Frequently Asked Questions

For the New Grant Application FAQ, please click here:

2016 Grant Application FAQ 2016 Grant Application FAQ (243 KB)


What are the funding priorities for the Foundation? Are there specific geographic boundaries?
The Foundation supports IRS-registered, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations in four program areas: the Arts and Humanities, Community Services, Education and Health. Geographic boundaries include the District of Columbia, Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the cities of Falls Church and Alexandria in Virginia. See Before You Apply for more details.

What types of public charities are eligible to apply to the Foundation?
The Foundation will consider applications from a 501(c)(3) organization with a non-private foundation status of 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2). If you are unsure of your 509(a) status, please consult your tax adviser. The Foundation does not make grants to private foundations.

What is the average grant size and how much should I request?
While there is no steadfast rule as to how much an applicant should request, you can view the breakdown of grants in our Annual Report to determine the Foundation’s average grant size.

Does the Foundation award general operating grants?
Yes, grants are awarded for general operating, as well as program or project support.

Does the Foundation provide continuous funding?
In an effort to ensure the broadest response to the needs of our community, the Foundation's policy requires organizations to submit applications annually regardless of prior funding.

Does the Foundation provide multi-year grants?
The Foundation generally awards one-year grants.

Does the Foundation award grants for Capital Campaigns, Endowment Funds, Special Events or to Individuals?
The Foundation does not generally fund capital campaigns, endowment funds, special events or individuals.

Does the Foundation provide emergency grants?
No.

How do I apply for a grant?
See Application Process.

Are there application deadlines?
The Foundation has three funding cycles per year. Application deadlines are at 5:00pm on March 1, July 1 and November 1. You may submit an application for only one deadline within a 12-month period. For example, if you submit an application for the November 1 deadline and do not receive funding, you must wait until the following November 1 to submit another application. If you are awarded a grant, you may not submit another application until the same grant deadline the following year.

Please note: Should the deadline date fall on a Saturday or Sunday, applications will be accepted the following Monday.

Does the Foundation use the Washington Grantmakers’ Common Grant Application?
No. Effective for our November 1, 2016 application deadline, The Foundation no longer accepts the Washington Grantmakers' CGA.  See Before You Apply for our new application.

To whom should my grant application be addressed?
Click here to submit your application.

As an arts and humanities-based nonprofit, do I need to participate in DataArts (formerly DC Cultural Data Project, DC CDP) in order to be eligible for funding?
Yes, Arts and Humanities applicants are required to submit historical, financial and organizational data from the past two years into DataArts, which will generate a funder report for the Foundation. The Cafritz Funder Report must be submitted as an attachment to your grant application. Further details can be found at DataArts.

If I work for a nonprofit that is focused on content area other than arts and humanities, do I have to use DataArts?


No, only arts and humanities-based organizations are required to use DataArts. The only exception is in cases where a specific project may have an arts component for which funding is requested, the DC CDP would be required. Contact Foundation staff if you have any questions about eligibility.


Do I need to submit a Letter of Inquiry?
The Foundation does not require a Letter of Inquiry prior to submitting an application for consideration. Please review our Application Process for details.

May I apply for a grant via e-mail or fax?
No, the Foundation does not accept applications via e-mail or fax. The Foundation requires that all organizations submit applications through our online application system. See Before You Apply for more details.

If we have sent a copy of our 501(c)(3) letter with applications submitted in the past, do we need to submit another copy?
No. Our online application system will verify your tax status using your Federal Tax Identification Number or EIN.

May we send a copy of our DC Tax Exemption Certificate as proof of our tax-exempt status?
No. We only accept FEDERAL tax-exempt letters (your “501(c)(3) letter”). If you need a copy of your 501(c)(3) letter, contact the IRS at (877) 829-5500.

May I submit an application if I am missing information requested (e.g., financial audit), then submit the missing information once received?
It is preferable that all attachments requested be included in your application at the time of submission. Exceptions may be made on an individual basis. However every application must include the project and organization budget, financial audit, Form 990 or budgets for three previous years.

If my organization is small and does not have an audit, what kind of financial information should be submitted?
In place of an audit, your organization’s Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service and budgets for the past three years may be submitted.

Once an application has been submitted, when will I be notified of the funding decision?
All organizations will receive notification verifying receipt of their application. To ensure that each request is given fair consideration, the review and funding decision process generally takes four to six months from the deadline date for which the application was submitted. See Application Process for more details.

May I reapply if my organization was turned down in the past? If so, when?
Yes. However, you may submit a application for only one deadline within a 12-month period. Therefore, if you submit a application for the November 1 deadline and do not receive funding, you must wait until the following November 1 to submit another application.

If I am awarded a grant, are there specific guidelines for submitting interim and final grant reports?

Once approved, grantees must submit all interim and final reports online through our online application system as required in their grant agreement, unless otherwise specified.

Can I get a copy of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation’s most recent IRS Form 990?
You may find a copy of our IRS Form 990 on www.guidestar.org.

How can I contact the Foundation?
See Contact Us.