managing the number of applications per quarter

I am a new grants administrator for a small community foundation. The foundation currently accepts applications quarterly, but the number of applications received varies a lot and some quarters, the Grants Committee (3 board members and the foundation ED) complains that there are too many to review. They would like 15 - 20 max.

Are there some strategies that other smaller foundations use to manage the number of applications per quarter? Or are foundations moving away from quarterly giving, maybe for that reason? A couple of other foundations in our state give once a year, then have other smaller pots of money ($500 - $1,000) that organizations can apply for on a rolling basis.


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    SarahFordSarahFord Posts: 1
    First Comment First Compass Anniversary

    We only administer two grant cycles per year for our unrestricted grantmaking and we don't limit how many applications we accept. We typically receive 25-30 applications. However, one way you could address this if you have a lot of repeat applicants, is to limit how frequently they can receive a grant award from you. We recently implemented a policy where they could only receive one award per calendar year, and it did cut down on the number of applications we received. Another way to limit it would be to set priority areas and only accept grants that meet those priorities. Something to consider, we are removing our restriction on how often they can receive a grant because our committee said they would rather see a more competitive cycle than a less competitive cycle. Good luck!

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    MegGonzalezMegGonzalez Posts: 2
    First Comment Conversation Starter

    Thanks for the suggestions, Sarah! We do ask repeat applicants to "take a break" after 3 consecutive years. The "priority areas" idea is an interesting one and one the Grants Committee has thought about. They recently discussed having one round be exclusively for applicants in our county, since the Foundation prides itself in being a place-based, locally invested entity, despite having their giving program open statewide. Thanks again!

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