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FAQs

We can help you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

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Getting Started

Questions and Answers

Question
Who can apply for a grant?

Question
Do you have a letter of inquiry? Do we need to be invited to apply?

Answer

Yes, we do have a formal Letter of Inquiry process. All qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations located in or benefiting Oswego County are invited to apply. Organizations seeking grants or wishing to explore possible projects must contact us to discuss your organization and grant proposal before applying.

Question
Can I e-mail or fax my proposal?

Answer

No. Our grant applications are only available online. Please contact us if you have questions.

Question
How do I apply for a grant? What is the first step?

Answer

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) must be submitted via the Online Grant Application System by the appropriate LOI deadline. If the proposal meets the stated guidelines and priorities of the Foundation, the organization will be asked to schedule a meeting with the executive director and/or office administrator to further discuss the proposal.

If invited, a Grant Application must be submitted via the Online Grant Application System by the appropriate grant round deadline. Grant Application instructions will be sent to the applicant. Applicants will be notified immediately following a board meeting whether their application has been approved (and at what funding amount) or denied.

Question
When can my organization apply for a grant? When will we hear if our grant is approved?

Answer

Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The Board of Directors of the Shineman Foundation meets three times a year in April, July and November.

Question
Do you offer scholarships?

Answer

We do not offer scholarships at this time.

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The Application

Questions and Answers

Question
Do I have to complete my application all at once?

Answer

No. At the bottom of the application is a “Save as Draft” button. We recommend you save your application often and before logging out. You can log in at a later time to continue working on your application.

Question
Is there a spell check feature?

Answer

No. We strongly suggest that you cut and paste into Microsoft Word.

Question
Why are there character limits to the application questions?

Answer

There are limits on the amount of text you can submit. You will see a character counter displayed below the entry field. This will actively tell you how many characters you have entered and will let you know when you are approaching the limit. You will not be able to save a draft of your application if you exceed the character limit. You are not required to reach the character limit!

Question
What size is your typical grant? What is the minimum or maximum amount of grant size?

Answer

There is no minimum or maximum grant size.

Question
What time do I need to submit my application by?

Answer

All applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm (EST) on the day of the deadline. You will not be able to submit your application after that.

Question
What happens after we submit our grant application?

Answer

After you submit your grant, you will receive an email letting you know that your grant has been submitted and is pending review. If we require any additional information, we will contact you. Our Board of Directors will review your application at their next quarterly meeting. These meetings occur in April, July and November of each year. You will be informed of the decision shortly thereafter.

Question
What happens after our grant is approved?

Answer

You will receive a grant approval letter shortly after your grant is approved with payment information, terms and conditions, and instructions for completing the online grant agreement. We will also discuss with you what type of publicity would be appropriate for the grant.

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Attachments

Questions and Answers

Question
What file formats will be accepted for attachments?

Answer

We prefer that you attach files in a PDF format (.pdf). We will also accept files in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx).

Question
How should I name my files?

Answer

You should give each file a name that identifies your organization and the type of required document it represents. For example, a file representing your budget for the previous fiscal year could be name “OrgName-budget FY2012.” Do not use any symbols except for a period or a dash, as symbols can interfere with the upload process.

Question
Is there a size limit for file attachments?

Answer

The maximum size for all attachments varies. If your attachment is larger than the allotted space, please contact us for assistance at info@shinemanfoundation.org or (315) 3216-6644.

Question
I do not have the required attachments in electronic form. Can I make other arrangements to deliver them to you?

Answer

No. The online system will not allow you to submit your application unless you attach the required materials. If you do not have the documents electronically, you can scan the information into a PDF file. You can also use the “Fax to File’ option located under ‘Tools” section to the left of your application. Follow the instructions.

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Finance & Budget

Questions and Answers

Question
What does “fiscal year start and end dates” mean?

Answer

The term “fiscal year” refers to the twelve-month period or financial calendar that your organization uses. The start and end dates of the fiscal year can vary from organization to organization. Your accounting staff, board treasurer, or bookkeeper should be able to tell you when your fiscal year starts and ends.

Question
We’re a start-up with no financial history. How do we complete the financial section of the grant application?

Answer

Estimate the amount of in-kind support and volunteer hours your organization has received; include either actual or projected operating budget for the next year.

Question
What is “in-kind” support?

Answer

In-kind support means items or services that are provided for your project at no cost, and items that your organization will contribute to the project. For example, if a consultant has agreed to provide free services for the project, you should list the fee that s/he would normally charge for the same service. The dollar amount you list here should be the actual or estimated cost of obtaining the same item/service.

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Troubleshooting

Questions and Answers

Question
Help! Why did I lose my edits?!

Answer

There are a few common reasons why this can happen:

  • If you stay on one page for an extended period of 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 application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore your edits, try:

  • Re-loading your internet page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of your page.
  • Logging out, wait a few minutes, and then log back in and re-open your application.

Question
Why am I having problems uploading files?

Answer
  • Double check that there are no symbols in the file name, the file type and size are OK, then try one or more of these suggestions:
  • Sometimes the problem can be a corrupt file. Try saving a new, renamed version of the document.
  • Try saving your file as a different type. For instance, if you tried to upload a (.pdf) file, try uploading the original Word or Excel version of this document. If it is a Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx) document, try saving it as a (.pdf) file and then uploading this version. If you scanned a document to create a (.jpg) file, try saving it in a (.pdf) format instead.
  • Use a different computer to do the upload

Question
How do I print my application for my records?

Answer

If you would like a paper copy of your application for your own records, log in to the application portal and choose the Application Packet link. This will 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.

Question
Who can I contact with questions? What if I have questions about how to complete the grant application?

Answer

Please email Penny Halstead, Office Administrator of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. Penny@shinemanfoundation.org. For further contact information, click here.