FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When filling out the application, is it better to submit a lot of information or keep it brief?
We want to know your mission, background, and specific needs, but in the most concise way possible. Sometimes even simple bullet points can be helpful in highlighting important aspects of your project. Time doesn't allow for us to read through too much data.
When are your grant application deadlines and when should we expect to hear back?
We do not have specific deadlines, we accept applications on a rolling basis. You will be notified when you are awarded a grant. All applications are kept on file so if you have not heard anything, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be funded.
Is there a standard level of support you provide?
No, many factors are considered during a review dependent on the organization’s request and information submitted. The majority of applications submitted are worthy of funding and serve an important need in the community, but we cannot fund all of them and must choose between them.
Do you have geographical grant making restrictions, i.e. do you fund organizations outside the United States?
We focus on areas where Opus Bank is an integral part of the neighboring business community. Currently that includes Orange County, San Diego County, Contra Costa County, Los Angeles County, and Washington.
Why do you ask for all this information?
In order to conduct a review, we need to be informed about and understand your agency. Also, as a foundation, we are required by the Internal Revenue Service to maintain files on all the nonprofits we fund.
If my organization’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity status is pending, can I still submit a grant application?
No, you must have a tax-exempt status and must include a 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter with the grant application.
Can you fund community organizations other than 501(c)(3) agencies?
No, the Opus Community Foundation can only provide financial support to 501(c)(3)s.
Why do you ask for both 990 Form and an audit?
The reports provide different information. By the way, we prefer receiving complete reports. That means including all statements of the 990, and not the abbreviated version of your audit.
You asked if we could provide a grant performance report, highlights, or an update. Could you clarify how you want to be kept informed?
After we choose to support an organization, we like to get feedback on how things went. This could be through a site visit, pictures, an impact report, or a variety of other ways. For example, if you asked us to fund a children’s play area, take a picture when it’s been completed. Let us know how it helped your organization and the community. We are more likely to fund you again in the future if you keep us informed, especially if there were glitches.
If turned down for a grant, can I reapply?
It depends. If you were turned down because of Opus Community Foundation budget restrictions, there might be an opportunity the following year, especially as our foundation grows. If however you are clearly outside our guidelines, then chances are we would not fund you. Keep in mind that all applications are kept on file. If you have not heard back right away, it does not mean that you have been denied.
If I should receive a grant from Opus Community Foundation, and wish to apply in the future, will I need to submit another request?
Yes, the information should be updated each year.
How can I contact Opus Community Foundation if I have questions?