Frequently Asked Questions
1) Does HMF have grant deadlines?
No, HMF accepts grant applications year-round.
2) Is there a best time to submit a grant request?
No. Typical private foundations are required by law to give away five percent of their assets each year. HMF is cognizant of this requirement and is constantly targeting an average five-percent payout. Some years we distribute less, some years more; but on average, we fulfill our legal requirement. Grantees can find the level of "undistributed income" in Part 8, line 6F, in IRS Form 990-PF.
3) Is HMF looking to fund certain types of requests?
We do not fund individuals. We can only support organizations with a valid 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS and schools recognized by the government. For these organizations, HMF prefers funding one-time projects that have defined parameters and specific timelines. Operating grants are sometimes funded for one to five years, but this is not our normal practice. We generally do not like funding foundations (although we will make exceptions).
4) Does HMF limit its funding to certain geographic areas, organizations, or causes?
A large majority of HMF funding (more than 90%) is in Idaho. Idaho projects have a higher chance of funding. HMF generally does not support political or contentious issues, but if a grantee can make a case for their cause or project, HMF will consider the request. To get a feel for what type of grants HMF makes, click here to see some prior year's list of grants from our annual report.
5) Why does HMF ask for two years of financial statements? What if we are a new organization?
HMF considers the efficiency and resources of grantees. In general, organizations with ample resources to operate or with high overhead are less likely to receive funding.
New organizations are eligible for funding. HMF sometimes funds compelling grant request to help new organizations get started. But since these requests are riskier, they will not have the same chance of funding when competing with requests from established nonprofits.
6) How do we make an appointment with HMF directors?
For an appointment, contact us at 208-345-5225 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make an appointment before visiting our office. We are a small foundation with no staff and our directors have other employment outside the foundation.
7) How do we return a completed application?
You can download our application from this website. It is a Word document, which you can edit to complete. Once you have finished the application, you may return it by email to email@example.com or mail it to our office: 110 East Parkway Drive, Boise, Idaho 83706.
8) Do you have any tips for our organization to help us improve our chances for funding?
Yes. In addition to some of the tips given in the answers above, we have created a table to help you. It compares some of the qualities and criteria we at looking at when we review a grant.
9) If our grant request is declined, will you tell us the reasons?
No, it is not our policy to discuss the reasons why a grant is declined. We have found this often leads to arguments and ill will. If your grant is turned down, it is likely the request fell too heavily on the "lower chance of funding" side of our scale.
Higher Chance of Funding
Organization or project fills an original niche
HMF is familiar with organization
HMF often funds similar organizations
HMF founders would favor grant
Organization run by effective Executive Director
Organization has community support
Organization has a lot of volunteers
Organization has many funding sources
Mainly dependent on private funding
Has good financial stewardship
Has low administrative costs
Operates to consistently break even
Operates with moderate reserves
HMF donation will make a large impact
Organization has past successful projects
Project is sustainable without our further help
Modest request amount
Request is eligible for matching funds
Large amount of funding is already raised
Request is not from a foundation
Request is kept simple and concise Have not applied to HMF in a while
Lower Chance of Funding
Organization or project duplicates efforts
HMF is unaware of organization
Grant type not in HMF granting history
HMF founders would not favor this grant
Have new, unproven, or ineffective Executive Director
Organization has minimal community support
Organization has a small volunteer base or none at all
Is very reliant on HMF for funding
Receives large amount of government funding
Organization has been financially mismanaged
Has high administrative costs
Makes high and consistent profit
Has high investment or reserve surplus
HMF donation has small impact
Request is risky with uncertain success
Project is not sustainable
Large request amount
Request has no matching funds or grants
Minimal funds raised for a large project
Request is from a foundation
Request has pages of additional documentation
This table is a general guide. If your organization is on the "lower chance" side, we may still make a grant to you. Our directors have different backgrounds, passions, skill sets, emotional triggers, moral imperatives, and worldviews, so we don't work in lock-step with one another. At times, we decide to fund (or not fund) a project in unexpected ways.
Have further questions? Just contact us!