Q. If The Trust invites an organization to submit a Full Proposal, how long does it take The Trust to review the Full Proposal and reach a decision?
A. The Trust performs an initial review of a Full Proposal during the first month immediately following the month in which The Trust receives the Proposal, e.g. if The Trust receives a Proposal in January, then it will perform an initial review in February. The initial review may result in a request by The Trust, either during the month of the initial review or in a month subsequent, for a site visit and/or the production of additional information and follow up materials, including a revised Full Proposal. The Co-trustees meet during the first month of each calendar quarter to review the status of all pending Full Proposals and to take final action on those Full Proposals for which The Trust has successfully completed its initial review, including performing a site visit, if any, and obtaining additional information and follow up materials. Consequently, the time from receipt of a Full Proposal, completion of its review, and action by the Co-trustees can last anywhere from six to nine months. In certain circumstances, the process may take up to a year or longer.
Q. Does The Trust award grants that are automatically renewable?
A. No. All awardees must reapply to The Trust by submitting a new Letter of Inquiry.
Q. But what if The Trust has made a multi-year grant to an organization?
A. Before receiving the next installment of a multi-year grant, the organization must satisfactorily complete all reporting requirements under its Grant Agreement.
Q. Will The Trust renew grants on a consecutive fiscal year basis?
A. Not necessarily. The Trust discourages grant recipients from relying on The Trust for an annual grant on a consecutive fiscal year basis. Moreover, The Trust does not renew grants automatically on a consecutive fiscal year basis; current grant recipients must submit a Letter of Inquiry to receive further funding, though the grantee may submit that Letter of Inquiry prior to completion of the grant cycle. If a current recipient has satisfied all reporting requirements, submitted a Letter of Inquiry on a timely basis, and successfully completed all application requirements, it is possible that The Trust will renew the recipient’s grant within the applicant’s fiscal year immediately following the applicant’s previous fiscal year.
Q. What is the difference between The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust?
A. The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are two separate charitable trusts established by Richard M. Genius, Jr. in 1992 to honor the memory of his mother, Elizabeth Morse Genius.
- Each Trust has an identical Values Statement.
- Each Trust has a different set of application procedures.
- The Co-trustees of The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust are JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and James L. Alexander.
- The Co-trustees of the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are Bank of America, N.A. and James L. Alexander.
- As a general rule, each Trust does not permit applicants to submit proposals to both Trusts; once an applicant submits a proposal to one of the two Trusts, the applicant must submit all future funding requests to the same Trust.
- For more information regarding the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, please contact Srilatha Lakkaraju at Bank of America, N.A., (312) 828-8166 or check out the Trust’s website at www.emgeniustrust.org.
Q. What is the geographic focus of The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust?
A. The Trust’s geographic focus is Chicago and Cook County, Illinois. If an organization is located outside of this area, The Trust will still consider an application if the organization provides services to a significant number of persons who are residents of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.
Q. Can an applicant set up a meeting with the Co-trustees or The Trust’s staff?
A. Meetings between the applicant and The Trust take place only at the request of, and instigation by, The Trust and only after complete submission by the applicant of the Full Proposal and all required supporting documents.
Q. What is the funding focus of The Trust?
A. Please see the five tenets of The Trust’s Values Statement. Funding is limited to Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) organizations serving residents of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois; the organization must be one described in Sections 170(c)(2), 509(a), 2055(a), and 2522(a) of the Code. The Trust does not fund: individuals, endowments, capital campaigns, political activity, other private foundations, or programs at religious organizations that proselytize or are sectarian. The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust does not purchase tickets or tables for fund raising events, regardless of whether it has made past grants to the organization.
Q. Does The Trust have specific areas of giving? Does The Trust support certain types of organizations?
A. Technically, no. The Trust issues a diverse set of Requests for Proposal (RFP) to a wide variety of organizations. Rather than focusing on specific areas of giving or types of organizations, The Trust makes grants to agencies that persuasively demonstrate a strong connection between their missions, programs, and/or projects and one or more of the five tenets of The Trust’s Values Statement.
Q. Will The Trust explain why an organization’s Letter of Inquiry (LOI) or Proposal was declined?
A. With respect to Letters of Inquiry, no. Because the degree of interaction between Trust staff and an organization during the full proposal review process is significant and extensive, most applicants discover why The Trust declines their proposal.
Q. What should an organization do if The Trust declines its LOI?
A. If an organization wishes to submit another LOI, The Trust recommends waiting approximately a year before submitting the next LOI.
Q. What must an organization do in order to get The Trust to issue an RFP?
A. In order to be considered for an RFP, an organization must follow the LOI Guidelines, which can be requested by speaking with a member of The Trust’s staff or by checking Application Procedures. Existing grant recipients must be in full compliance with their Grant Agreement, as well as submit a satisfactory Letter of Inquiry.
Q, Should an agency send email updates to The Trust or include The Trust’s staff on email blasts? Should an organization add The Trust to its general mailing list?
A. No. The Trust strongly discourages grant applicants and grant recipients from adding The Trust and its staff, including the Co-trustees, to their general email blast and mailing lists. Should an organization disregard this direction, and The Trust’s staff must request removal from the generic email blast or mailing list, the organization may receive an automatic decline when next submitting a Letter of Inquiry.
hb10968h – By permission of the Chicago History Museum, all rights reserved.