Beginning The Process
The first step in the proposal process is to determine if your organization is ready for foundation funding. We encourage you to complete the Organizational Readiness checklist.
Next, please discuss your project or program idea with Foundation staff. You may contact the Executive Director by telephone at 254.754.0315 or email. This can be a time-saver in determining whether a proposal fits within foundation guidelines, interests, and current priorities. Additionally, we can often help clarify plans and ideas and can offer advice on the preparation of a request. We know how precious time and resources are to nonprofit organizations, and we want to ensure that your time developing a proposal is well-spent. In other words – we don’t want to waste your time!
Letter of Inquiry and Application
If the proposed project fits within the Foundation’s basic guidelines based on the initial conversation with staff, organizations may be invited to submit an online Letter of Inquiry (LOI) prior to submitting a full proposal. LOIs will be considered by the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees at regularly scheduled board meetings, occurring monthly except in July and November.
If the Cooper Foundation Trustees decide that they would like to know more about your proposal, you will be invited to submit a full proposal through the online system. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not imply a guarantee or promise of funding, but merely sufficient interest in a program and that the Board of Directors would like more information so that they may evaluate whether the program meets the Foundation’s highest funding priorities.
Grant submission deadlines vary depending on the timing of the LOI and upcoming board meetings. Deadlines will be provided by the Foundation staff once an organization has been invited to submit the full proposal.
Action on a proposal may not necessarily be taken at the time of a board meeting, but may be delayed for additional investigation and consideration. Further discussion with the author of the proposal may be requested.
The Board and staff deeply appreciate organizations and individuals who strive to enhance our community and those who submit projects for potential funding, regardless of whether or not their project is funded.
Please note that exceptions for both LOIs and full proposals may be made for emergency requests.
We encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
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Applications are due on the third Thursday of every month and will be reviewed approximately three months later (e.g. if you submit your application in October, it will be considered at the January board meeting). Visit our grants page to learn more about the process of applying.