TG Philanthropy


TG Philanthropy

Grant Application Guidelines

TG Philanthropy will support efforts by non-profit entities that declare intent to use grant funding to improve student persistence and completion in postsecondary education. TG's first priority is that the primary beneficiaries of these efforts, either directly or indirectly, be students who are from low- to moderate-income families. Populations of focus include Latino/Hispanic students, students who are from other groups that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education, or students who are the first in their families to attend institutions of higher education. TG neither lends nor grants money directly to individuals through this program.

Grant categories and priority areas

TG will consider applications for projects in the following three categories:

  1. Direct Impact
    Within this category, priority will be given to proposals that address the needs of the primary populations of focus noted above and that aim to improve retention/persistence in postsecondary education. Applicants providing direct services primarily in the area of pre-college outreach are eligible to apply but must be able to demonstrate how programming relates to and supports postsecondary completion.

    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.) Preference is given to proposals that can demonstrate concrete deliverables for a specific project produced within the grant period.
  2. Organizational Impact and Research
    1. For research proposals within this category, priority will be given to those that inform policies and practices affecting:
      1. Postsecondary retention and degree completion among the populations of focus noted above;
      2. Student financial aid, to include self-help aid, such as student or parent loans; or
      3. Transfers, persistence, degree attainment and career placement for community college students including examination or evaluations of promising practices for community college advising.
    2. For organizational impact proposals, priority will be given to requests from nonprofit organizations (exclusive of academic institutions) that are ready to take existing programs to scale, but that need to strengthen an aspect of the organization or its infrastructure in order to grow successfully. This does not include increased staff resources.
  3. Strategic Impact
    Within this category, priority will be given to proposals that advance practices, policies, and collaborative networks that positively affect educational systems. In particular, TG will assess proposals for their ability to
    1. Leverage other resources (funding/intellectual) and partnerships with foundations, corporations, and institutions
    2. Affect/benefit a critical mass of eligible individuals (target community)
    3. Inform institutional/organizational policy and/or macro-level policy discussions
    4. Use viable evaluation methods and data

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 must be included with the full application 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
  • Endowments
  • Debt retirements
  • Indirect costs
  • Lobbying efforts, to include attempts to influence specific legislation

Grant application process

  • Complete and submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI), using the appropriate online form.
  • Respond to TG's request for additional information or a site visit, if necessary.
  • Complete the full application, if invited to continue in the competition.

While you may submit an LOI at any time, a short lead time may not allow for a commitment of funds by the start of your project. If you submit an LOI with insufficient time for adequate consideration, you may be advised to withdraw or TG may hold your application until the active review process begins.

Please note: Applying organizations are limited to two awards per year. University applicants are encouraged to coordinate applications through their respective sponsored projects, corporate/foundation relations, or advancement/development offices. If TG receives additional LOIs after making two awards to the same organization within the fiscal year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30), we will notify the organization and ask them to withdraw the LOI.

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 grants 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 at the time a full application is requested (following the LOI stage).

The following guidelines are meant to serve as a reference only. The proposed budget should reflect the nature of the project and may include additional line items or omit line items listed here:

  • Personnel salaries/wages/fringe benefits
    Include current salaries and wages for personnel whose time will be dedicated to the project. If these costs are being covered through in-kind contributions, or as indirect expenses that would otherwise be covered by your organization, indicate that on the budget.
  • Equipment
    For purposes of TG's grant program, equipment is defined as nonexpendable, tangible property that exceeds a cost of $1,000.
  • Supplies
    General office supplies are not typically included in TG-funded grant budgets, as they are likely to fall into the category of indirect costs. However, certain types of supplies may be needed, based on the nature of a particular project. In these cases, funding may be requested for supplies for project participants (e.g., school supplies for student participants), communication/telephone/fax, long-distance charges, computers/printers purchased specifically in support of the project, and peripherals. Printing and duplication costs may be included only if these expenses can be directly attributed to the proposed project.
  • Travel
    If travel is essential to the proposed project, please include estimates and calculations for all related costs involved (e.g., airfare, ground transportation, per diem, conference registration fees, lodging, mileage for personal vehicle usage, etc.) For travel guidelines, see Guidelines for Travel Expenses.
  • Grants/scholarships/stipends
    This line item relates to those grant proposals seeking to provide tuition support, books/materials, or participation stipends. Please designate the type of support involved and the number of students or participants to be supported.
  • Other expenses
    Please limit the use of this category. If used, please provide detail and justification for any items that are expected to be funded through TG in this category.
  • Indirect costs
    Any indirect costs, including F&A, attributed to the project can be noted, but TG funding cannot be used to cover these costs. It is permissible for the applicant organization to demonstrate in-kind or other support for these costs.

Grant agreement

Organizations whose proposals are approved for funding must execute a grant agreement with TG. A sample of this document can be found online at

TG is required by federal law and U.S. Department of Labor directives to include the Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program notification (set forth in Section 8.10 of the Sample Grant Agreement) in all its contracts, including the TG Philanthropy Grant Agreements. Applicant organizations should review this section carefully to determine whether the provision applies to their organization and, if so, whether their organization is in compliance with the section's requirements. TG is not able to delete or revise the language in this section; accordingly, if an organization is unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements, TG will not review any grant applications submitted from that organization. Please note that this provision is related to employment practices, not admissions-related criteria.

TG requires applicants to thoroughly review the sample grant agreement prior to submitting a grant proposal and to certify that the applicant can comply with the terms of the agreement. TG is not likely to consider significant amendment to the Grant Agreement.

Application deadline and format

The initial LOI form must be submitted electronically. If a prospective grantee is invited to continue to the next stage of the competition, the full application for funding from TG, an invitation will be issued with detailed instructions and deadline information.

Project timeframes

For applications in the Direct Impact and Strategic Impact categories, TG may approve a request for a grant period up to 36 months. For grant projects in the Organizational Impact and Research category, the preferred project timeframe should extend no more than 18 months; however, TG will consider projects of up to two years, or approving no-cost extensions up to six additional months, if requested in writing by the grantee and if a determination is made that the extended timeframe will improve the project's potential for success.

TG does not automatically renew grant funding. Applicants must reapply for additional funding in subsequent grant competitions. 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. It is also important to note that grantees applying for a second or third grant for the same or a similar project must demonstrate that 75 percent of the total project budget will be funded from sources other than TG.

Site visits

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 a funding decision has been announced.

Requirements of grantees

Successful applicants will be required to submit to TG at least two progress reports on the status of the project. Multi-year projects will be required to submit more than two progress reports. 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.

Prior grant awards funded

For listings of prior grant awards, please visit the links on the left. Inquiries regarding the grant program should be sent to

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