Q: What types of organizations does the Simmons Foundation fund?
A: The Simmons Foundation provides grant money to eligible 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations, or to agencies of the government or its subdivisions, for projects which serve the needs of the community. It especially welcomes requests for seed money and innovative projects which provide services to under-served populations and which show some kind of multiplier effect for its grant moneys.
Q: What types of grant requests are NOT eligible for funding?
A: The Simmons Foundation cannot grant funds to organizations without a 501(c)(3) certificate (although such an agency may apply under the authority of an approved non-profit if that non-profit is willing to accept responsibility for control and review of any granted funds.) It also cannot give funds to or in behalf of a specific individual. It usually, although not always, turns down requests for general annual fund campaigns, major capital campaigns, support for on-going salaries or general operating funds, limited, local projects best handled by local community support, and projects which do not benefit Maine residents.
Q: Are past grants indicative of the types of grants toward which the Foundation leans?
A: Grant requests come in cycles, and many people only apply for funding if they see a Charitable Foundation fund similar grant types. However, the Simmons Foundation is always looking for innovative projects and programs which meet the needs of those who are missed by other organizations, or which offer a better, more efficient way to provide services.
Q: When must an application be submitted?
A: Grant requests are accepted until 5PM on October 15th and May 15th for the Foundation’s November and June meetings, respectively. All required materials must be received on or before 5PM on those dates. Grant requests received after 5PM on those dates will be held over for the next meeting. Grants are usually distributed within thirty (30) to sixty (60) days after a meeting.
Q: How do we apply?
A: Go to the Application Process page, read the information provided, complete the Application Form, and submit it to the Foundation. You must also submit the additional forms and documents listed on that page. If you are unable to send everything electronically, you may send all of some of your documents by regular ground mail.
Q: Do we need to file a Grant Completion Report?
A: Yes. We ask you to file a Grant Completion Report within 6 months of completing your project, or within a year of receiving the grant if the project is ongoing. Just go to the Completion Report page on this site for more information.
Q: Can we request funds for multiple years?
A: Although most grant requests are for a year or less, we have done some grants over multiple years. Many organizations will also apply for new or similar projects over different years. While we look at these applications as new requests, we don't want non-profits to rely on just our funding for projects. Sometimes we will fund additional projects, sometimes we'll skip some years, and sometimes we will grant a reduced amount in future years. Again, organizations should never come to rely upon multiple year funding at similar levels.
Q: How can we get more information?
A: Contact our Clerk, Timothy Benoit, Esq., c/o Perkins/Thompson, P.O. Box 426, Portland, ME 04112, telephone (207) 774-2635.
Q: When will we know if our request is approved?
A: Usually, we send out approval or rejection letters within a month of our meetings. Sometimes, a Trustee may contact an applicant for further study or clarification.
Q: When are approved funds released to grantees?
A: Depending upon the market, our funds come in several times per years. Most funds are released within 1 to 2 months, and we try to expedite those requiring immediate assistance