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Grant Applicant FAQ

We can help you with answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Getting Started

Our application system works with all major up-to-date internet browsers, though we recommend using Chrome or Firefox. Check to see if your browser is up-to-date.
The majority of our grant programs are only available online. Please contact if you have questions.
After you have logged into our Online Grants System, click the “Apply” link. This will take you to the list of grant opportunities currently accepting applications. If you can’t find an application here, its deadline may have already passed, or it might not have opened yet. Most of our applications appear online twelve weeks prior to the deadline.

Yes. The online grants system allows you to start multiple applications to the funds/programs for which you want your proposal to be considered. It is not possible to submit the same proposal to multiple funds/programs.

The Application

No. The system autosaves forms after every 100 characters typed, or when you click into the next question or anywhere outside the current question. At the bottom of the application is a “Save Application” button. We recommend you save your application before logging out or leaving the application page. You can log in at a later time to continue working on your application. (As an additional safeguard, you may cut and paste your application answers into a Word document to save as backup.)

No, but most browsers allow you to turn on a spellcheck feature. Here are some spell check resources. 

There are limits on the amount of text you can submit. You will see a character counter displayed below the entry field. This will actively tell you how many characters you have entered and will let you know when you are approaching the limit. You will be able to save a draft of your application if you exceed the character limit; however, you will not be able to submit your application until the characters are within the limit. You are not required to reach the character limit.

Yes. We also suggest that you ask someone to review your application before submission – does he/she understand the project/request, do your responses to the application questions provide a clear and comprehensive picture to someone not already familiar with the project/request, etc.?

All applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (EST) on the day of the deadline. You will not be able to submit your application after that.


The file upload questions on the application specify acceptable formats. We prefer that you attach files in a PDF format (.pdf), but on most uploads, also accept files in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx). In some cases, we accept .jpg formats. Unacceptable formats include files with “exe”, “com”, “vbs”, and “bat” extensions.

You should give each file a name that identifies your organization and the type of required document it represents. For example, a file representing your budget for the previous fiscal year could be named “OrgName-budget FY2017”. Do not use any symbols except for a period or a dash, as symbols can interfere with the upload process.

The maximum size for all attachments varies. If your attachment is larger than the allotted space, please contact us for assistance at or 419-281-4733.

No. The online system will not allow you to submit your application unless you attach the required materials. If you do not have the documents electronically, you can scan the information into a PDF file. If you do not have a scanner at your organization, you can scan your documents at a copy shop or a public library. You can also use the ‘Fax to File’ option located under the ‘Tools’ section to the left of your application. Follow the instructions.

Finance & Budget

The term “fiscal year” refers to the twelve-month period or financial calendar that your organization uses. The start and end dates of the fiscal year can vary from organization to organization. Your accounting staff, board treasurer, or bookkeeper should be able to tell you when your fiscal year starts and ends.

Estimate the amount of in-kind support and volunteer hours your organization has received; include either actual or projected operating budget for the next year.

In-kind support means items or services that are provided for your project at no cost, and items that your organization will contribute to the project. For example, if a consultant has agreed to provide free services for the project, you should list the fee that he/she would normally charge for the same service. If a business or landlord has donated office space to your organization, you should list the rent you would normally pay. The dollar amount you list here should be the actual or estimated cost of obtaining the same item/service.


There are a few common reasons why this can happen:

  • If you stay on one page for an extended period of time without saving, your account may “time out” without warning.
  • A weak internet connection may momentarily disconnect your computer while you are working on the application.

As a safeguard, we recommend that you:

  • Save your application often
  • Cut and paste your application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore your edits, try:

  • Reloading your internet page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of your page.
  • Logging out, wait a few minutes, and then log back in and reopen your application.

Double check that there are no symbols in the file name, the file type and size are okay, then try one or more of these suggestions:

  • Sometimes the problem can be a corrupt file. Try saving a new, renamed version of the document.
  • Try saving your file as a different type. For instance, if you tried to upload a (.pdf) file, try uploading the original Word or Excel version of this document. If it is a Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx) document, try saving it as a (.pdf) file and then uploading this version. If you scanned a document to create a (.jpg) file, try saving it in a (.pdf) format instead.
  • Use a different computer to do the upload.

If you would like a paper copy of your application for your own records, login to the application portal and choose the Application Packet link. This will create a PDF of your application. You can print or save this document. You will always have access to your application by logging back into the application portal, even after you submit it.

Kristin Aspin

Chief Program Officer

Have a question about grants? Contact Kristin Aspin.