Eligibility

Many Hands supports organizations serving women, children, and families in socioeconomic need. Organizations that serve only men or primarily men are not eligible for funding.

Many Hands includes youth (ages 14–25) in its economic empowerment, health, and housing focus areas. The education focus area includes early childhood and K–12 students. For additional information, please visit the Focus Area page in the About section of the Many Hands website.

Many Hands does not define socioeconomic need by the Federal Poverty Level or any particular scale. We seek to help people in our communities that lack the basic resources or conditions that are necessary for wellbeing and equal participation.

Your organization is eligible to apply only if it has a local address, a local board of directors with fiduciary duties, and an independent local budget. A national/regional organization with a local advisory board, or an organization without an independent local budget, is not eligible for Many Hands funding.

No. We accept applications only from organizations that have been in operation for five years or more. We look forward to receiving your application once you have reached the five-year mark.

Yes. Many Hands supports eligible organizations with nonprofit fiscal sponsors.

No. Our budget requirements apply to the organization seeking funding, not a specific program or project that may be the subject of the funding request.

The budget requirements apply to an organization’s approved expenses for the current fiscal year and the actual expenses for the previous fiscal year. The level of reserves does not impact eligibility.

In-kind contributions (services, material, equipment, or labor) that would otherwise be paid by the organization’s budget may be included in the organization’s operating budget to meet the minimum budget requirement.

Yes. Organizations with in-kind contributions (services, materials, equipment, or labor) that cause the organization’s budget to exceed $6 million are eligible for Many Hands funding.

Yes, and we encourage you to apply again. Any organization that has not received funding from Many Hands may reapply for a grant. In addition, organizations that have received grants totaling less than $100,000 are eligible to apply after sitting out one grantmaking cycle. Only our $100,000 Impact Grant recipients and recipients of Partner Grants totaling more than $100,000 are ineligible to reapply for a Many Hands grant.

Funding Request

Many Hands provides unrestricted funding, which may be used for operating, program, or capital expenses consistent with a grantee’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Successful applicants will be able to describe how a Many Hands grant will have a timely impact on organizational and/or programmatic capacity that leads to an increased ability to help the intended beneficiaries.

Think of this simply as a brief “title” that helps reviewers. We are looking for a few words that summarize how a 2023 Many Hands grant would have a timely impact on your organizational and/or programmatic capacity in a way that leads to an increased ability to achieve your mission. For example:

  • Design and implement a new program that meets the needs of older women.
  • Hire staff to increase the number of children served by the XYZ program.
  • Improve program facilities by increasing accessibility.
  • Update technology and provide staff training.

Yes. We ask each applicant to designate the focus area that best fits the program for which it is seeking funding: economic empowerment, education, health, or housing. If we have questions about your selection of a focus area, we will contact you.

No. Many Hands recognizes that organizations sometimes support clients in multiple ways, but you must choose the one focus area that you think is the most appropriate for your organization.

Many Hands considers applications from eligible organizations that address needs in one of four focus areas: economic empowerment, education, health, and housing. For additional information, please visit the Focus Area page in the About section of the Many Hands website.

Yes. Reviewers want to understand how your organization assesses its success and effectiveness. This may be through data you collect and analyze, but it may also include staff observations, monitoring of progress toward specific goals, and/or feedback loops to identify what is working and what is not.

Many Hands seeks to make meaningful grants that will have an impact on grantees’ organizational or programmatic capacity in a way that leads to an increase in their ability to meet the needs of the people they want to help. Many Hands’ previous grantees comprise a wide range of organizations, programs, and populations served.

Process

The number of applications varies from year to year. For the 2021–2022 grant cycle, Many Hands received eligible applications in four focus areas: economic empowerment (22), education (34), health (27), and housing (25).

Many Hands will review your application to determine whether your organization meets all eligibility criteria, and will contact you if we have questions. We will notify all applicants about the outcome of the eligibility review by mid-January 2023.

Focus Area Committees comprising Many Hands members will review and discuss the merits of eligible proposals from January through early March 2023. You may be contacted by a committee member for more information during this process. Each Focus Area Committee will conduct up to five site visits in the spring, and final-round applicants will move to a due-diligence financial review. Funding decisions will be made by Focus Area Committees in May 2023. Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposals following each stage of review.

Congratulations! You will be asked to submit updated program/financial information and to prepare a brief presentation to the Many Hands membership. The full membership will then vote to select the recipient of the Many Hands $100,000 Impact Grant. Three grantees will each receive a Many Hands Partner Grant. Partner Grants vary in size depending on annual fundraising totals. In 2022, each Partner Grant was 67,000; in 2021, each Partner Grant was $72,500; and in 2020, each Partner Grant was $55,500.

Applications for the 2023 grant cycle must be submitted by Friday, November 18, 2022 at 11:59 pm.

