The Application Process
All LOIs are reviewed by our CEO and our program staff. If all agree that the project is a good match for The Eisner Foundation’s goals and objectives, the applicant is encouraged to submit a full proposal and the relevant application paperwork is provided. All proposals are then reviewed and preliminarily evaluated for eligibility by The Eisner Foundation again, with a new eye for specificity and a focus on our criteria for review and approval. If the proposal is still considered to be strong with a high potential for success, a site visit is scheduled.
No grant is approved without a site visit, even if the organization has received funding from The Eisner Foundation previously. That visit is usually jointly conducted by Foundation management and program staff. Subsequently, we prepare a recommendation on suitability of funding. All preliminarily-vetted proposals are forwarded to The Eisner Foundation board for review and possible approval. The Eisner Foundation board meets four times a year and LOIs are accepted year-round. Organizations that are declined must wait one full year before reapplying to the Foundation.
An Eisner Foundation grant to a nonprofit organization is not the last step of the process. In some ways, the writing of the check is only the first step in our work. Once the grant is approved and distributed, our relationship with the nonprofit partner truly begins.
At the conclusion of the year in which the group received its funding, grantees update us on the status and results of the gift. When grantees account for their programmatic results, they are more effective with our funding, are more likely to measure their own impact, and be more effective and efficient moving forward, whether we fund them again or not. This also allows us to assess our operations to determine if we are as efficient and effective as we ask our grantees to be. Assessing results allows us to learn from our grantees’ successes and challenges, and share that knowledge with others.