The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina invests in organizations that are committed to serving individuals and families in South Carolina who are living in poverty. Whether our funding goes toward supporting a meal delivery program acting as a lifeline to seniors living in rural areas or a financial literacy program designed to lift families out of poverty through home ownership, we believe that a holistic, intentional, and multi-faceted approach to the complex issues faced by those living in poverty in our state allows us to do our part in supporting organizations committed to our mission.
While there are several grant opportunities that are only available by invitation, we also offer grants that are open to any 501 (c) 3 organization serving individuals and families in poverty in South Carolina.
Please review the information below to determine if your organization is eligible for funding, what category you should apply for, how to apply, and what to do after you apply. If you still have questions, please contact us to discuss funding opportunities.
Before You Apply
The Foundation invests in organizations that meet the needs of people living in poverty– either directly or indirectly. To determine if your organization should apply for funding from the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, explore our website thoroughly to ensure compatibility with our mission, purpose, and funding history.
The Foundation considers grantmaking to be an investment in organizations helping families live out of poverty. Therefore, the goal is to invest in strong, well-run organizations that are clear about what results they will achieve and how the results will be measured. In order to apply, you must be a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit.
If you are an established nonprofit who is using best practices to address root causes of poverty and/or proven methods to try to break the cycle of poverty with your programming, you should apply for Community Enrichment.
If you are a grassroots organization and/or you are providing direct services to meet fundamental needs of the underserved (including but not limited to food, clothing, housing, and transportation) you should apply for Caritas.
If you are a strong nonprofit organization whose work aligns with our mission and our Immigrant Families Initiative, you should apply for an Immigrant Families Initiatives grant
Contact us if you are still unsure of what category your program fits into.
No. The Foundation does not offer concurrent funding across grant categories for any organization within the 12-month calendar year. However, each grant category has a unique application deadline: thus, if you apply for a grant in one category but are declined, you may (provided you are eligible) apply for another category within the same calendar year.
Caritas grants are awarded to organizations dealing with the immediate effects of poverty. Community Enrichment programs address causes of poverty and possible solutions. Click on the link to the pages below dedicated to each category to understand the intentions of funding for each and where your organization might fit.
The Foundation will support general operating costs for programming. We prefer not to fund administrative salaries or new positions.
Not at this time.
Applying for Grants
You may apply online through our website. You will first be asked to complete an eligibility questionnaire, and then you will be able to create a profile for your organization’s application. In some cases, we will also accept a hard-copy application postmarked by 11:59 PM on the deadline date. If you must submit a hard copy, please contact the us to let them know you are doing so.
- A strong grant application answers all questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. There is rarely an instance in which an applicant provides “too much” information.
- Your application should provide a strong connection between the Foundation’s mission, the purpose of your proposed program, and the methods you intend to use achieve your desired results.
- Programs considered for funding are using best practice models to inform their design and implementation and provide citations within their application when relevant.
- A strong application will provide both qualitative and quantitative data, clear and measurable goals, and detail a commitment to the population you are serving.
- A key part of the application review focuses on participant voices. A strong application will illustrate that there is thoughtful consideration of service recipients’ thoughts and their feedback in design and implementation of programming.
- Additionally, evidence of partnerships with other nonprofits, businesses, faith organizations, and government entities as well as details of other funds applied for are illustrative of a program with potential for success.
- Finally, a strong application will give a clear picture of how the funding requested will be used by your organization by detailing specific program costs and how they relate to the proposed project.
Typically, the Foundation is not the sole supporter of programs and we cannot fund more than half of the program’s cost. Having other funding partners is considered to be positive both from a financial standpoint and collaborative standpoint.
Applications are reviewed by our staff and Board of Trustees. We may contact you or any of your partners during our review process.
- Caritas applications are due on or before the first Tuesday of April and the first Tuesday of October.
- Community Enrichment pre-applications are due before 11:59 PM first Tuesday in May. If invited to submit a full application, you will be notified of the subsequent deadline.
- Immigrant Families Initiative grant pre-applications are due on or before 11:59 PM on March 1st, 2017. Applicants will be notified on or before March 15th, 2017 if they are invited to submit a full application. For those invited to submit a full application, the full application will be due on or before 11:59 PM on April 14th, 2017.
If I submit a pre-application for Community Enrichment and we are invited to submit a full proposal, does that mean our organization is likely to be funded?
There are no guarantees of funding if your organization was selected to submit a full application. This selection only means that your organization and project met the basic requirements for consideration, not an assurance of being funded.
There is no “limit” to awards, but generally Caritas awards are less than $7,500, Community Enrichment Awards average close to $20,000 each, and Immigrant Families Initiative awards range between $10,000-$15,000. The two most important considerations when deciding how much to request:
- Is the request proportional to your organizational budget? A request is unlikely to be considered if the grant exceeds 10% of your organization’s entire budget.
- Is the program cost justifiable? Provide as much information as possible about the specific budget breakdown for the requested grant funds (not just the actual costs but also how they relate to the overall program goals).
Applications are thoroughly reviewed and approved by staff and board members. Please allow up to three weeks after the application deadline for a response. You will receive a response either declining your request, inviting you to submit a full application (in the Community Enrichment or Immigrant Families Initiative category), or notifying you that your organization will receive funding.
You may check the status of your request by emailing us, but please know that we will contact you when a decision has been made or if we need further information.
If my application is declined, will you provide a reason why it was rejected or critique the proposal?
Unfortunately, due to the large volume of grant applications, it is not feasible for the Foundation staff to discuss with applicants the reasons for declining a request or to provide individual critiques of proposals we decline. The Foundation receives a much larger amount in requests than is available to fund. This may mean that we may have a field of numerous worthy projects, even ones that fall within our areas of interest that may not be funded. A declination of your proposal does not mean that the project lacks merit.
Yes. Simply because you did not receive funding does not mean that your organization or project will never be considered. If you did not meet the requirements for Community Enrichment, you may be eligible for a Caritas grant. Please contact the us if you would like to apply for Caritas but are unsure if your organization qualifies.
You may re-apply as soon as you would like for the next grant deadline in the category you choose to pursue.
If you receive funding, you will sign a memorandum of understanding that indicates you will spend grant funds on the proposed project within one year of the award. If you are funded you will receive a grant agreement and will be asked to submit mid-year progress reports and a final year-end report both of which include financials. We may also schedule a site visit to learn more about your work.
You may apply for funding again that would be received twelve months after your current grant was awarded. There is no required “inactive” time between grants.