Frequently Asked Questions

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust grant priorities

What are the Trust grant guidelines?
The Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children, youth and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life primarily in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix. The Trust’s grant guidelines are reviewed and updated annually. See the current guidelines.
Will the Trust provide operating support?

The majority of the Trust’s grants are for programmatic support, but the Trust will consider operating support for former Trust grantees that can document major changes in income generation that threaten their future existence.

Will the Trust provide capital (building and endowment) support?

The Trust will consider capital support for organizations that seek immediate capital improvements to continue or expand services. The Trust will occasionally award grants for capital campaigns, either for building or endowment purposes, but such grants are rare and are generally limited to Trust grantees that have received multiple grants from the Trust.

What is the grant size range?

There is no set range; however, the majority of the Trust’s grants are less than $250,000.

How to be considered for a grant

Why do we have to contact a Trust program officer prior to submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI)?

Trust staff members look forward to the opportunity to discuss your potential funding request. Such discussions will allow Trust staff to determine the viability of the funding request, and it will also improve your ability to generate a proposal that is a strong fit with our guidelines or current priorities.

How far in advance should I contact a Trust program officer prior to submitting an LOI?

The earlier you make contact, the better. However, the minimum timeframe is at least two months prior to the application deadline posted on the Trust’s website.

If two organizations are collaborating on a project, should each organization submit a separate application?

No. Only one organization should submit the application, but a letter of collaboration from the other organization should be included.

Our organization received a grant last year; may we apply for another one this year?

Generally, the Trust must have received and reviewed your post-grant evaluation report before your organization is eligible to apply for a new grant. Consult a Trust program officer for further guidance.

Does an organization need its own 501(c) (3) status?

We prefer that an organization have its 501(c) (3) determination letter from the IRS. However, there may be instances where another organization has agreed to serve as a fiscal sponsor. In such instances, a letter stating this agreement between organizations and the reason for the fiscal sponsor arrangement must be submitted with the application.

What if an organization has applied for 501(c) (3) status but has not received its ruling?

An organization must have its preliminary ruling letter from the IRS prior to submitting an application unless it is submitting under a fiscal sponsor arrangement, as discussed above.

Who makes the final decisions on grant requests, and where do these people live?

The Trust’s three-person board of trustees make final funding decisions. The staff presents recommendations to the trustees for consideration. Two of the trustees have homes in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area and the third trustee resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Does the Trust make multi-year grants?

Most of the Trust’s grants are one-year grants, but the Trust does award multiyear grants, depending upon the amount of funding and the purpose of the request.

Will the Trust accept an application from local chapters of national organizations?

Yes, if the funds requested are used within the local community and the entity has an independent governing body that is responsible for funding and governance in the greater Indianapolis or Phoenix area. An example of this kind of organization or group is a local affiliate of the American Red Cross.

Will the Trust accept an application from government programs and/or agencies serving the mission of the Trust?

Only by rare exception will the Trust fund organizations that are government agencies. Consult a Trust program officer for further guidance.

Will the Trust accept an application from public schools?

Only by rare exception will the Trust consider an application from K-12 public schools supported through public funds, which includes charter schools. Further, the Trust will accept an application only if authorized by or submitted by the school district’s central office, and the Trust will accept only one application per year per school district. The Trust will not fund individual schools, nor will it support requests for buildings and equipment or for general operating purposes.

Will the Trust accept an application from private independent schools?

Only by rare exception will the Trust consider an application from K-12 private and/or tuition-based schools. Further, the Trust will accept an application only if authorized by or submitted by the school’s central governing body. In all instances, the applicant must have its own IRS Section 501(c) (3) determination letter. The Trust will not support requests for buildings and equipment or for general operating purposes.

Will the Trust accept an application from religious organizations?

The Trust does not support sectarian religious activities or sectarian religious facilities. However, churches and other religious organizations may submit an application if their activities benefit the larger community and decisions to accept clients are not made on the basis of religious belief and/or affiliation. An example is Lutheran Social Services.

Grant submission process

May I submit a hard copy application to the Trust?

No. The Trust only accepts applications submitted electronically through its website.

General questions

Will the Trust fund partial amounts of the full amount requested?

Yes. Because of limited funds, the Trust will consider offering a grant in an amount less than requested.

Do naming opportunities give an organization a better chance for funding?

No.