Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

Print
 

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Categories

General FAQ

Education FAQ

Employment FAQ

Environment FAQ

Culture FAQ

Gun Violence Prevention FAQ

Money and Politics FAQ

Special Opportunities FAQ

Can't find what you are looking for?

Click here to ask your own question.

Questions And Answers

General FAQ

Please tell me more about your focus on public policy.

We focus our grantmaking on initiatives that promise to have an influence on public policies. That includes advancing the public debate about important policy issues, development and testing of new policy ideas, and evaluations that help policymakers understand how policies are working and where improvements are needed. We believe such policy initiatives can lead to broad, systemic changes that affect the most people over the long run.

back to top

Do you fund communications (e.g., books, publications, videos, documentaries, web sites)?

We look for a strong communications plan in any proposal designed to influence public policy. We generally don’t fund communications efforts that are unrelated to specific policy initiatives.

back to top

Do you fund research?

We fund research that is likely to have a strong impact on public policy in our program areas. See individual programs for more information. We don’t fund basic research.

back to top

Do you fund scholarships, fellowships, capital or endowment campaigns, buildings, religious activities, or small business startups?

No.

back to top

Do you make grants to individuals? I saw you listed in a “free money” guide. Can I get help paying my bills?

The Foundation does not make grants to help individuals start a small business, pay school or college tuition, cover medical bills, pay off debts, help buy or build a home, or any similar purpose.

back to top

Do you fund government agencies and programs?

We generally make grants only to nonprofit organizations. However, we occasionally fund government initiatives that promise to lead to statewide policy change.
 

back to top

Do you fund national organizations?

We make grants to national organizations for projects that promise to have a significant impact on public policies affecting the Great Lakes region.

back to top

Do you make grants outside the United States?

Our grantmaking is limited to organizations whose work affects the Great Lakes region of the United States. A few grants are made to Canadian environmental organizations working on Great Lakes issues.

back to top

Do you provide general operating support, or must we apply for specific project funds?

We generally fund projects, but in rare cases we provide general operating support.

back to top

Do you do program-related investments?

No, not at present.

back to top

Whom can I contact to talk to about my proposal?

Please start by reading the program descriptions on this site or in our Application Guidelines to get a sense of how your proposal fits with Joyce funding priorities. Then send a letter of inquiry to the program officer, whose names are listed here.

back to top

How long does it take from the time I send a proposal until the decision is made whether to fund it?

For information on schedules consult the Deadline section.

back to top

How many copies of a proposal should I send?

Send one copy of the letter of inquiry or proposal, addressed to one of the program officers. It is not necessary to send copies to other program officers or to the Foundation president.

back to top

Is it really necessary to send a letter of inquiry? Can’t I just save time and send the proposal?

Yes, sending an inquiry letter is required. It helps applicants target proposals better and saves time that would otherwise go into preparing and reviewing proposals that may not fit within our funding priorities.

back to top

Would it help if I contacted a member of your board of directors?

The directors of the Foundation have requested that they not be contacted individually regarding proposals.

back to top

Is there a maximum size for grants?

No. The size of grants depends on the organization’s overall budget and the scope of the proposed work. To get a sense of the range of our grants, we suggest you review the grants list under the program area you’re interested in. In 2011 the Foundation awarded 187 grants with an average value of $135,000.

back to top

How long after a grant is approved will we get the money?

Grant payments are normally made at the end of the month following the board meeting at which the funding decision was made.

back to top

Where did the Joyce Foundation get its money?

The Joyce family wealth was based on lumber and sawmill interests. More background is available in the History of the Foundation section.

back to top

Education FAQ

Can you contribute to our scholarship (or fellowship) program?

We do not fund scholarships, fellowships, school voucher programs, and similar programs that primarily benefit individuals. Our focus is on school change strategies affecting public schools.

back to top

Can you help us build our new school by contributing to our capital campaign?

We do not fund capital campaigns.

back to top

Do you fund private schools? Pre-schools? Religious schools? Home schooling programs?

Our funding is limited to programs affecting public schools.

back to top

Do you fund schools or school districts?

