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How to Apply

Step One:
Review Eligibility Criteria

  • Our geographical focus is Western South Dakota, in particular, the Black Hills region 
  • Public charities that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and "not a private foundation" under Section 509(a) of the Code, US governmental agencies or schools
  • Organizations are limited to 1 unsolicited grant request per 12 months period
  • For current grantees - after required reports have been submitted and approved on current grant, the Foundation may consider future requests 
  • We do NOT fund individuals, school affiliated trips, museums, animal-related projects, political campaign activities, direct religious activities, international requests and requests from form letters
  • We do NOT normally fund endowments, benefit events, event sponsorships, sports activities, publications, video, and film production, camp development and infrastructure, lead gift for Capital Campaign, organizations that have been in existence for less than five years.

Step Two:
Verify Eligibility  

We do not accept requests through mail. Please contact us and include a brief description of your organization, program or project for which you are requesting funds, your timeline, and your tax ID #.  Your information will be reviewed internally by our Team.  A staff member will be in touch to either confirm or deny eligibility. 

If eligible, you will be instructed on how to proceed in our online grants management system. 

If you do not receive an initial response from us within two weeks, please follow-up via phone at 605-343-3141. 

Step Three:
Online Letter of Inquiry

You will start by submitting a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) in our online system.  The LOI will be reviewed by our Board of Directors.  You will be promptly notified of approval or denial of your LOI. If your LOI is accepted, you will be directed to complete a grant application.  

The entire process can take several months so consider this when submitting your request.

Step Four:
Online Grant Application

Following approval of the LOI, you will proceed to the grant application phase.  The application includes a variety of questions, and you will be required to upload necessary financial documentation.   The application will be reviewed internally, and you will be contacted as needed to provide additional information and answer questions.  A site visit may be required during your application process.  Once the application has been reviewed by the Foundation team, the application will move forward to the Board of Directors for consideration at their next meeting.  The Foundation has four board meetings a year.  You will be promptly notified of approval or denial of your grant application. 

Step Five:
Grant Report

Grant reporting is a requirement for all grant awards.  Report expectations vary depending on the nature and size of the grant and will be discussed with grantee as needed.  Grant reports must be received and approved from the grantee before the Foundation will consider future requests.  

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