application Process

The Weissberg Foundation is sensitive to overburdening grant applicants with an arduous application process. With that in mind, we have created a three-step process in the hopes of making the best use of time for applicants, the Foundation, and our reviewers.

  • Step 1
    Take the LOI eligibility quiz (see below) – this should only take a few minutes. If you answer “No” to any questions on the quiz, you are not eligible to submit a letter of intent (LOI).
  • Step 2
    If you answer “Yes” to all questions in the LOI eligibility quiz, precede to completing the online LOI by the September 22, 2017 deadline. Create an account in our online grantmaking platform and complete the LOI here.
  • Step 3
    If you are invited to submit a full online proposal, please do so by the October 23, 2017 deadline. (The Foundation will individually invite applicants to submit full proposals by October 2, 2017. Those not invited to submit proposals will also be informed of their status on this date.)

LOI Eligibility Quiz

Prospective grant applicants must be able to answer YES to ALL of the questions below in order to submit an LOI. If you answer NO to any of these questions, please do not submit an LOI.

  1. Is your organization located in Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and/or Washington, DC?
  2. Does your organization primarily serve residents in Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and/or Washington, DC?
  3. Do you have a specific strategy to address the social, political and economic inequities based on racism that exist in your community?
  4. Is your organization actively engaged in community organizing, civic engagement, and/or advocacy as part of your strategy for change?
  5. Is your organization’s annual budget $1.5 million or less? OR is the annual budget of your advocacy, organizing, and/or civic engagement program $500,000 or less?
  6. Does your organization primarily serve people of color, those most impacted by incarceration, immigrants, and/or refugees?

LOI Questions

LOIs should only be submitted if you answer YES to all of the LOI eligibility quiz questions. Below is a preview of the questions asked for the LOI. LOIs must be submitted through the Weissberg Foundation’s online grantmaking portal.

  1. Budget
    1. What is your organization’s annual operating budget for the current fiscal year?
    2. If you are applying for a program grant, what is the budget of your advocacy, organizing, and/or civic engagement program?
  2. Organization Background
    Please provide a brief history of your organization (e.g., when and why it was founded, what have been some major milestones) and your current vision and mission. (Character Limit: 3500)
  3. Strategy
    What are the major strategies you use in your work and how do they advance equity? (Character Limit: 3000)
  4. Outcomes
    What are the key outcomes you seek through your work? (Character Limit: 2500)
  5. Key Constituencies
    Who are the key constituencies you engage and serve? Please be as specific as possible in terms of demographics, geography, life experiences, etc. If you have members, how many? (Character Limit: 2000)
  6. Representation
    How is the community you serve represented on your staff, on your board, on your membership (if applicable), and/or in other leadership capacities? (Character Limit: 2000)
  7. Impact
    What are 2-3 recent accomplishments of your organization? (Character Limit: 2500)

Review Criteria

A panel of Foundation board and staff, along with individuals external to the foundation who have familiarity with issues related to the Empowerment Fund, will review and assess LOIs and full proposals.

Strong proposals will come from organizations that demonstrate:

  • Core commitment to advancing racial equity through their programs, operations, and governance
  • Key roles for and engagement of those closest to the issue(s) the organization seeks to advance
  • Intentional investments in developing the leadership capacity of constituents, staff, and board members
  • Deep knowledge of the issues the organization is working to address
  • Thoughtful strategies and tactics to advance the organization’s cause
  • Intentional approach to partnership and collaboration
  • Success in achieving goals and commitment to learning from both success and failure
  • Organizational health