The Foundation does not directly fund individual schools or school districts. We fund institutions and organizations that strive to improve education in public schools.

back to top

Do you fund research?

We fund research that is likely to have a strong impact on public policy.

back to top

Employment FAQ

What are the priorities of the Employment Program?

The overarching goal of the Employment Program is to establish the Midwest as the leader of the most innovative and effective employment education and training strategies in the country. Grant making specifically supports efforts to increase skill and credential attainment by low-income adult workers in three primary program areas: basic foundational skills, industry training partnerships, and innovation.

back to top

Do you fund government agencies and programs?

We generally make grants only to nonprofit organizations. However, we occasionally fund government initiatives that promise to lead to statewide policy change.

back to top

What aspects of welfare reform do you focus on?

The Employment Program no longer emphasizes welfare reform as a separate priority. Instead, the Employment program is focusing on policies that affect all low-income workers.

back to top

What about support for benefits that help people make the transition to work?

The Employment Program no longer emphasizes advocacy and research efforts focused on expanding access to work-related benefits programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps, child care, and medical assistance.

back to top

Tell me about Individual Development Accounts. How do they work? Do you still fund them?

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are matched savings programs for low-income people to provide capital for home purchase, small business startup, or educational expenses. The Joyce Foundation was the first foundation to support development and testing of the IDA strategy. The Foundation no longer makes grants for IDA programs. Visit the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s web site for more information about Individual Development Accounts.

back to top

Do you fund community economic development?

Only where there is clear overlap with our focus on public policies that support workforce development, education, and job training.

back to top

Can you support our job-training program?

We do not provide operating support for direct services, including job-training and placement services. Our funding concentrates on initiatives designed to develop and shape public policies.

back to top

Can you help pay for me to get education or training?

The Foundation does not provide direct support for individual training, scholarships, or fellowship programs.

back to top

Can you help finance our small business startup?

The Foundation does not fund small business startups.

back to top

Can you fund our school-to-work program?

The Joyce Foundation ended its support of school-to-work programs in 1997.

back to top

Environment FAQ

Do you fund environmental education?

Our focus is on improving public policy. We generally don’t fund environmental education, videos, etc., either through educational institutions or aimed at the general public.

back to top

Do you fund local cleanup efforts?

The Foundation generally does not support local-impact projects such as environmental cleanup activities. As part of a comprehensive approach in one watershed, the demonstration projects in the Healthy Rivers Initiative are an exception.

back to top

Do you fund conservation projects, either of wildlife or of land?

We do not generally fund efforts to preserve individual species or to purchase land. Our priorities are on public policies that affect the environment of the Great Lakes region as a whole.

back to top

Do you support scientific research on environmental problems?

We generally do not support basic scientific research. We do fund research likely to have a strong impact on public policy.

back to top

Given your focus on the Great Lakes region, do you give grants to national organizations?

We make grants to national organizations for projects that target public policies affecting the Great Lakes region.

back to top

Do you fund conferences?

We rarely fund conferences. Exceptions would be made only in connection with projects the Foundation is already funding.

back to top

Culture FAQ

Do you support arts education programs?

No. Arts education is not a programmatic priority. However, we may support some education outreach programs as a part of an organization's overall audience development plan.

back to top

Do you fund the work of individual artists?

We do not award grants to individuals. Grants are made to organizations for projects that support the work of individual artists.

back to top

Do you fund capital development projects?

We generally do not make grants for capital campaigns.

back to top

Do you fund endowment support?

We do not make grants for endowment support.

back to top

Do you fund arts organizations outside Chicago?

Culture grantmaking is limited primarily to organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area. The one exception is the Joyce Awards program, which includes Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

back to top

Can our organization resubmit an artist who has previously been submitted for the Joyce Awards?

Yes.

back to top

What percentage of funds needs to be allocated to the artist for the Joyce Awards?

We do not have a specific guideline for the funds allocated to the artist.

back to top

When would we know if we have received a Joyce Award?

Organizations are notified after projects have been approved by our board of directors at the winter meeting, generally in early December. Notification of approval is confidential and is not announced until mid-January.

back to top

Does a Joyce Award-winning artist have to be from the Midwest?

