Many Hands is pleased to provide answers to the following questions we received from potential applicants for the 2022 Grant Cycle.

Many Hands Funding

Q: I noticed that last year Many Hands gave grants for general operating support. I am reaching out to ask if Many Hands is seeking applicants that need general operating or program support? Or if an organization should apply for where it finds its greatest need?
A: Many Hands provides funding for general operating support, for specific programs, or for capital expenses. An organization should apply for what it determines is its greatest need. We do not have a preference for one type of request over another.

Q: What is the grant period after Many Hands announces its grant awards? What kind of reporting is required from grantees?
A: We provide the Many Hands grant in a single lump sum within a month of the grant announcement, after the grantee executes the Many Hands grant agreement. The grantee may choose to expend the funds over any period, consistent with the purpose for which the grant was made. In terms of reporting, Many Hands asks that, approximately one year after receiving the grant, grantees provide feedback on the impact of the Many Hands grant on their work, which may be done, at the grantees’ discretion, through a written narrative, a short video or in-person presentation, or an interview with Many Hands.

Population Served

Q: We would love to apply, but I do not think we are eligible because our students are not predominantly female. We believe that we serve families when we serve all of our students, but we tend to have more male students than female in any given year because most of our students are on the spectrum and more males are diagnosed as being on the spectrum. If the eligibility criteria allow for that, please let me know.
A: If your students are children or youth, then your organization serves the right population to be eligible for a Many Hands grant. We do not require that the children or youth served by a program be predominantly female. However, if you primarily serve adults and those adults are predominantly male, then your organization does not serve our target population.

Q: I am writing because we are interested in applying under the education category, but not all of our classes and workshops are for K-12 students. Our participants are ages 10-65, and more than three-quarters of our participants are over age 18. Our programming includes programs for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) and classes for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults. Our participants include people who use wheelchairs, people with vision or hearing loss, people with mobility issues, and people with a wide range of IDDs, including autism.
A: We require that our grant funds be used to serve women, children, and/or families in socioeconomic need. We do receive applications from organizations that do not exclusively serve our target population; in those cases, we ask that the organizations provide information showing that they can dedicate the funding primarily to women, children, and/or families. Sometimes, for example, an organization overall serves more men than women but seeks funding for a program that serves only women. That organization would be eligible. Other times, the organization’s programming serves, for example, 80% women and 20% men. That too would make an organization eligible.

Q: Is the Many Hands grant opportunity open to arts educators? As an arts academy serving youth, many of them historically underserved, are we eligible?
A: Our grants opportunity is open to arts educators. In terms of population served, our grant funds must be used to serve women, children, and/or families. A program serving exclusively youth would satisfy this criterion. Additionally, our grant funds would need to be used to serve a population in socioeconomic need.

National Organizations and Regional Organizations with Operations Outside the DC Area

Q: I wanted to ask about the requirement with regard to having a local board. We are physically based in the DC metro area and have a Board of Directors that is based in DC but also has oversight for our two programs located outside the DC area. The DC program and the non-local programs are all roughly the same size. Are we eligible to apply?
A: If you have a single board with oversight for all of your organization’s operations, then the board would not be considered a local board for purposes of our eligibility criteria. Although the overall organization’s board is located in DC, the DC operation would need its own board of directors — distinct from the board overseeing the non-DC-area operations.

Q: Many Hands’ grant requirements state that the organization must be located in the area. We are a national nonprofit that has recently expanded service into the DC area. A DC area resident has joined the organization’s board, and volunteer projects have been scheduled in the area. If we provide a local address may we apply for funding?
A: In order for the local affiliate of a national organization to be eligible for a Many Hands grant, it must have not only a local address, but also an independent budget and a local board of directors with fiduciary responsibilities.

Q: We are an affiliate of a national organization with a local advisory board. One of our advisory board members sits on our national board and has fiduciary obligations in that role. Is our organization eligible to apply?
A: Unfortunately, your organization is not eligible to apply. We require that the local affiliate board be a fiduciary, governing board, not an advisory board, even if one or more advisory board members also sit on a national fiduciary board.

Financial Statements

Q: Does Many Hands require that an organization have a formal audit or audited financial statements?
A: Many Hands does not require that organizations have audited financial statements.

Application Process

Q: Do we need a contact/champion connected with Many Hands to advocate for our application? If we don’t have such a contact, will we be at a significant disadvantage?
A: Applicants do not need any contact with a Many Hands member in order to apply. Each application is judged on its own merits. Applicants that have connections with Many Hands members are not given more favorable consideration or any “extra credit,” so to speak. In addition, members with close connections to applicants, as defined by our conflict of interest policy, are barred from serving on the Focus Area Committees that review those organizations’ proposals.