A program of the Delaware COVID-19 Strategic Response Fund
Applications are now closed
*There will be no LOI process for this round of Vision Grants.
Read about past Vision Grantees.
Please visit www.delcf.org/grants for information about other grant opportunities.
Application (Sample only, must apply online)
Vision Grants Program Goals
- Purpose: To support interventions and initiatives that will address community challenges. The approaches should demonstrate boldness, innovation, and collaboration, and be moving beyond “business as usual” or the status quo. Applicants will be asked to articulate a future state for Delaware, and how the proposal will achieve that vision.
- Stage of Execution: This grant round will focus on Planning efforts, and may support efforts to:
- Build the capacity to innovate among organizations addressing social issues
- Create collaborative networks and promote scaling and sustainability of innovative programming approaches
- Design and test prototypes of promising, sustainable innovations
This Vision Grant opportunity is a fit for you if you and your partners have developed your idea and need support to create an implementation plan, complete with resource requirements, systems, legal, governance, and budget.
- Vision Grants: Will support building and designing implementable, sustainable plans, typically by funding a consultant to help the organizations develop a full plan. Grants will range from $20,000 to $30,000. Grants will not be given this round to support implementation.
- Funder Panels: Grantees will be invited to meet with a panel of funders (including the Vision Grant Council) to workshop their idea and gather feedback and input. The purpose of the panel is not to receive additional dollars in the immediate term; it is for the Vision grantee to gather feedback and begin building relationships for potential future funding.
The Strategic Response Fund Vision Grants Program seeks applications for innovative solutions to emerging and evolving needs arising from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications submitted to the Strategic Response Vision Grants program should identify investable strategies to strengthen the participating organizations’ ability to serve the community.
Applications will be evaluated based upon specific criteria, which will be defined in a rubric. Successful applications will:
- Be high-impact and outcomes-oriented, indicating how the client(s) or community will benefit.
- Be collaborative, in which two or more organizations align, join forces, consolidate, and/or leverage strategic alliances to better fulfill their missions (for-profit, government and nonprofit entities are eligible in this initiative). The Strategic Response Fund is not likely to invest in proposals that only involve one organization (e.g., internal reorganization/repositioning) or any short-term activity (e.g., partnering to organize a conference).
- Demonstrate how they will significantly improve measurable efficiency, quality, and effectiveness of systems/delivery models.
- Present innovative, systems or sector-changing initiatives.
- Define desired outcomes for the initiative.
- Have approval of boards of each organization.
- Have a lead organization with proven leadership, and a good governance plan that describes the organizations’ capacity to undertake the initiative.
- Define a concept that has merit that can be developed into an executable program/project.
- Define opportunities for sustained, long-term impact among partners and/or the community.
- Define how the Strategic Response Fund can play a catalytic role in the process.
- Where possible, be supported by evidence-based success stories and national best practices.
- Define opportunities and potential for serving as a model for other nonprofits and funders.
- An application must be submitted by a “Lead Organization” that will serve as the grantee for the initiative.
- The Lead Organization must be a 501c3 public charity, religious organization or government agency. Private and/or for-profit entities and agencies of other statuses may be partners, but they cannot serve as the Lead Organization.
- A Lead Organization must only submit one application in a given round.
Ineligible Use of Funds
The Vision Grants Program does not fund:
- Ongoing staffing, programmatic, operational, or capital costs of the organization(s).
- Program-level only collaboration that does not involve a fundamental shift in organizational service models. (e.g., a nonprofit that provides afterschool programming that works with a school is not likely to be awarded a Vision Grant).
- Grants directly to individuals.
- Political campaigns or lobbying activities.
- Proposals that exclusively serve religious purposes, although religious organizations providing non-religious community services will be considered.
- Capital expenses, unless they are key part of the transformative initiative.
- Previously incurred expenses.
The Strategic Response Fund’s Vision Grants Program seeks to invest in innovative solutions across a variety of topic areas that address the emerging and evolving needs arising from or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be seen, we know the challenges include high rates of unemployment, stresses on our healthcare system, a difficult small business environment, and diminished government and philanthropic dollars. Nonprofit and social sector organizations must rethink and reimagine how to be effective, equitable, and sustainable in providing services and programs. Communities will be best served if leaders respond to the challenges that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic by creating innovative solutions such as, but not limited to organizational efficiencies, improved service delivery models and frameworks, robust partnerships and collaborations, and enhanced use of technology.
The goal of the Vision Grants Program is to improve service to Delaware communities by helping organizations:
- Institute innovative approaches to address systemic issues that impact Delaware and that no one organization could solve independently. This could include for-profit/nonprofit joint ventures, public-private partnerships, coordination in a geographic area, and/or issue-area collaborations.
- Reposition and/or integrate services across multiple agencies where current operating models no longer fit or can be improved, creating catalytic impact on the partners’ capacity, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and financial health.
- Merge in cases in which two or more organizations can increase effectiveness, sustainability and better serve their constituencies by joining together than remaining separate.
Please email questions to Sarah Grunewald.