GrantsCreating Innovative Civic Solutions
Grant applications are available via invitation only from the Foundation. If you are confident that your organization is eligible for funding after reviewing the Policies & Eligibility section, please send the Grants Manager a letter of inquiry stating the amount sought, the purpose of the grant, and nature of the organization.
Policies & Eligibility
The Foundation welcomes grant requests from otherwise eligible tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code Sections 501(c)(3) and Section 509(a) headquartered within the Orlando MSA of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake Counties, Florida. Other grant requests should have special interest or support from one or more of our Directors.
The Foundation welcomes grant requests from otherwise eligible tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code Sections 501(c)(3) and Section 509(a) headquartered within the Orlando MSA of Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake Counties, Florida. Other grant requests should have special interest or support from one or more of our Directors.
1. Based on policy resolutions adopted by Edyth Bush (Mrs. Archibald G. Bush), our Founder, while she was still alive, this Foundation is operated exclusively for charitable, religious, literary, and other exempt purposes. “Special consideration will be given to distributions and grants to charitable, religious and educational organizations which are organized and operated to help underprivileged or needy people to improve themselves, or to relieve human suffering…”
2. As a practical matter, we have made grants for challenge and development purposes, construction and renovation, equipment and expansion of functions, pilot projects and seed start-up of new programs, and study or planning grants to determine feasibility and market. We also have made emergency grants, emergency and other Program-Related Investment Loans. Over 50% of our grants are on a challenge or match basis, either “pay-as-matched” or “all-or-nothing.”
3. Typically, grants range from $5,000 to $50,000. Many of our larger grants are on a challenge match basis.
4. The Foundation has broad interests in human service, education, health care and a limited interest in the arts. The Foundation has elected to focus these interests by concentrating on certain priorities within the particular field. This focus is more clearly defined by the Foundation’s Grant Policy Limitations.
Grant Policy Limitations
In addition to the Orlando MSA geographic limitation, the Foundation will ordinarily deny grant requests (as adopted by our Board of Directors):
1. “From chiefly tax-supported institutions, or their ‘support’ foundations (more than 50% government funding of the operations or project indicates ‘chiefly tax-supported’) or to continue dropped or discontinued government funded programs or projects until at least one (1) year or more of 51% private funding has been completed successfully;
2. “For individual scholarships or for individual research grants even if through an exempt or otherwise qualified educational organization;
3. “For alcoholism or drug abuse programs or facilities;
4. “For routine operating expenses;
5. “To pay off deficits or pre-existing debt;
6. “For foreign organizations or for foreign expenditure. For this purpose ‘foreign’ means outside the United States, or its territories and possessions, whether the organization itself is U.S. based or foreign based;
7. “For travel projects or fellowships;
8. “For chiefly church, sacramental, denominational or inter-denominational purposes, except outreach projects for elderly, indigents, needy, youth, or homeless regardless of belief, race, color, creed, or sex;
9. “For endowment funds or other purely revenue generating funds;
10. “Advocacy organizations or advocacy component funding;
11. “For cultural or arts organizations unless their collections, exhibits, projects or performances are of demonstrated nationally recognized quality; or for the demonstrated educational value of children, K-12th grade.
12. “From organizations having receipts or revenues from memberships and/or contributions of less than $25,000 in the previous year, or from any organization whose Internal Revenue Code Section 509(a) ‘publicly supported’ status will need renewal in the next six (6) months.”
Most of the policies are those favored by Edyth Bush, our founder, in her personal giving or in her Foundation policies prior to her death.
In case a grant request is denied, reapplication on the same grant request ordinarily will not be considered. However, unless the organization is not eligible for tax or policy reasons, denial of a grant request is without prejudice to your submitting other requests on different projects or on other subjects.
Submission of Requests
The Foundation has no submission deadline dates and grant requests are received at any time. All request materials received become property of the Foundation and will not be returned to sender.
Office Conferences and Technical Assistance
Please phone in advance for appointments. Much can be done by telephone rather than travel. Our telephone lines are open during office hours (9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.), and we encourage phone or email contact.
If your organization has not received a grant from the Foundation in the past three years, please read our Policies & Eligibility section thoroughly. View the Frequently Asked Questions tab to better understand what we fund.
Submit Letter of Inquiry
Conduct Field Review
Step 1. Submit Letter of Inquiry
Grant applications are available via invitation only from the Foundation. If you feel that you are eligible after reviewing the Policies & Eligibility section, please send our Grants Manager a letter of inquiry stating the amount sought and purpose of the grant, nature of the organization, and the organization’s EIN. You may email the Grants Manager or call with additional questions at 407.647.4322.
Step 2. Complete Application
Grant applications are available via invitation only from the Foundation. Once the Foundation determines an interest in accepting a grant request from your organization, you will receive instructions from the Grants Manager on how to access the appropriate online application form.
Step 3. Conduct Field Review
We may conduct a field review (site visit) by one or more Officers or Directors of the Foundation. The field review includes a conference with the organization’s professional staff involved in the request, one or more of its Board of Directors or Trustees, appropriate accounting personnel of the organization, as well as a review of actual operations.
