Opportunity Fund FAQ

Is my organization eligible to apply? 

Nonprofit or governmental entities and that meet our general funding guidelines are eligible to apply.  

Can a fiscal sponsor be used?

Yes, applicants may apply with a fiscal sponsor.

Does the organization need to be based in Missouri?  

No, we encourage any organization that meets our eligibility requirements and offers an idea that fits our criteria to apply.  We recognize that organizations outside of our state may have ideas and proven methods that could work well in Missouri. If organizations from outside of Missouri apply, we expect to see strong and intentional collaborations with Missouri–based organizations or communities in our service area.  

Are there focus areas for this round of Opportunity Fund?

This round of Opportunity Fund does not focus on any specific topic area or population.

What do you look for when determining whether or not to fund a project?

Funding decisions are guided by our mission and core values,  an assessment of proposal elements (e.g., described need, timeliness, implications of this work, and organizational fit), and how well the idea fits with what MFH is looking for within Opportunity Fund.  

Please note that the Opportunity Fund will not support concept papers that primarily focus on the following categories: 

  • Capital campaigns 
  • Equipment (e.g., X-ray machines, playgrounds) 
  • Direct service or work that only impacts one organization’s clients (i.e. lacking systems focus) 
  • Research that does not have a clearly identified systems change approach or a plan to include the impacted population or community

I have an idea, but I’m not sure if it’s a fit for Opportunity Fund. Can I speak with someone about my idea before I submit a concept paper?

Given the volume of ideas that we receive, we are unable to speak with organizations directly about their ideas while there is an open request for concept papers. Please review the website, FAQ, and request for concept papers, and share your idea with us by submitting a brief two-page concept paper. Our review team will offer feedback on fit once reviewed.

In between open calls for concept papers an OF team member would be happy to talk to you about your organization and any specific idea you are thinking about to address systems change.

Please contact either Alyssa Curran, Strategist – Responsive Philanthropy, acurran@mffh.org; Ben Zeno, Senior Strategist – Responsive Philanthropy, bzeno@mffh.org; or Reana Thomas, Strategist – Responsive Philanthropy, rthomas@mffh.org.

When can I share my idea? Are there deadlines I should know about?

Important dates: 

  • Open call for concept papers: February 27, 2024 – April 30, 2024 (concept papers are due at noon on April 30)
  • Invitations for full proposals sent: Late June 2024
  • Full proposals due: August 2024
  • Notification of awards: November 2024 – January 2025
  • Anticipated start dates: December 2024 – February 2025

What happens after I submit my idea?

You should receive a confirmation email immediately and will receive additional information about the status of your concept less than 10 weeks after the closing deadline. After a review of your idea, you may be invited to submit a full proposal. Not all ideas will advance to the full proposal phase. 

How long does it take to know if I will receive a grant?

There are decision points that determine how far an idea proceeds, including initial discussions with MFH staff, the concept paper review, and if requested, at the full proposal phase. From the time the concept paper opens to grant award typically takes seven-to-nine months but may vary based on urgency of the need and complexity of the project. 

Can an organization submit more than one idea at a time?

Yes, we are interested in all systems change-oriented ideas. In particular, organizations with multiple departments or physical locations may have independent ideas that we would love to learn about. Nevertheless, we do encourage organizations to bring their idea with the highest potential impact to the Foundation so that funding is available to as many organizations as possible. 

Can an organization have more than one Opportunity Fund award at the same time?

Yes, on occasion, organizations with multiple departments or physical locations may receive awards for independent projects. However, MFH encourages organizations to consider bringing their best idea to the Foundation. 

Can an organization apply for an Opportunity Fund award if they are a current grant recipient from another MFH initiative or funding program?


Has MFH established a limit to the amount that can be requested for Opportunity Fund ideas?

No. The amount requested should be appropriate for the scope of the project; however, we have approximately $5M set aside for this round.

Within the Concept Budget, please be sure to include brief descriptions for each project expense as they are helpful context to your concept narrative. 

MFH highly encourages concepts that have additional funding sources. MFH may request modifications to an organization’s application prior to final award to ensure alignment of budget requests with the core values, mission, and operating standards of the Foundation. 

Has MFH established a specific length of time for Opportunity Fund awards?

No. An organization should propose the length of time required to achieve the stated project results in its application. During the review process, MFH may request modifications if deemed necessary. 

If my organization submits an idea and is declined, can we submit another idea later?


If my organization’s idea is declined, will MFH provide us with reasons for the decision?

Yes. You will receive the reasons for the declination in an email correspondence. You may contact the MFH staff person identified in the email for additional clarification if necessary. 

Communications from our online grant portal are sent from mail@grantapplication.com. To ensure that you receive all information and notifications, please add this email address to your safe senders list and contacts. If you need help ensuring that our emails are not routed to your spam folder, follow these instructions for Google or Outlook email clients.