Frequently Asked Questions About GAR’s New Strategies & Application Process

June 11, 2018

What are GAR’s new strategies?
Please take a moment to read the update we shared in June, 2017 to understand the background and then read about our new areas of focus on our What we Fund page.

How do I know if my organization is a fit with GAR’s new strategies?
– First, look at your most recent grant award agreement from GAR Foundation. If it indicates that this is a final grant, that means your organization or that particular program is no longer a fit with our strategy.

-Second, read our application templates to see what will be asked on the applications.  If you are unable to answer the very specific questions we ask on the application, your program is most likely not a fit.

-Interested nonprofits who think they may be a fit in our new strategies should review our areas of focus, eligibility requirements and submit a Letter of Inquiry. 

The program GAR has funded me for in the past does not fit within your new strategies, but my organization has a new program that is a fit. How can I get a grant for that?

If you are still unsure whether to submit an LOI, contact jcherok@garfdn.org or 330.576-2915.

I received a grant award letter from GAR indicating that it was a final grant. Now what?
This means that the work of your organization is no longer a fit with our strategy.

My request is for a school-based program outside of Akron Public Schools, do I qualify for a grant?
Schools outside of the Akron Public Schools District only qualify for our Educator Initiative Grant programs.

What does “sustained interactions” mean as it relates to the K-16 strategies?

o 15 or more total hours over at least 4 weeks for summer programs
o 20 or more total hours over at least 9 weeks for all other programs, such as in-school enrichment experiences

Here’s an example for a summer program:

Sustained interaction: Program A meets on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm (4 hours); the program lasts four weeks. Participants would have 16 hours of interactions.
Unsustained interaction: Program B meets three times a week for one hour (3 hours); the program lasts four weeks. Participants would have 12 hours of interactions.

Is GAR putting fewer grant dollars out into the community this year?
No! GAR made over $6 million in grants to the community in 2017, which is even with our grants in 2016.

How can I schedule a face-to-face meeting with GAR to talk about my organization’s programming?
At this time, we are not scheduling any face-to-face informational meetings with organizations. We hope you will understand that this isn’t a statement against our community’s great nonprofit organizations. Rather, we have a very small staff and we know that we do not have the ability to offer a face-to-face meeting to every organization. We therefore think that fairness dictates we can’t offer such a meeting to any organization. We appreciate your understanding.

How can I get my organization-specific questions answered?
Contact jcherok@garfdn.org or 330-576-2915.

Is GAR’s funding under the new strategy targeted solely to programs in Akron or will you fund work in Greater Akron?
With our push for deeper impact in our home community of Akron, we will target the vast majority of our grant dollars to work focused on the City of Akron. The geographic location of your organization is not the deciding factor. The critical question is whether your work is delivered in and benefits the residents of the City of Akron. Note: The Educator Initiative Grant program will continue to support teacher-led innovations in schools throughout Summit County.

Do I still need to submit a Grantee Impact Report for a grant I already received?
Yes. Please submit your report by the specified deadline indicated on the front page of the reporting form. In the future, we will be revisiting our evaluation tools but for now the Grantee Impact Report is the correct form to use.

What does it mean for an organization to be working “at-scale?”
In some of our new strategies, we are looking for organizations that are working “at scale.” By this we mean that we seek to support work that has the critical mass to make a significant impact within a target community, and that is aligned with and connected to larger systems work. The “out of school time” area within K-16 education provides a good example. We are not likely to fund an after-school program that serves a small number of children and is not connected to and endorsed by the leadership of Akron Public Schools. We would be much more likely to fund an effort that is reaching a considerable number of students and is aligned – in every way from philosophy to curriculum to operations – with the Akron Public Schools.

Will GAR continue to use the DataArts platform to track arts and culture organizational data?
Arts and culture applicants are no longer required to use the DataArts platform. However, applicants are required to submit a brief arts and culture data form with their application, which is located on our applications page.  In the future, GAR may elect to use a different platform to capture arts and culture organizational data.

Will GAR continue to offer a round of capital funding to qualifying organizations?
All capital grants for 2017 has been decided and announced in October.  We do not have plans to offer a capital funding round in 2018 because we will focus our energy on implementing our new strategies.

Will GAR offer another round of matching support for Knight Arts Challenge winners?
GAR offered one application period in 2018 for matching fund requests from winners of the Knight Arts Challenge program. The deadline to apply was June 1, 2018 and decisions will be made in August. If you are seeking a match for your Knight Arts Challenge, please do not apply during our application cycles.
We also encourage you to sign up for our mailing list to receive updates. 

What do you mean when you say that GAR will offer “technical assistance” to organizations?

In 2018, GAR offered workshops, boot camps, and other types of resources designed to help nonprofits improve their financial sustainability to better navigate a changing landscape.  Click here to view past sessions.  We also offer resources and tips on our blog and Grantee Resources page.