Grants FAQs

What is TPC’s funding source?
Our members! TPC has two levels of membership: young philanthropists (those 35 and younger) contribute $500 to our grant pool (with an additional donation of $75 to help defray mission-related expenses) and women over 35 contribute $1,000 (with an additional $175). Each year, this entire pool of money is divided into up to 10 equal grants awarded to local non-profits selected via our collective process.

To read more about how collective giving works, go to

What is TPC’s grant-making process?
TPC members volunteer to participate in the grant review process. Volunteers are organized into six to eight person Grant Review Teams, and three Team leaders are appointed: a Captain, a Deputy, and a Finance Lead responsible for evaluating an applicant’s financial statements.

These Team leaders participate in training sessions focused on TPC’s rigorous and systematic grant evaluation process. Afterwards, each Grant Review Team is allocated a set of Letter of Intent (LOI) applications to evaluate. Based on the information provided in these applications, each Team determines which organizations will be invited to submit a Full Proposal. Teams evaluate these Full Proposals and choose which organizations will be asked for Site Visits. At the completion of these Site Visits, Teams recommend which organizations will be placed on TPC’s ballot for all members to vote upon in May. Each member casts one vote, regardless of her age and financial contribution, and applicants with the most votes receive grants. The new grantees are announced and have the opportunity to meet our members at our Annual Meeting, which will be held on for the current grant cycle.

Can I still apply to TPC if I do not meet all the criteria listed here?
We love to learn about organizations that are doing good work. However, due to the large number of qualified applicants that we receive each year, we must be consistent in applying eligibility criteria and we cannot accept applications that do not meet them.

Are TPC grants limited to organizations providing services for women only?
No. TPC funds programs and organizations serving all people, not just women.

If my organization has received a TPC grant in the past, may we apply again?
Current grantees in their second year of a TPC grant are not eligible to apply for a third consecutive year of funding. They may apply again after two years off. All other past grantees are eligible.

How will I know my completed application was received?
Each applicant receives an email confirming that its application was received. Application form will allow for the executive director’s email and an additional contact’s email. Those emails will receive the submission receipt.

May a grantee use grant funding for a different program or project than it indicated during the application process?
No. A grant may be used only for the purpose stated in the grant application as per the terms of the formal agreement signed by The Philanthropy Connection and the grantee.

May an organization submit more than one grant proposal? No.

May an organization apply the next year to continue the grant?
Yes. An organization may apply to be funded by TPC two years in a row provided the organization has complied with all conditions of the initial grant.

Will my organization have a dedicated contact at TPC if we receive a grant?
Yes. Through the TPC Liaison Initiative, each grantee will have a team of two members who serve as its main points of contact with TPC. A TPC Liaison will contact you within the first quarter of your grant award to schedule a time to meet with you and your team. At this introductory meeting, you will learn more about TPC and we will learn more about your organization. We also encourage you utilize our liaison program stay in touch with the broader TPC membership throughout the year. Liaisons will be in touch with you to invite you to participate in 1-2 events, publicize a “wish list” to our membership and publicize your events on our social media. Past recipients have found volunteers, donors and board members through this continued exposure.

If my organization receives a grant, will we be required to communicate periodic status updates to TPC?
Grantees are expected to meet with their TPC Liaison at the middle and end of the grant year to discuss the program’s status, how you have used the grant relative to your planned expenditure, factors leading to success, the impact of our grant on your community and obstacles encountered. In addition, your organization will be required to submit a written interim and final report, the requirements of which are spelled out in Section II of the Grant Letter Agreement.

Are there additional ways that TPC members can get to know more about our organization and vice versa?
Yes. Along with attending your organization’s annual fundraiser and/or gala as specified in the Grant Letter Agreement, there are several ways for us to learn more about one another. TPC Liaisons facilitate this interaction and connect grantees to the larger TPC Board and membership. Grantees seeking volunteers and other support will have the additional opportunity to share their organizational priorities with TPC members through mechanisms such as our newsletter and speaking engagements. In addition, TPC would wholeheartedly welcome invitations to attend other events held at your organization during the year.


Questions about Financial Documentation and Reporting

What financial information must be submitted with our application?

For the LOI application:
Organizations must include the following with their LOI application:

1) 501(c)(3) status letter OR Fiscal Sponsor agreement letter

2) First page of the most recent IRS Form 990 OR letter from the Fiscal Sponsor certifying the applicant’s revenue, including only that which would be reported on the Total Revenue line of IRS Form 990

3)  Most recently filed Massachusetts Form PC (for 501c3 organizations only)

For a full proposal from a 501(c)(3) organization:
1) Form 990 (with all IRS-required attachments) for the last fiscal year;

2) Certified Financial Review or Audit (with all notes) for the last two fiscal years;

3) Year to Date Actual vs. Budget for current fiscal year; and

4) List of grants over $2,500 with their amounts and terms for the last two fiscal years.

For a full proposal from an organization with a Fiscal Sponsor:
1) Income Statement for the last two years;

2) Balance Sheet for the last two years;

3) Year to Date Actual vs. Budget for current fiscal year; and

4) List of grants over $2500 with amount and terms for the last two years.

We look forward to learning about your organization. If you have a question not answered in the FAQs above, please email