No. The nominated artist can be from anywhere in the world.

back to top

Are there page limits/requirements for the Executive Summary or Project Description for a Joyce Awards application?

There are no page limits or requirements for the proposal.

back to top

Can we submit a CD or PowerPoint presentation of artist images for a Joyce Awards application?

Slides are preferred, but digital images will be accepted. Please be sure to use a format that would be compatible with most computers.

back to top

Does a Joyce Awards proposal have to arrive in your office on the deadline?

Yes. The proposal, as well as all supporting documentation, should be in the office by the deadline.

back to top

Do you provide general operating support, or must we apply for specific project funds?

We generally fund projects, but we do provide support to culturally specific groups for organizational management tied to comprehensive strategic plans.

back to top

Gun Violence Prevention FAQ

Do you fund educational programs in violence prevention?

We generally do not fund such programs.

back to top

Do you fund programs related to crime and criminal justice?

We seek to address gun violence as a public health issue, looking for strategies that can reduce the toll of deaths and injuries from firearms. We don’t generally fund projects specifically focusing on crime. However, we do support efforts to engage law enforcement leaders in gun violence prevention and gun policy reform.

back to top

Do you fund state or local gun violence prevention initiatives outside the Midwest?

The Gun Violence Prevention Program makes grants to select initiatives in Pennsylvania.

back to top

Do you fund grassroots organizations in the Midwest?

We fund such groups only for projects we consider likely to have a substantial impact on public policy. Requests from Illinois and Wisconsin are given priority.

back to top

Please tell me more about your focus on public policy.

We focus our grantmaking on initiatives that promise to have an influence on public policies. That includes advancing the public debate about important policy issues, most notably the need for federal consumer product health and safety standards for the firearm industry. We believe such policy initiatives can lead to broad, systemic changes that affect the most people over the long run.

back to top

Do you provide general operating support, or must we apply for specific project funds?

We generally fund projects, but we also occasionally provide general operating support.

back to top

Money and Politics FAQ

Given your principal focus on Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, do you make grants to national organizations?

Grants to non-Midwest organizations must be for projects that strengthen the capacity of state-based groups as advocates for comprehensive political reforms, including campaign finance, redistricting, judicial, governmental ethics, lobbying and media reforms.

back to top

What campaign finance reform strategies do you support?

Our grantmaking seeks to ensure that all citizens have a voice in the political process, not just those who can afford to make large contributions to political campaigns. We don’t advocate any particular reform strategy. We support efforts to put campaign reform on the national agenda through public education, policy advocacy, news media outreach, community organizing, and litigation.

back to top

Do you fund grassroots organizing?

We fund organizing efforts that are part of broader initiatives, consistent with our program guidelines, to improve public policies.

back to top

Do you provide general operating support, or must we apply for specific project funds?

We do both.

back to top

Special Opportunities FAQ

Does any project qualify for support, or must my project fall within Joyce funding priorities?

The Special Opportunities Program supports communications-oriented projects that enhance public understanding of the Foundation’s issues, projects that bridge two or more of the Foundation’s programs, or projects that reflect concern for social equity or regional cooperation.

Special Opportunities fund is used to explore or support:

  • Communications and media-related grants to raise the visibility of Joyce issues and grantees with policy makers, journalists, and opinion leaders
  • Efforts to help Joyce grantees use new media tools for education and engagement
  • Exploration of cross-programmatic innovations
     

back to top

Do you make grants to individuals?

No.

back to top

I saw you listed in a “free money” guide. Can I get help paying my bills?

The Foundation does not make grants to help individuals start a small business, pay school or college tuition, cover medical bills, pay off debts, help buy or build a home, or any similar purpose.

back to top

Are special opportunity grants renewable?

Special Opportunity grants are generally non-renewable.

back to top

 

The Joyce Foundation 321 North Clark Street, Suite 1500
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Phone: (312) 782-2464  |  Fax: (312) 595-1350

 
 
©2014 The Joyce Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Website Design and Development by Americaneagle.com, Inc.