Step 4. Decision
After our review, you will be notified of the Foundation’s determination. If approved, you are asked to accept the grant terms, including our General Terms and Conditions – “Exhibit A”. You may be asked to attend a Grantee Conference held at our office prior to payout of the grant. If the grant is a match or challenge grant, you should be prepared to meet the deadlines specified in the grant letter within which to certify the match to us, including enough information for the Foundation to verify the certification. Copies of all grant-related documents, including the Acceptance Letter, Exhibit A, and Grantee Conference are available in the Grantee Toolbox.
Step 5. Report
We do ask grantees to provide us with a progress report at least every six months. When the grant funds have been fully spent, we require a final report containing a list of the disbursements of the grant balanced against the grant budget, together with an evaluation of the results of the grant. New grant requests will not be processed by the Foundation from the same organization until the final report has been filed on any prior grant. The Foundation from time-to-time conducts post-review audits of previously completed grants. This is primarily for the purpose of assisting the Foundation in establishing its own grant policies as well as to review the stewardship of the grant funds by your organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation?
The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation is a private, grantmaking organization serving all of Central Florida and the not-for-profit community. Established in 1973, the Foundation’s guiding principles and policies are dedicated to our founder, Edyth Bassler Bush, who was most interested in funding efforts to help needy children, individuals and families in our community. Our best work is helping nonprofits be better managed, governed and led.
Is the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (also known as the Edyth Bush Institute or EBI) a program of the Foundation?
No, the Edyth Bush Institute is a program of the Crummer School of Business at Rollins College. Its history, however, is traced directly back to the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation, which is now its largest supporter. Coming to Central Florida from Minnesota in the 1970s, the Foundation leaders were experienced in the rich traditions of Midwestern philanthropy. They dedicated significant resources in the early years to providing management and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and, eventually, established the Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) on the second floor of the Foundation’s office building. As the relationship matured with Rollins College, especially during the founding years of the Crummer Business School, it became apparent that the two entities were mutually beneficial. In 2000, PNLC became an official program of the business school. In 2015, it was rededicated and renamed to the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.
How can the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation benefit my organization?
The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation grants funding to qualified nonprofit organizations interested in building their capacity to serve the residents of Central Florida. It is up to the organization’s leadership to present their “highest and best needs” and demonstrate how a grant would improve the efficacy and/or sustainability of the organization. In addition to direct support, the Foundation dedicates significant resources to collaborative efforts that strengthen the nonprofit sector and address the most pressing community needs. We encourage organizations to connect with the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership to learn about and become involved with collaborative initiatives to bring about positive change in the region.
What kinds of organizations are eligible for grants?
Over the years, the Foundation has assisted thousands of people and hundreds of organizations doing good works in our community. Funding has historically been directed to education, human services, health care and cultural pursuits. Currently, the Foundation is giving priority to efforts that improve the capacity and efficacy of the nonprofit sector.
We encourage you to contact us directly to see if your program is likely to be considered before submitting a formal inquiry.
Can requests be submitted at any time?
Because we want to be responsive to needs as they arise, our doors are always open for new requests. There are no deadlines for submission.
Are there geographical considerations?
Yes. Priority is given to organizations headquartered within Orange, Seminole, Osceola, or Lake Counties, Florida.
Must an organization be tax exempt?
Yes, it is important that you have taken the steps necessary with the Internal Review Service to become a public charity under IRC 509(a)(1) or (a)(2) and exempt under 501(c)(3). The Foundation will verify the organization’s status as part of the review process once an application is submitted.
What kinds of programs are targeted by the grants?
The Foundation awards funding to a wide variety of programs each year. While supporting education, human services, health care and the arts is at the heart our work, we do consider other initiatives that improve the quality of life in our community. Please note that your program or service must meet the standard criteria outlined in the Policies & Eligibility section of the website and must have raised memberships or contributions of at least $25,000 in the prior year.
Are there dollar limitations per grant?
No, but please note that the average grant ranges from $20,000 to $50,000. More substantial amounts are awarded often on a challenge match basis. The largest single grant issued by the Foundation was $1.25 million disbursed over five years.
Can funding be applied to routine operating expenses or to pay off deficits or pre-existing debts?
The Foundation does not typically fund operating expenses or pay off deficits or pre-existing debts. We focus on building the capacity of an organization to advance its mission.
Can an individual apply for a grant?
No, the Foundation does not consider applications from individuals for scholarships or for individual research grants. This policy was established to ensure distribution of resources over a broad range of programs and services.
Must my organization provide post-grant assessments to the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation?
Searching for excellence and improvement in all we do and with whom we work, we ask grantees to submit progress reports every six months and to provide updates when any significant leadership or organizational changes occur within the grant period. Once funds have been expended, a final evaluation of the project/impact is required. A key question is “What would you recommend doing differently?”
If denied a grant request, can my organization reapply?
If your request has been denied, reapplication for the same grant will not be accepted during that same fiscal year (ending August 31st). However, if you have developed a new program or service that you think has merit, we encourage you to give us a call.