Grantmaking Policies

The Samuel N. and Mary Castle FoundationRegardless of priority status, there are certain policies with which applicant organizations must comply.

  • Organizations submitting proposals must be tax exempt, publicly supported and charitable as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. The Trustees will not review proposals from organizations that cannot confirm their 501(c)(3) status.
  • The Foundation’s focus and chief priority is on early education of children 0-5.
  • Grants are primarily awarded to organizations located within the state of Hawaii, for programs and projects benefiting the people of Hawaii.
  • Programs or projects for which funds are requested must be in response to a documented community need, and not solely an organizational need.
  • Grants may be awarded for innovative programs, demonstration projects and “start-up” funding. Program and project support does not generally exceed three years, and funding must be applied for on a yearly basis.
  • Programs improving access of low-income families to high quality early education are preferred.
  • Grants are awarded for partial funding of a program, as the Foundation rarely serves as the sole funder of an organization or project. Support rarely exceeds 30-40% of the program or project budget.
  • Special priority is given to pre-K teacher training.
  • Grants are generally not made to individual government-funded entities, such as individual public and charter schools.
  • Grants are generally not made to endowment funds.
  • Grants are generally not made to third party regranting organizations.
  • All grants are made directly to applicant organizations serving the public.
  • An organization is generally not awarded more than one grant in any calendar year.
  • The deadlines are typically scheduled for the Winter, early Summer and early Fall and are announced well in advance. Complete applications may be hand-delivered, mailed regular mail or submitted electronically. They should be received by 5:00 pm on the announced due date.
  • If additional information is required because the original proposal is incomplete, the proposal may be deferred to the next meeting of the Trustees.
  • All funded organizations are required to submit a final grant report within a year of the grant award date. This report should include a financial statement for the period in which grant monies were spent, and a brief narrative section describing the outcome of the funded program or project. Organizations not submitting such reports will be disqualified from future grants consideration.
  • Generally, organizations will not be eligible for program or project support beyond 3 years. Subsequent to a 3-year grant, an organization should not apply for additional support for at least one calendar year.
  • Because of the often prohibitive cost of constructing new pre-schools, the Foundation prefers to fund existing schools and encourages strategic use of existing space and structures.
  • The Foundation prefers funding existing pre-schools, but will consider grants to start-up pre-schools which have demonstrated broad-based sources of financial support and a solid business plan for sustainability. In general, a new pre-school should have raised at least 50% of construction costs from internal or external funds before being considered by the Foundation.
  • Successful accredited, or in the process of obtaining accreditation, pre-K schools.
  • Currently, the Foundation works with the following accreditation agencies: WASC, HAIS (Hawaii Association of the Independent Schools), ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International), NAEYC and NECPA.
  • The trustees of the Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation strongly prefer NAEYC accreditation for pre-school applicants. Applicants with NAEYC accreditation will be given high priority status.

The Foundation is working at a systems level. It prefers to fund mature, established, well-funded accredited pre-schools and high quality infant toddler facilities.

Any organization asking for funds to renovate or alter leased facilities must possess a current lease for at least 5 years. Larger terms are preferred by the Trustees.

There are additional policies and guidelines that apply to organizations seeking funds in connection with major capital campaigns:

  1. The Trustees have defined this category as including requests of $100,000 or more for the construction, renovation or acquisition of buildings or major equipment and furnishings. As only limited resources are available for capital requests, priority for funding goes to projects which are invited by Trustees or in which a Trustee is involved.
  2. Generally, capital proposals of $100,000 or more are considered by the Trustees at the December meeting only. Deadline for submission is announced annually.
  3. Pledge commitments, rarely made, will generally be limited to three years.
  4. During the period a recipient is receiving pledge payments, the Trustees will generally not consider any other funding requests from that organization.
  5. The Foundation will generally not consider multiple grants to an organization receiving a capital grant of $100,000 or more.
  6. Organizations requesting support for capital projects should demonstrate substantial financial support from their board of directors and the community they serve.
  7. Colleges and universities must demonstrate that their capital request will advance early childhood education, care and well-being in Hawai’i.
  8. No capital campaign grants for new facilities are made unless 50% of the campaign has been pledged or received by the applying organization.