TG accepts applications for funding through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. If an RFP is open for responses from any eligible applicant, information will be found on this page with instructions about how to apply and a link to the application form. At times TG also uses an invitation-only RFP process, in which case information will be sent directly to prospective respondents.
There are no additional RFPs scheduled for the remainder of 2016.
TG accepts applications through a focused Request for Proposals (RFP) process. RFPs will be announced either by invitation, or in some instances available to all eligible nonprofit organizations.
Although the guidelines for each RFP opportunity will vary, it is important to note that in all of its philanthropy, TG aims to increase post-secondary attainment and affordability by supporting innovation and growth of ideas and strategies that test and inform practice and policy to positively impact student decision-making and prudent student debt. In this work, TG prioritizes efforts that focus on low/moderate-income students.
Evaluation of proposals
In reviewing the proposals received, TG evaluates the strength and ability of the applicant to ensure that:
- There is a compelling rationale and need for the proposed project.
- The project's goals/objectives are clearly and directly tied to measurable deliverables/outcomes/expectations, identified by each applicant as a part of the proposal.
- There are collaborative partnerships to help augment the impact of the grant and that the efforts will promote increased coordination among organizations and institutions within the community. (Letters of support or copies of memoranda of understanding should be included for any proposed organizational partners.)
- There is sufficient institutional/organizational or other support to ensure that the efforts will be implemented and continued if the project intends to remain in place beyond the grant period.
- The efforts have the potential to inform practices or policy development, increase knowledge across the higher education community, or could be adapted by other organizations or institutions.
In general, TG will not make grants for purposes of:
- Annual fund-raising events or general sustaining drives
- Performances or competition expenses
- Building infrastructure, physical plant, and/or brick-and-mortar construction
- Motor vehicles
- Debt retirements
- Indirect costs
- Lobbying efforts
Grant application process
- Review the guidelines provided in the RFP to determine relevance and applicability.
- Complete and submit the application, using the link specified in the RFP announcement.
- Respond to TG's request for additional information or a site visit, if necessary.
TG Philanthropy's relationship to TG's business activities
Although TG has been explicit about the rationale and guidelines for this program from its inception, it is worth reiterating that TG's philanthropy is open to all schools and non-profit organizations regardless of their participation in the federal education loan programs. Successful grantees are selected pursuant to a performance metric established for the grantmaking program. All non-profit institutions eligible to participate in the federal financial aid programs, as authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, are also eligible to apply for a TG grant. In addition, the program accepts applications from community-based, non-profit organizations that also aim to improve success in higher education.
Moreover, there is no correlation between our selection of grant awards and an institution's business relationship with TG. TG's philanthropic program does not subscribe, nor impose, any quid pro quo condition. TG personnel associated with administering the grants program are expected to strictly adhere to this standard. If any prospective or current applicant receives any communication from TG staff or any other person that implies that a quid pro quo condition may exist, please notify TG by calling TG's ethics hotline at (877) 842-6675 or by calling the Chief Ethics Officer directly and confidentially at (800) 252-9743, extension 4966. TG's Chief Ethics Officer will respond to and act upon any concerns received. Calls to either number may be made anonymously.
Allowable project costs
When estimating project costs and the amount you will request from TG, please consider all expenses for which TG funding is being requested, as well as any in-kind or other contributions that will be used to support the project. Please note that TG will not consider requests to cover indirect costs. All costs for which TG funding is requested must be incurred solely for work on the proposed project. A budget template will be made available to applicants.
Application deadline and format
Each RFP will specify the due date for applications. All applications must be submitted electronically.
Each RFP will specify the maximum grant term for the proposed work.
TG does not automatically renew grant funding. Please note that receiving grant funding for a prior year does not guarantee or place the applicant in a preferred position to be awarded additional grant funding in subsequent years.
TG may conduct a site visit to the applicant organization before making a funding decision. TG may also conduct site visits to successful applicant organizations after funding has been awarded.
Requirements of grantees
Successful applicants will be required to submit progress reports on the status of the project. Reports must include details on progress made toward project objectives and an accounting of funds expended. Successful applicants may also be invited to share their project's efforts, experiences, and successes through presentations and publications, as requested by TG.
Tools for Outcomes Measures in Grants
Guide to Common Metrics for Postsecondary Access and Success and TG Webinar: Starting at the End: Building Outcomes Assessment Into the Grant Proposal This TG publication and accompanying webinar discusses basic tools for access and success program professionals seeking to document their programs' impact on students. In particular, it focuses on nonprofit organizations and universities applying for grants to fund their access and success program activities. The webinar is complemented by the TG publication "Guide to Common Metrics for Postsecondary Access and Success."
