General Questions

 

Can our organization submit applications for both the $6,500 grant and the $50,000 grant?

Yes, you may apply for a grant at both levels of funding ($6,500 and $50,000). However, you must complete a separate application for each funding level.
 

Can our organization submit more than one application in the same grant category (i.e., two grants at the $6,500 level)?

No, your organization may only submit one application at each funding level.  For larger organizations (e.g., higher education institution), please coordinate your grant application through your grants officer to ensure only one grant is being submitted from your organization.

 

What happens if our organization accidentally submits an application in the wrong grant category (i.e., we completed an application for the nonprofit $6,500 grant, but we are a secondary school)?

Please be careful when completing your application. If you complete an application in the wrong category or at the wrong grant level, your application will not be considered for NobleCause funding.

 

Can I obtain a copy of the call for proposals?

Yes, a copy of the call for proposals (.pdf) can be downloaded here.

 

Can I obtain a copy of the application questions?

Yes, a copy of the application questions (.pdf) can be downloaded here.

 

Can I obtain a copy of the budget template?

Yes, a copy of the budget template (.xslx) can be downloaded here. Be sure to upload a completed budget template as part of your NobleCause application.

 

Can I obtain a copy of the Principal Support Form?

Yes, a copy of the principal support form (.pdf) can be downloaded here. If you are applying on behalf of a high school, be sure to upload a completed principal support form as part of your NobleCause application

 

Can I save and come back later to complete my application?

Yes, applicants can save a draft at any point and return to the form at a later time to complete it by logging into the NobleCause Grant Portal. To save the application, you must scroll to the bottom and click “save.”
 

Can I print a copy of my completed application for my records?

Yes, once you have completed the application, you may download a PDF of the application questions and responses for your records. At the top of the application page, click “Print Application Packet.”

 

I’m having trouble with the Grant portal - who can I contact for help?

Please send an email to NobleCause@noblehour.com and we will respond within 24 hours.

 

Is someone available to assist if we have questions?

If you have a question about completing the application, please contact NobleCause@noblehour.com.

 

We read that our organization can have NobleHour software free for a year. How do we get started?

Read on. We have attempted to answer all of your NobleHour questions in the NobleHour section of these FAQs.

 

NobleHour Questions

 

Does our organization have to purchase anything to apply for a grant?

No purchase is necessary. This grant is for advancement of the common good because our company believes every person can make an impact. All grantees will be required to track indicators of success related to their project. We believe in the value of NobleHour to manage this process, so we are providing it free of charge to all grantees.  However, your chances of being awarded a grant are NOT contingent upon you using NobleHour.  You may choose to track indicators of grant success using your own method.

 

What if we are already using another tracking tool?

No problem. You may use any platform to track indicators of grant success that you wish. There is no requirement to use NobleHour and there is no purchase necessary.

 

What if we already have NobleHour? Can we still receive a free year?

Absolutely. Individual grant recipients are all guaranteed to receive a free one-year license to use NobleHour.  If your organization is already one of our valued clients, we will work with you to determine your next renewal date, and your “free” year.

 

Can we preview NobleHour?

Absolutely. We encourage applicants to visit www.Noblehour.com at any time and sign up for a free account to see how your organization can connect people with opportunities, track projects and service hours, and generate comprehensive and powerful impact reports.

 

If we want to use NobleHour to track indicators of success for the NobleCause grant, what’s next?

Your organization can enter our simple onboarding process. Simply click on any “Demo” button found at www.Noblehour.com. We have a staff that is excited to assist you!  If you are awarded funding, we will work with you to schedule onboarding by August 1, 2016, so that you can track all involvement connected to your NobleCause project.

 

Eligibility

 

Who is eligible to receive a grant?

To be eligible to apply for funding, your organization must have been in existence for at least one year prior to August 2015, and must fall into one of these categories:

  • Grades 9-12 school and/or school district

  • Postsecondary institution

  • Non-profit organization with 501(c)3/public charity status

 

Are private schools eligible?

Yes, private schools with nonprofit status serving students in grades 9-12 are eligible to apply for and receive NobleCause grants.

 

What postsecondary institutions are eligible?

Institutions of higher education that are registered as a nonprofit organization are eligible.

 

Why do I need to upload a copy of my tax exempt status?

NobleCause awards grants for charitable purposes, and only to qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit, governmental, educational, and religious organizations. Uploading a copy of your organization's 501(c)3 statement ensures NobleCause has the documentation that verifies we have awarded grants appropriately.

 

What is a 501(c)3? How do I get one?

501(c)3 refers to the specific section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines a nonprofit organization. For more information on the Code and obtaining a 501(c)3 designation, contact the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Does NobleCause fund international initiatives?

NobleCause funding focuses on increasing volunteerism within the United States.    

 

What are examples of eligible activities?

While it is up to the applicant to provide a rationale for their project and requested level of funding, we have provided a few suggestions of the kinds of activities that might be funded at the $6,500 and the $50,000 levels:

 

Examples of eligible $6,500 activities:

  • A non-profit hosts a volunteer fair, connecting community members with opportunities to get involved locally.

  • A non-profit helps to recruit volunteers and host activities for an MLK Day of Service that impacts multiple agencies in the community.

