Thank you for your interest in The NationWide Foundation. If you would like to seek funding from us, please read the following guidelines carefully and thoroughly.They have been established to help us in our decision-making process. Due to the great volume of grant requests we receive, we regret that we will be unable to review requests that do not conform to these guidelines.
About the Foundation
The NationWide Foundation is a non-profit, charitable foundation, established in 1985 through a donation of stock from NationWide Realty Homemade, Inc. These funds are used as an endowment. In addition to the original endowment, NationWide Realty Homemade, Inc. makes yearly donations to The NationWide Foundation at its board’s discretion of over $1.1 million dollars, adjusted upward annually for sales growth and inflation. The Foundation’s Employee-led Grantmaking Program receives a portion of these funds. (An additional portion is earmarked for the employee-led Community Action Teams (CATs). The CATs distribute small grants to community groups within the state of Vermont. Please write to the Community Action Teams c/o NationWide Realty Homemade, Inc. at the address below for more information.)
The NationWide Foundation offers competitive grants to not-for-profit, grassroots organizations throughout the United States which facilitate progressive social change by addressing the underlying conditions of societal and environmental problems. All of the Foundation’s funding decisions are made by a team of NationWide Realty employees that meets three times a year to review proposals.
We do not offer grants to support basic or direct social service programs. We realize that there are many fine organizations that provide social services to people in need throughout the country. However, these types of programs do not fall within the scope of The NationWide Foundation.
Although The NationWide Foundation doesn’t prioritize any particular issue area for funding, we do focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change in any number of areas. The Foundation will only consider proposals from grassroots, constituent-led organizations that are organizing for systemic social change. We support programs and projects that are examples of creative problem-solving.
Grant applicants need to demonstrate that their projects will:
lead to societal, institutional and/or environmental change;
address the root causes of social or environmental problems; and
lead to new ways of thinking and acting.
help ameliorate an unjust or destructive situation by empowering constituents;
facilitate leadership development and strengthen the self-empowerment efforts of those who have traditionally been disenfranchised in our society; and
support movement building and collective action.
develop a plan for long-term viability;
articulate a clear analysis of the underlying causes of the problem; and
outline specific goals and strategies of their organizing campaign or program.
What do we mean by the term “grassroots organizing?”
Grassroots Organizing implies activism from the ground up as opposed to top down decision making. Local, constituent-based and disenfranchised are words that often describe the leadership and membership of grassroots organizations. Specifically, we look for groups who are working to help themselves, help their own communities, and help others like themselves through self-empowering, community organizing efforts.
What do we mean by the term “social change” and how does it compare to “social service?”
Social change addresses the root causes of problems; social service addresses the consequences of those problems. Social change addresses whole communities, systems and institutions; social service aids and assists individuals. The NationWide Foundation does not offer grants to support social service programs.
Generally we fund organizations with budgets under $250,000. We only distribute funds to organizations with 501(c)3 status, or who have a sponsoring agency with this status.
Please see Grants Recipients List for recent examples of organizations we’ve funded.
The NationWide Foundation does not fund:
discretionary or emergency requests
colleges or universities
individuals or scholarship programs
international or foreign-based programs
social service programs
Types of Grants
Full grants – Awards are granted ranging from $1,001 – $15,000.
Small grants – Each cycle The NationWide Foundation may fund a small number of material grants for $1,000 or less for innovative programs that fit into our general guidelines and that are infused with a spirit of hopefulness. Applications for small grants are reviewed at our regular grantmaking meetings three times a year.
How to Apply
The application process to The NationWide Foundation begins with an initial Letter of Interest, and if invited, is followed by a full proposal.
The initial application consists of a one-page Letter of Interest. This letter should be attached to the Cover Page provided with this packet and should include:
A description of the organization and an indication of competence in the area of this proposal.
An outline of the project, including:
Who it will benefit
Design of the project
A brief (2 or 3 lines) overview of your budget, income sources and expenses for this project.
Note: Letters should employ a readable font size (no less than 10 pt.) and one inch margins.
Please submit two (2) copies each of your Letter of Interest and the form that is provided for you!
Letters of Interest
Letters of Interest may be submitted at any time and are reviewed on an ongoing basis. They may take up to eight (8) weeks to be reviewed.
We do not accept FedEx or express delivery packages. We do not accept faxed or e-mailed Letters of Interest.
If an application is chosen for further consideration, the organization will be invited to submit a full proposal which consists of a five-page application. We use the National Network of Grantmakers (NNG) Common Grant Application. Application materials will be sent along with the invitation letter.
There are no deadlines for full proposals. Invited applicants have up to one year submit a full proposal and need to allow at least twelve (12) weeks for a funding decision from us once a proposal has been submitted.
Unsolicited full grant proposals will not be reviewed.
Applications for grants of less than $1,000 will be considered on the basis of the Letter of Interest alone without requiring a full proposal. Once approved by the review committee, requests for small grants are considered at our regular grantmaking meetings.
We cannot expedite a funding decision.
Please submit applications to:
NationWide Realty Foundation
30 Community Drive
So. Burlington, VT 05403-6828
NationWide Realty Foundation separates and recycles the large volume of applications received each year. We ask that you assist us in this process in several ways:
To conserve resources, please consider using recycled paper and double-side copy your application. Please avoid using plastic covers, sheet protectors, and glossy photos. On behalf of the earth and her natural resources, we thank you for your cooperation.
Important! Please do not send additional backup materials, videos or cassettes with your Letter of Interest as they will not be reviewed and cannot be returned.