Tools for Building Partnerships
Partnering for Success: A Case Study of Persistence Power in Missouri , TG Webinar: Creating partnerships to Support Student Success, and Collaborating for Student Success Diagnostic Tool
This case study and accompanying webinar and diagnostic tool describe are based on the Persistence Power program, funded by TG Philanthropy. Program partners share successes and lessons learned and will discuss replicable best practices for forming partnerships to support student postsecondary success. This program was based on the three pillars of postsecondary persistence: academic readiness and support, affordability and funding, and social and emotional competence. Presenters: Faith Sandler, Executive Director, The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis; Allison Williams, Senior Vice President, Wyman Center; Trent Ball, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Retention, Southeast Missouri State University. Moderated by Jenny Achilles, Program Officer, TG Philanthropy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much funding does TG award each year?
TG makes awards through its philanthropy program based on the financial performance of the nonprofit corporation each year. Because of this, funding varies from year to year. In past years, total available funding has ranged from $1.5 million to $6 million for competitive grants.
2. Who may apply for grants from TG?
TG funds organizations classified as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and as public charities under section 509(a) of that Code or to public organizations that are designated under section 170(c) of the Code. Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible.
3. Is there a geographic area of focus for TG?
TG prioritizes support for programs serving Texas students. Through its Request for Proposals (RFP) process, TG may establish other geographic priorities for any of its grant categories.
4. Does TG consider ongoing projects or just new initiatives?
Unless otherwise specified in the RFP process, TG will consider funding for existing projects as well as new initiatives. If an organization proposes funding for an existing program, however, it is essential for the applicant to include a rationale for why additional funding is being sought (e.g., Has prior funding expired? Is the program expanding to serve additional students? etc.)
5. If my organization has an active grant from TG, are we still eligible to apply?
For applicants with active grants, TG will carefully consider the capacity of the organization to carry out any new programming or projects. Although TG does not expressly exclude current grantees from applying, any overlap in timelines, program activities, and personnel will be closely examined for any potential to impede the progress of any current projects being funded.
6. How will I know if TG receives my proposal?
TG's online application system automatically generates a receipt notice for every completed application electronically within 24 hours.
7. Does TG conduct site visits for all applicants?
TG does not conduct site visits for all applicants. If an applicant is selected for a site visit, TG will request an appointment date and time and provide an agenda in advance.
8. Can funding be renewed for subsequent years?
TG does not automatically renew funding for ongoing projects.
9. If a university is working with a nonprofit on a project, which entity should submit the proposal?
As long as the applying organization has the capacity to manage the project and the partnership is solid and committed to by both parties, TG does not favor one over the other. You might consider having the application come from whichever partner is already equipped to administer grant projects and has more flexibility in administering the process.
10. Is there a page limit for the application?
Because the application forms are online, there is no specific page limit.
11. Does TG require letters of support with the application?
If your proposed project involves programmatic partners, TG will require a letter of support or memorandum of understanding indicating that there is a shared commitment to the project. If additional information is needed, the staff person reviewing your proposal will ask for more details.
12. When will we find out if our project has been approved for funding?
Funding decisions will be announced after the respective TG Board meeting at which they were considered. Each RFP will specify when the funding decisions will be announced.
13. Will you contact organizations that are unsuccessful in applying?
14. What are the most common reasons proposals are unsuccessful in securing funding?
Because TG has limited financial resources, we are able to fund only a small percentage of qualified applicants. This means that many excellent projects, even ones that fall within our areas of interest, may not be funded. In the vast majority of cases, a declination to fund a proposal does not mean that the project lacks merit. However, the proposals that are successful often excel in the following areas:
- Presenting compelling, clearly defined goals tied to measurable outcomes
- Indicating evidence of partnerships (funding or programmatic)
- Inclusion of a viable sustainability plan
- Proposal offers innovative solutions or a replicable model with a plan for disseminating best practices learned to other institutions/organizations in the field
15. Is there a minimum or maximum grant amount that TG considers?
TG has no set minimum or maximum amounts. To date, grant awards have ranged from $8,000 to $400,000.
16. If an organization is unsuccessful in applying in a given year, can the same project be submitted again for consideration?
TG does not encourage repeated submissions of unsuccessfully proposed projects.
17. Does TG provide feedback on unsuccessful applications?
Applicants can request feedback in writing. Due to operational constraints, TG may not be able to respond to these requests quickly.
18. Are there items or activities that TG will not fund?
In general, TG will not make grants for purposes of annual fund-raising events or general sustentation drives; performances or competition expenses; building infrastructure, physical plant, and brick-and-mortar construction; motor vehicles; endowments; debt retirements; indirect costs; and lobbying efforts.
19. Does TG have any recommendations for how an organization can start measuring the impact of its programs?
TG has developed a Guide to Common Metrics for Postsecondary Access and Success to provide guidance for grantees and prospective grantees for assessing program impact. The guide compiles common metrics that access and success programs utilize and was designed to help grantees as they begin collecting and analyzing data on their programs.
20. Can you direct me to a place that offers resources for proposal writing?
While TG does not provide grant-writing assistance, we encourage applicants to follow our guidelines in preparing a proposal and to call if they have a question. In addition, The Foundation Center has a good collection of resources online, and, for Texas applicants, the Center for Nonprofit Management Assistance in your area may be able to help.
21. What if I have additional questions?
You can contact TG's philanthropy staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.