Opportunity Fund FAQ

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Is my organization eligible to apply?
Nonprofit or governmental entities and those meeting our general funding guidelines are eligible to apply. 

What kinds of ideas are you looking for?
We are open to learning more about YOUR ideas and therefore are not providing examples that may limit your good thinking. Applicants are encouraged to consider if their concepts:

  • Improve the health and well-being of communities most in need
  • Test different approaches to address community health issues
  • Expand upon promising/best practices to new regions, groups, etc.

How do I share my idea?
The initial step is to reach out to our staff. Conversations with staff in the beginning will help you continue to shape your idea. This gives you the opportunity to briefly describe the idea, how it aligns with the goals of MFH, and what it aims to achieve. There are some basic questions that we encourage you to think about as you develop your idea and which our staff will expand upon:

  1. What is the health problem motivating you to take action?
  2. Who or what is affected by the problem?
  3. What do you propose to help solve the problem?
  4. Why should your organization lead the effort?

When ready, you may submit your idea directly through our online form.

When can I share my idea/Are there deadlines I should know about?
MFH will accept ideas throughout the year. They will be reviewed by Foundation staff as they are submitted. There are no deadlines associated with the Opportunity Fund that impact when you should submit your idea.

What happens after I submit my idea?
You should receive a confirmation email and within 1-2 weeks you will be sent additional information from the primary review staff. After a review of your idea, you may be invited to submit a full proposal. It is important to understand that 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 idea submission review, and if requested, at the full proposal phase. The time from idea submission to grant award typically takes four to six months, but may vary based on urgency of the need and complexity of the project.

What do you look for when determining whether or not to fund a project?
Funding decisions are guided by our core values, mission, and an assessment of proposal elements (described need, project activities, outcomes for target group, organizational fit, etc.).

Can an organization submit more than one idea at a time?
Yes. We are interested in all great 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 highest-priority need to the Foundation so Opportunity funding is available to as many worthy organizations as possible.

Can an organization have more than one Opportunity Fund award at the same time?
Yes. On occasion, organizations may have more than one active Opportunity Fund award at a time. This situation may occur in particular when organizations with multiple departments or physical locations receive awards for independent projects. However, MFH encourages organizations to consider bringing their highest-priority need to the Foundation.

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

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. MFH highly encourages ideas 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 their 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?
Yes.

If my organization’s idea is declined, will MFH provide us with reasons for the decision?
Yes. You will receive the reasons for the denial in an email correspondence. You may contact the MFH staff person identified in the email for additional clarification if necessary.

Would MFH support strategic partnerships though Opportunity Fund?
MFH recognizes that nonprofit organizations sometimes need to restructure or partner with another organization in order to ensure programmatic success, financial strength, and to better serve their communities. Restructuring needs can include consolidating back office support, joint programmatic efforts, and/or acquisitions or mergers between two or more agencies. MFH is open to discussing how we might provide support to nonprofit agencies that are aligned with our mission and looking to restructure or partner for strategic financial or programmatic purposes. Reach out to our staff to tell us about your idea.