2018 Request for Proposals from Family Support Organizations

Proposals Are Due June 1, 2018

Founded in the 19th century, the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation is one of America’s oldest private family foundations. Consistent with the charter of the foundation and the wishes of the donor Mary Tenney Castle, the trustees seek to support educational readiness for a successful K-12 school trajectory. For the most part this has meant support for teacher training, preschool construction, capital improvements, low-income tuition assistance, curricular innovation, and support for preschool accreditation, teacher scholarships and a wide range of pre-k instructional support.

The trustees, mindful of the additional need to see Hawaii’s families with young children ages 0-5 supported so that children can succeed in preschool, are soliciting operating requests from leading family support non-profit organizations with a proven track record of success. Funding preference, which will be given in the form of unrestricted operating support, will be given to those organizations with strong financial stability, staff expertise, programs that feature two-generational (or even three-generational) work toward reducing poverty, strong governing board leadership, management stability, program innovation and outcome evaluations. We also will give funding preference to those organizations honoring cultural differences and building on cultural assets when addressing families with young children.

Our aim is to strengthen respected existing organizations serving families with young children. Programs that most interest us are those that align with our mission to reduce the school achievement and opportunity gap by strengthening low-income/ moderate income families and supporting early education. Our trustees respect the expertise our human services organizations demonstrate in helping families succeed, and our operating grant support is meant to further the successful work that these organizations are doing. These grants are intended primarily to bolster existing and successful family support programs.

How to Apply

The trustees have set aside $500,000 in 2018 (about 20% of our grant making budget) for the above purpose. If your tax exempt non-profit would like to compete for these funds with an application by June 1, 2018 we require the following items:

  1. A descriptive cover letter signed by your organization’s Board Chair and the CEO.
  2. A brief executive summary of your organization’s history and current proposal.
  3. A full description of the mix of programming that you believe strengthens families and prepares children to succeed in preschool and beyond. Please include a copy of your current operating budget.
  4. A description of how your existing programs are evaluated and benchmarked by your staff or external evaluators.
  5. A description, if applicable, of your plans to expand or retract existing programs for the rest of 2017.
  6. A copy of your tax exempt letter and a copy of your most recent financial audit.
  7. A final report is due in 12 months from receipt of your operating grant check. We want to hear how or if additional unrestricted operating support for your work with young families with children (ages 0-5 especially), made a difference and where you still need assistance. We also need to see how you are or will assess the effectiveness of the programs we are supporting. What method (s) will you use to determine real outcomes and changes? We want evidence of real impact for vulnerable families.
  8. In your application, make sure to include a strong concluding section in which you answer the following:
    1. What are the anticipated short and long term measurable outcomes that would be achieved by this grant? If the grant you are proposing is intended to strengthen existing programs make sure you tell us what the difference our grant would make in the measurable impact of your existing programs (e.g. more people being served in more locations, etc.)
    2. What is your organization’s evaluation process? How do you plan to track and measure the effectiveness of your project? For example, will you use intake sheets, participation checklists, pre/post surveys, client questionnaires, follow-up surveys, input from the community, staff assessments, etc.? You may have other methods and we would like to know what those methods are.
    3. How will the evaluation results be used to inform future programming and allocation of resources? If the family programs you are proposing are already underway, let us know how you have evaluated them. If they are new, let us know what your plans in the future are to evaluate them?
    4. Remember that our Foundation is conducting this RFP for one year to determine if we will continue to invite applications annually to further family support. We are looking to partner now with outstanding organizations that know how, when, and where to evaluate outcomes while also using those evaluations to make changes in the programs or even to eliminate them if they are not efficacious.

Please note that this Request for Proposals is limited to carefully chosen applicants who have a proven record of outstanding child and family support. This is the third year of the pilot project (2018). The total budget for this initiative is $500,000 and will be divided and distributed to those invited organizations according to the quality of each organization’s proposal. We will evaluate the impact of all operating support grants we make to determine the future direction of general family support for our Foundation.


The Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation is open seven days a week and is here to serve you to the best of our ability. Please contact the Executive Director, Alfred L Castle should you have any questions. All applications must be received by June 1, 2018 to be considered at our summer trustee meeting. Early submissions are encouraged.


This request for proposals is by invitation only

Please note that this Request for Proposals is limited to carefully chosen applicants which we believe have a proven record of outstanding family support. This is the third year of the pilot project (2018). We will evaluate the impact of all operating support grants we make to determine the future direction of general family support for our Foundation.

  • YMCA – Oahu
  • YWCA of Hawaii Island
  • Child and Family Service
  • Salvation Army
  • Helping Hands Hawaii
  • Partners in Development
  • Catholic Charities
  • Family Support Hawaii
  • Maui Family Support Services
  • Imua Family Services
  • PACT (Parents and Children Together)