Grant Process Phases

Eligible Applicant Organizations Must:

Be a non-profit with 501(c)(3) status

Possess audited financial statements

Have demonstrated programmatic and financial track records

Be located or provide services in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties

Not hold an active grant with the Fund

Programs Must Align With These Priorities:

Basic Needs & Housing

Recovery & Restoration

Skill Building & Employment

Serve adults and/or teens experiencing poverty

The Fund Does Not Support:

Individuals or start-ups

Loans, scholarships or requests < $25k

Expenses to travel or attend conferences or workshops

Sponsorships for events

Research, film/video projects

Disease-specific organizations

Grantmaking Guidelines

Phase 1: Inquiry

  • If the organization and program idea appear to meet the guidelines, applicant submits an online General Inquiry Form.
  • Fund staff reviews the General Inquiry Form, along with the applicant’s website and other available information. (This step takes a minimum of three weeks due to volume of inquiries received.)
  • If the organization or program idea does not meet the guidelines, staff will inform applicant via email that the Fund is unable to consider a grant and offer an explanation why.
  • If the organization and program idea generally do meet the guidelines, staff advances the inquiry to Phase 2: Grant Pre-Development.

Phase 2: Grant Pre-Development

  • Fund staff initiates a conversation with the applicant to learn about the organization and the program idea. The conversation will occur over a period of time and will include back and forth emails, phone calls, and/or meetings. The more complex the organization and its idea, the longer the conversation may take.
  • During this phase, staff is particularly interested in learning about:
    • The financial, management, strategic and programmatic capacity and developmental stage of the organization.
    • The feasibility of the idea, who benefits, expected results, budget, funds being raised, implications for the field, and what can be learned.
    • In fulfillment of our commitment to anti-racism, we are also exploring how an idea/program/practice/approach centers our community and racial equity, the degree to which it is culturally aligned with our community, and how it advances racial justice.
  • Staff will rely on the conversation to determine whether the applicant and their idea could successfully meet the Fund’s due diligence standards.
    • If not, staff will discourage a grant application and offer feedback or suggestions.
    • If so, staff will invite the applicant to begin Phase 3: Grant Development.

Phase 3: Grant Development

  • As part of the email invitation, staff will include specific instructions and guidance on the required application materials, method of submission, and a submission deadline.
  • Applicants are encouraged to engage Fund staff during grant application development, in order to maximize their application’s chances of success.
  • After application submission, staff will confirm via email that the required application materials were received.

Phase 4: Grant Review & Decision

  • Applications can take up to three months for staff review.
  • Applicants may be asked to answer specific questions and provide additional information during the course of the review.
  • All grant decisions are the responsibility of the Board of Trustees.  Board meetings are held four times per year, generally in March, June, September and December.
  • Applicants will be notified of the Board’s decision by phone or email within a week after the meeting at which the application was considered. An award letter and contract will be emailed to the grantee organization’s CEO for electronic review and signature required to release initial payment, which may be distributed via account transfer or mailed check to the 501(c)3 grantee or fiscal sponsor according to the payment date listed in the grant contract.

Phase 5: Grant Implementation & Reporting

  • The timeline for grant report submissions is determined during the staff review process and is noted in the grant award letter and contract.
  • After a grant has been approved, the Fund welcomes check-ins and conversations with grant partners anytime!
  • If grant modifications or extensions are needed or wanted, grant partners can reach out to Fund staff to discuss at any point during the grant. The need to extend or modify grants can arise as work unfolds over time and is to be expected.
  • Near the end of each grant, grant partners and McGregor Fund staff will have a check-in to reflect on the efforts the grant supported. The format of this check-in is flexible and developed individually with each grant partner. We require that you email a statement of grant expenditures to
    reports@mcgregorfund.org attested to by someone responsible for accounting at your organization. This can be a short letter stating how much of the first payment has been spent and signed by a CFO, or it can be a summary from accounting software that is signed, as long as it includes the amount of the grant expended and is attested to by someone with oversight of financial accounting.
  • For multi-year grants, grant contracts identify a date by which we will have a check-in to see how things are going, typically once every year. The format of this check-in is flexible and developed individually with each grant partner. We require that you submit a statement of grant expenditures to
    reports@mcgregorfund.org attested to by someone responsible for accounting, in one of the formats noted above. The submission of this report is required before processing a next grant payment.

Phase 6: Grant Closure

  • Grants are closed after McGregor Fund staff and grant partners have had an opportunity to reflect on the grant together, the required financial reports have been submitted and the grant is fully expended.

For questions about the grant process or guidelines, contact heidi@mcgregorfund.org or 313.963.3495.