Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of organizations will the Foundation fund?

    Potomac Health Foundation will award grants to the following types of organizations: Section 501(c)(3) public charities, including Section 509(a)(1), Section 509(a)(2), Section 509(a)(3). Other types of organizations that are eligible for funding are domestic units of government and exempt operating foundations. All other agencies would only be eligible if applying with a tax-exempt Fiscal Sponsor.  To read a copy of our Fiscal Sponsor guidelines click here.
  • What types of grants will the Foundation fund?

    General Operating Support, Project Support, Scholarships to Organizations (not individuals), Matching Grants and Capital Projects will be considered for funding by the Foundation during every funding cycle.
  • What makes a proposal competitive?

    Potomac Health Foundation favors proposals that: show promise in significant impact in addressing identified issues, are clearly aligned with Foundation priorities, demonstrate sound financial planning (including sustainability), complement efforts of other organizations, and address current and emerging health issues through best practices and innovative strategies.
  • What is the Foundation’s service area?

    The Foundation provides grant support to tax-exempt organizations that serve the people of eastern Prince William County Virginia, and the immediately adjacent communities in eastern Fairfax and Stafford counties. This includes the following areas: Aquia, Dale City, Dumfries, Garrisonville, Lake Ridge, Lorton, Manassas, Montclair, Occoquan, Quantico, Southbridge, Triangle and Woodbridge, Virginia.

    Specific Zip Codes served by the Potomac Health Foundation: 20112, 22025, 22026, 22079, 22125, 22134, 22172, 22191, 22192, 22193,  22554, and 22556. To view a service area map click here.

  • Can our agency’s administrative office be outside of the foundation service area and still be eligible to apply for a grant?

    Yes. If your agency headquarters are located outside of our service area but your agency provides, and/or proposes services to our service area, your proposal will be considered. The applicant needs to clearly demonstrate how the proposal will directly benefit residents of the Foundations service area in order to be competitive.
  • If our agency’s program serves clients both in and out of the foundations service area, can we use our grant money for all the clients in our program?

    No. Foundation funds can only be used to benefit the residents in the stated service area.
  • Can the same agency submit two Letters of Intent?

    Yes, but they must be for clearly different programs or ideas. For the same agency to receive two grants, the quality of the applications will need to be very high and address major priority areas of the Foundation.
  • Is there a limit on the dollar amount an agency can request?

    During each grant cycle there is a floor and ceiling amount determined. These details are available in the grant guidelines. The Foundation expects some financial contribution (matching support) from the agency as opposed to 100% funding requests.

    Beyond the Foundation requirements an agency should also consider IRS requirements for the public support test. Grant awards given by PHF are subject to the public support test due to the Foundation status as a private foundation.

  • Can we use “gift-in-kind” support as matching support in our budget?

    Gift-in-kind support alone is not sufficient as matching support for a Foundation grant. Additional cash support is required to receive a Howard L Greenhouse Large Grant from the Foundation. However, gift-in-kind (GIK) support can demonstrate that an applicant is seeking and dedicating additional resources for the project in terms of staff, materials and other operation support. It is important to include gifts-in-kind support in the budget section.
  • Can dedicated pledges be used as matching support?

    Yes. The Foundation cannot be the sole funder on a project and the project must have other committed cash funding. Cash pledges may count toward this. Cash pledges should be noted both in the body of the proposal as well as the budget. The applicant should also note the date when the cash pledge is anticipated to be converted to a cash commitment. Cash pledges will not carry as much weight as cash or grant awards that are already committed to the agency.
  • Should we provide letters of support?

    Letters of support are required during the Formal Application phase. It is requested in order to illustrate existing and/or developing partnerships.
  • If our application is denied, could we resubmit for further consideration?

    Applicants denied in one year are encouraged to apply again for another funding cycle. In rare instances, the Foundation reserves the right to ask the applicant of a denied proposal to resubmit a revised proposal. Additionally, applicants not awarded grants are encouraged to engage foundation staff in dialogue for tips on presenting a stronger proposal in the future.
  • Can our agency be the lead applicant for one grant proposal and a subcontractor on another project?

    Yes, collaborations are encouraged and could be an effective approach to project implementation.
  • Can an agency schedule a discussion prior to the submission of a complete proposal with budget?

    Inquiry phone calls are generally welcome and the primary point of contact should be the Senior Program Officer.  The LOI is the first stage of the application process and is designed to weigh whether there is a good fit between an agency’s ideas and the Foundation’s priorities. Specific feedback will be provided between the first and second phase. Scheduled workshops are also a good venue for application questions, as well as a source of information on Foundation expectations.  For information on deadlines and workshops, see How to Apply on the website under the Grants heading.