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Major Grants Program

Grants to Maryland Nonprofits for Education, Health, Poverty
Alleviation, Youth, and Economic Development in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Helen J. Serini Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants starting at $5,000 to Maryland nonprofit organizations for programs that address social and economic inequalities faced by the underserved in eligible regions of the State. Letters of Inquiry are due by June 30, 2018. Funding is intended to support creative interventions that remove or address the root causes of systemic barriers to safety, health, shelter, and opportunity in communities where constituents of the funding source live and work.

Funding is focused on organizations working to break the cycle of poverty in the communities of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Frederick County.

The areas of focus are described as follows:

- Youth and families: Adverse childhood experiences; case management; family support services.
- Food security: Long-term solutions to food access; food deserts; nutritional programming.
- Economic opportunity: job creation, employment training, financial education and access, workforce development.
- Community development
- Access to adequate, affordable healthcare.

Grantmaking strategies work to align the above areas of focus with the Foundation's mission of supporting economic and social equality by focusing services on populations who are historically underserved.

Grants are offered in the following categories:

General Operating Support
"Keep the lights on" funding. General operating support grants are not restricted to a specific project or program within an organization, but instead intended to support the organization as a whole.

Capacity Building Support
Funds specifically intended to help an organization expand its capacity by expanding staff, investing in training opportunities, hiring outside consultants, or encourage collaboration between multiple organizations working in the same space.

Project- or Program Specific Grants
Grants to support a specific project within an organization or one particular program within a larger organization.

The Foundation is flexible in its funding methods. While the Foundation most commonly makes direct grants (which may include unrestricted, restricted, and matching), it is open to Program-Related Investments (PRI), loans, bridge funding, and other creative funding mechanisms.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 171637

Estimated Size of Grant:

Over $5,000

Term of Contract:

The Foundation welcomes unsolicited applications for one-year grants from organizations working within the defined areas of focus and geographic area. Multi-year grants will be made by invitation only.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

LOI submissions are accepted from organizations that are operationally based in, or that provide services and support to, the communities where board members and advisors live and work. This includes Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Frederick County.

All organizations seeking funding, regardless of amount requested, are required to meet the following criteria:

- Provide services in and/or be based in one of the geographic areas of focus (exceptions may be made on invitation of the board);
- Provide evidence of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3), OR, in the case of international grantees, provide similar proof of tax exemption to the satisfaction of the Executive Director;
- Provide up-to-date contact details for regular communications;
- Adhere to the principles of the Foundation and the Foundation's mission statement.

The Helen J. Serini Foundation will not make grants to the following:

- Organizations that engage in discriminatory hiring, benefit or service practices based on race, color, nationality or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, gender, gender orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.
- Individuals
- Political Action Committees (PAC) or lobbying efforts (exclusive of research)
- 509(a)(3) organizations
- Religious institutions that have not submitted a 1023 form and/or received their 501(c)(3) status
- Reimbursement for prior expenses

Pre-Application Information:

LOIs are accepted year-round on a rolling basis; though there are cut-offs for LOI submission to be considered for a specific grant cycle.

All LOIs will be reviewed in detail by the Program Officer and a select committee of community volunteers and board members. On invitation, organizations will be able to access the full grant proposal form via the online application system. Receipt of all proposals will be acknowledged in writing.

Spring 2018 Grant Cycle Deadlines:

- January 20: Letters of Inquiry due (LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but any LOIs received after January 20 will be considered part of the Fall 2018 funding cycle)
- March 10: Invitations to submit proposals sent
- April 15: Proposals due
- March 10 - April 28: Site visits, on-site interviews, etc. conducted as needed
- June 15: Notification of proposal acceptance or declination

Fall 2018 Grant Cycle Deadlines:
- June 30: Letters of Inquiry due (LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but any LOIs received after January 20 will be considered part of the Fall 2018 funding cycle)
- August 25: Invitations to submit proposals sent
- September 30: Proposals due
- August 25 - September 30: Site visits, on-site interviews, etc. conducted as needed
- November 15: Notification of proposal acceptance or declination

All organizations submitting a proposal will receive a written notice regarding the decision on the proposal.

To preview the questions asked in full proposals for funding amounts over $5,000, download the attached PDFs. For information on how to apply for funding in amounts less than $5,000, please contact Kerry McHugh, Program Officer, using the contact information below.

Types of grants:

Preview the LOI form:

Grant guidelines:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Kerry A. McHugh,VP, Program Officer

The Helen J. Serini Foundation, Inc.
PO Box 146
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Frederick County