Proposal Review Process

The Trustees endeavor to support organizations whose projects they believe will have the greatest impact on issues of concern to The Cummings Fund. Once it is determined that the organization and the one or two proposed projects fall within our program guidelines, a thorough review of each proposal focuses on such questions as the following:

  • Is there a need for this kind of program or service in the community? Are other agencies already providing the same kind of service? If so, is the proposal unique in any respect?
  • Are the goals of the proposal aggressive enough? Too aggressive?
  • Is the budget for the proposal realistic? (Does it include all costs associated with the project including in-kind costs and administrative costs?)
  • Is the proposal cost effective in its anticipated results?
  • Has the program been well planned?
  • Are the Board/Staff committed to undertaking the project regardless of Cummings Fund support? (If so, how?)
  • Does the project appear to be sustainable in the future?
  • For renewal requests (the Fund will consider up to 2 consecutive grants for the same project), were the semi-annual progress reports submitted on time and did the outcomes of the first grant warrant consideration for a second grant?

If there is sufficient interest in a proposal, the review process focuses on the management and governance of the organization including such areas as strategic planning, fiscal responsibility, and board involvement. Prior to a meeting (or in some cases a site visit) being scheduled to discuss the proposal, organizations are asked to complete a questionnaire to provide the Fund with more specific information about the organization and its Board of Directors.

Please note that this questionnaire only needs to be completed upon the Fund’s prior request.