No. Every year, applications for Many Hands funding are reviewed by teams of Many Hands members. Each review committee’s decisions reflect the unique priorities and perspectives that its members bring to Many Hands. Applications that were not successful in the past will be evaluated by different reviewers in the current grant cycle.

Technical

Grant applications must be submitted electronically using the Many Hands Foundant™ portal. All organizations must register and create an account to apply for a grant. You will be able to create your account beginning September 30, 2022, at 9:00 am. We suggest creating your account well in advance of the grant deadline to avoid any last-minute issues. Once you have created an account, you will be able to begin the application process, save in-progress applications, and easily upload required documents.

Getting Started

Click on the link to our online portal, which will be posted on the Many Hands website grants page from September 30, 2022, at 9:00 am, through November 18, 2022, and enter the following information:

  • An email address (This will be your username and user account ID.)
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization’s information, including EIN/Tax ID number
  • Contact information for the organization’s executive director

If you applied for a Many Hands grant after 2019, you have already created an account in Foundant, which you may continue to use. If you applied for a Many Hands grant prior to 2019, you must now create an online account.

Yes. Your account is unique to each funder, even if you use the same email address.

No. You cannot submit an application without creating an account.

You can reset your password here by clicking on the blue “Forgot your Password?” link.

Your account dashboard is displayed on screen every time you log in. From the dashboard, you can:

  • Edit your contact information.
  • Begin the application process.
  • Access application drafts and submitted applications.

We recommend Google Chrome 14 or higher, Safari 4 or higher, or Firefox 9 or higher. Users of other browsers or older versions of those listed above may experience minor technical issues.

No. Applications are only accepted via our online grants platform.

The Application

No. At the bottom of the application is a “Save as Draft” button. We recommend that you save your application often and before logging out. The system will autosave your work every 20 minutes.

Many of the application questions have character limits due to system requirements. The character limits (including spaces) are generous, and you should not find them restrictive. There is no expectation that you will reach the character limits. Many Hands reviewers value clear and concise “plain language” that is free from jargon.

No. We recommend that you complete your application in a Word document and copy and paste the responses into the online system. If you prepare your application in this way, be sure to keep track of character limits and note that any formatting is likely to be deleted when you paste your responses into the online system.

There are at least a couple of possible reasons:

  • If you stay on one page for an extended time without saving, your account may time out without warning.
  • A weak internet connection may momentarily disconnect your computer while you are working on the application.

As a safeguard, we recommend that you:

  • Save your application often.
  • Cut and paste your answers into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore your edits, try:

  • Reloading the page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of your page.
  • Logging out, waiting a few minutes, and then logging back in and re-opening your application.

No. Once your application has been submitted, we cannot accept any amendments or edits, even if the submission deadline has not passed.

If you would like a hard copy of your application for your records, log in to the application portal and click on Application Packet to create a PDF of your application. You can print or save this document. You will always have access to your application by logging back into the application portal, even after you submit it.

Attachments

The following attachments are required:

  • The resume or a description of the credentials and experience of the Executive Director.
  • A list of the organization’s board of directors, their principal affiliations, and their terms of service. Indicate those serving in leadership positions.
  • The organization’s most recent Form 990.
  • The organization’s current fiscal year operating budget, including revenue and expenses.
  • If the organization has a fiscal year end of December 31, the organization’s approved operating budget for fiscal year 2023.
  • Current year to date financial statements—including both a budget-to-actual income statement and a balance sheet.
  • The organization’s audited or reviewed financial statement (preferred) or unaudited financial statement for the last completed fiscal year. Many Hands requires both an income statement and a balance sheet.

All attachments must be submitted as PDFs (.pdf).

You should give each file a name that identifies your organization and the type of document it represents. For example, a file representing your financial statements for the previous fiscal year could be named “OrgName-FS FY2023.” Do not use any symbols except for a period or a dash; other symbols can interfere with the upload process.

No. You may only upload one document per question. Please combine multiple documents into one PDF prior to uploading. For example, if your financial statements (budget-to-actual income statements and balance sheet) are separate documents, combine them into a single PDF for upload into your application.

No. We only accept the requested attachments.

There are two ways to remove an uploaded file from an application:

  • Once the file has been uploaded, a Delete File button will appear beside the file name. Clicking this button will remove the file.
  • To replace the file, a new file can be uploaded in its place. Click on the Upload a File button to upload the correct file and replace the original one.

Yes. The size limit for attachments varies and is listed prominently on the online application. If your PDF file exceeds the maximum file size, use “Reduce File Size” in  Adobe Acrobat. If you are unable to reduce the size of your file as required, please contact us at grants@manyhandsdc.org for assistance.

If there are no symbols in the file name (other than a period or dash) and the file is of an approved type and size, try one or more of these suggestions:

  • Try saving a new, renamed version of the document.
  • Try saving your file as a different type. For example, if you tried to upload a Word or Excel document, try saving it as a PDF file and then uploading this version.
  • Try uploading from a different computer.

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