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Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Ann T. Lisi, President and CEO, and Chris O’Keefe, Vice President of Program, as well as occasional guest bloggers about what’s happening at Greater Worcester Community Foundation.


Looking Under the Hood of GWCF Granting
By Chris O’Keeffe / February 22, 2019

Whether you’re planning to apply for a GWCF grant for the first time, or are a veteran applicant, let these insights guide you as you seek support in your work to make Greater Worcester a community of opportunity for all.

  1. First, find the right fit for your organization or program. Community Grants is our largest granting category with areas of interest broad enough to be relevant to almost any organization. Beyond this, we have a number of specific programs that vary in size and scope.
  2. Demonstrate that you have a learning mindset. Through your grant application, we are seeking to understand your capabilities to deliver key programs. This may include your track record. We want to know how you assess programs, handle challenges, and respond to change.
  3. When in doubt, look to align with our values. Like most people and organizations, we take our values seriously. While we don’t expect every grantee to be role-modeling all 8 of our guiding principles, we invite you to refer to them as much as makes sense for you.
  4. Be concise. Bullets can beat paragraphs. Fewer words can be better. Avoid jargon. Another set of eyes can help to spot repetition. 
  5. Don’t fear sending your work into the proverbial “void.” At GWCF, there are humans at the other end of the application…Program Officers! They look holistically at your application and organization. If they have questions, they’ll be in touch. We encourage you to do the same.
  6. Reviewers are people like you. All grant applications are reviewed by volunteer committees. They include professionals and residents who are ingrained in our community. Just like you, they have their own areas of expertise and lived experiences. Together, we make the best decisions we possibly can.
  7. Received a grant, but didn’t apply? It can happen! Donor Advised Funds are an important part of our Foundation. The fund holders who make these granting decisions tend to initiate granting to organizations of their own choosing, based on their own interests. Organizations cannot apply to these funds. Each fund’s priorities are as different as the families who establish them - and we have 110!
  8. Connect with us. If you have questions, or feedback about the information in this post, leave a comment or give us a call at 508-755-0980. Liz Nye, our Donor Services Officer, would be happy to direct your question.
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