Grant Process Overview

The Lawson Family Foundation makes grants to 501c3 organizations based in Knoxville whose missions and activities align with the Foundation’s strategic priorities. Applicants may apply for grants to build organizational capacity, expand existing programs, or fund new projects. Please select Create Organizational Profile to begin the process, consulting the section below for further details. Please use the Contact page for any further questions.

Grants FAQ

How do we apply?
On the Lawson Family Foundation website, select Create Organization Profile. You will be directed to fill out a form to create a profile. After submission, you will receive an email containing your Organizational ID. If all eligibility requirements are met, the Foundation will then invite you via email to complete a grant application. Input your Organizational ID and complete questions.
***PLEASE NOTE: no information will be saved on incomplete or refreshed forms. We ask that applicants prepare their answers in a separate document before pasting within and submitting the form.

What materials are required with our application?
When creating an organization profile, potential applicants must upload a copy of their IRS 501c3 Determination Letter. Invited applicants must complete all “required” portions of the application form. Applicants must also upload copies of their most recent Form 990 tax filing. If your organization receives less than $50,000 in revenue annually and you are exempt from filing a Form 990, please mention this in the application and attach a PDF containing your most recent Statement of Financial Activities, Statement of Financial Position, and Annual Budget.

How should former grant recipients apply for further funding?
Grant recipients may reapply for funding after the completion of their 12-month grant cycle. Please contact the Executive Director or use the Contact page to receive your Organizational ID and request a new grant application form.

Can we apply for multi-year funding?
No. All applications should be for one-year, one-time funding over a 12-month reporting cycle, after which organizations may reapply. On a case-by-case basis, the Foundation may approach select organizations with multi-year grants.

What amount should our organization ask for?
Average grant sizes for open applications range from $2,500 to $25,000. However, the Foundation is willing to discuss larger grants on a case-by-case basis, after a process of independent research and relationship building. Requested amounts should not exceed 25% of an organization’s annual operating budget. The Foundation aims to contribute to organizations’ programmatic, capital, and operational needs through grants, but cannot serve as a complete financial solution.

How many applications may our organization submit?
An organization may submit one application per calendar year. Awarded organizations may reapply for program funding once their 12-month reporting cycle has been completed.

Does the Foundation sponsor fundraising events?
On a case-by-case basis, but typically only for organizations who have received a previous programmatic grant.

Does the Foundation make grants to individuals or provide scholarships?
No. The Foundation makes grants only to 501c3 organizations based in Knoxville, TN.

How long is the review process?
Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the board quarterly. Invited applicants will receive award or rejection notifications within an average of 2-3 months of submission. This could be shorter or longer depending on the current application volume.

What restrictions apply to awarded grants?
To receive awards, grantees are required to sign a grant agreement. Grantees are expected to deliver 6-month and 12-month reports to the Foundation and clearly demonstrate how the funds were used for the designated purposes.

Is there a reporting template?
No. However, please include the performance indicators originally mentioned in your application, along with brief stories or anecdotes which demonstrate qualitative results. Reports do not need to exceed 2-3 pages in length.