  • A higher education institution sponsors an alternative break with students interacting with children/youth to increase literacy.

  • A high school class plants and maintains a community garden to alleviate hunger/food insecurity in their community and learn about sustainability.

  • A school sponsors a canned food drive; students learn about and educate their parents about local hunger.

  • A team of college students are recruited to build a playground in a low income neighborhood.

  • Volunteers are recruited and equipped to register more voters.

 

Examples of eligible $50,000 activities:

  • A school district wants to strengthen service-learning throughout district schools.  They intend to hold a one-day professional development event so teachers can learn about service-learning, about issues in their communities that could benefit from student engagement, and identify new activities they can lead. The district then hosts a competition where schools may compete for small grants to support their activities.  Those receiving the grants report to the entire district at the end of the year about activities they integrated into their classes and related outcomes.

  • A local agency “adopts” an impoverished school, working with the school’s administration to identify greatest needs to enhance the student experience and college aspirations. Volunteers may conduct a variety of activities throughout the year, such as tutoring/mentoring individual students, improving library holdings, hosting college information nights, building a community garden with students, and/or performing basic property maintenance.

  • The school or agency grantee works with a local housing agency to repair homes for those with limited incomes.  The funds are used to purchase building supplies, provide transportation to the building site, and host a meal with the families, students and agency volunteers.

  • In partnership with the local public library or a non-profit dedicated to community literacy, the grantee school or agency creates a mobile literacy lab to go out into the community.  Students can work one-on-one to teach parents how to read, or to hold on-site tutoring for children. Funds are used to purchase a vehicle and to retrofit it with computers, supplies and instructional materials.  The partnering organization commits to managing the program and maintaining the necessary insurance and equipment.  

  • A high school medical academy, postsecondary academic department, or non-profit work in partnership with local physicians to provide no-cost vision and hearing exams for children at Title One schools.  Funds are used to publicize the exams, ensure needed equipment is available, and to purchase eyeglasses and hearing aids.

  • A business department or academy partners with a women’s shelter to create a micro-grant program for young mothers at women's shelters. The recipients individually or in small groups use micro-grants to start their own businesses, with hopes of becoming financially self-sufficient.  Business students advise, manage and monitor the work.

  • A community theatre and school/university drama department work together to enhance literacy and love for reading by producing classic fairy tales. Elementary students with low literacy are invited to the performance, and given a book depicting the tale at the conclusion of the program. Funds are used to purchase costumes, staging items, and theatre expenses, as well as books for the attendees.

  • Students and agencies can partner with a neighborhood to improve the health of its citizens by building and stocking box gardens in the neighborhoods.  Volunteers work with local citizens to cultivate and harvest the crops.  Funds are used to purchase building materials for multiple box gardens, as well as seeds, soil, fertilizer, hoses.  Citizens have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the skills to maintain the garden long-term.

 

Budget and Use of Funding

 

Are there any funding restrictions?

NobleCause intends to further volunteer activity that addresses local issues and challenges. Grant dollars should not be applied to:

  • Benefits (i.e., all mandated federal and state/local payroll taxes, health, vision, dental, life insurance, 401K contribution) associated with salaries

  • Indirect costs including office and support expenses, overhead, administrative expenses, rent, and utilities

  • Capital purchases for the grantee, including computer hardware and software, furniture, office

  • Endowment funds

  • Payments of debts

  • Engaging in partisan political activities, or endorsing or participating in activities that include advocacy for or against political parties, candidates, or proposed legislation

  • Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes

  • Religious proselytization

  • NobleCause does not make grants to small businesses or individuals for any purpose

 

We are interested in using the money to support a capacity building activity like a volunteer management audit, evaluation of volunteer impact, or integration of volunteer mobilization into a strategic planning initiative. Can we apply to use the funding in this way?

We welcome you to submit applications that address these topics, but they may not receive preference during the application review process. NobleCause is committed to mobilizing real volunteers on direct service projects, so preference will be given to project-based applications.

 

May we include salary as part of the budget?

Up to 25% of grant funding may be applied towards the salary of the person who will administer your organization’s project. However, matching benefits will not be allowed.

 

Is there a match required?

You are not required to provide any match for the NobleCause grant. However, the budget spreadsheet asks you to identify all real costs for the project, dividing between what you are requesting from NobleCause, and what you will cover in other ways.  As you think through the real costs of the project, NobleCause reviewers will gain a better understanding of the full investment your organization is making to accomplish your goals.

 

Timeline
 

When are the NobleCause applications due?

All applications are due by midnight on December 6th, 2015. Any applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding.

 

When will we find out if our organization was selected as a grantee?

All applicants will be notified of their application status by the end of March 2016. $50,000 grant recipients will be publicly announced at the following events:

  • Nonprofit Grants: TBD

  • Secondary Grants: National Youth Leadership Conference - March 30-April 2, 2016 in Minneapolis, MN

  • Postsecondary: Campus Compact National Conference - March 22, 2016 in Boston, MA

 

How long does our organization have to use grant funds?

Projects funded by NobleCause can begin as soon as the money is awarded (April 15,2016). All funding must be used by the end of the grant cycle, April 30, 2017.  Any funding not used by the end of the grant cycle must be returned to the funder.