Competitive Grants FAQs

Ellen Heyden HeadshotQuestions? Never hesitate to reach out to Grants Specialist Ellen Heyden. Her position is dedicated to providing responsive technical assistance with the aim to help all eligible applicants submit the most competitive request possible.

Ellen is available to help anytime between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Monday-Wednesday.

CALL 608-782-3223 x 29


CALENDLY Schedule directly to her calendar here

How are applications submitted?

All competitive grant requests must be submitted through our online grant portal. This software allows applicant organizations to keep a complete record of applications and related award details. It is also how our grant evaluators are able to review requests through a fair and equitable process.

How long will a grant application take to complete?

Right-sizing the application process for our competitive grants programs is an ever evolving goal for us. Currently, we advise the following time frames for each grant application:

  • Micro Grants: 30 mins or less (possibly more if using a fiscal sponsor)
  • Mini Grants: 2 hours or less
  • Capacity Building Grants: 15-20 hours

Can I submit more than one application?

Eligible organizations are not prohibited from applying to all available grant opportunities. However, organizations are only eligible to receive one grant award from every qualifying program yet this year. And, serving as a fiscal sponsor on behalf of another applicant does not limit the fiscal sponsoring organizations ability to apply for its own requests.

I didn’t pass the eligibility quiz, but I think we qualify. What should I do?

If you believe your organization (or project) should have passed the eligibility quiz contact Grants Specialist Ellen Heyden at She will be able to view your submitted quiz responses and can share why it was denied and then resolve any issues or discrepancies.

How much funding is still available for competitive grant awards in 2024?

Funding allocations for competitive grant programs is determined annually. On average, the Foundation has $1,000,000 available each year for competitive grantmaking. As of June 1, there is $470,000 still available for 2024 grant awards. This amount has been allocated as follows:

  • Micro Grants: $70,000
  • Mini Grants: $100,000
  • Capacity Building Grants: $300,000


Can more than one person work on a grant application at the same time?

Yes, the initial applicant can invite other individuals to “collaborate” on the application. We do encourage that each person have their own login. Grants Specialist Ellen Heyden is available at to help individuals set up new logins for organizations that have existing profiles in the online portal.

Is there anything that LACF will NOT fund?

  • Repeat grants for the same project on an open-ended basis
  • Partisan political activities
  • Organizational endowments
  • Scholarships or grants to individuals
  • Religious activities for the primary purpose of religious education or proselytization
  • Retroactive expenses or activities that occur before notification of an award
  • Loan or debt payments
  • Budget gaps for governmental and school applicants (public/private schools and municipalities)

Did LACF get rid of standard grants?

No, there will be opportunities to apply for standard grant awards again in 2025.

How are grant applications evaluated?

Each grant program has specific evaluation procedures. You may review those in detail in the full RFPs available for each grant program. All competitive grant awards are ultimately recommended for approval by LACF’s Grants Committee to the Board of Directors.

How can I apply for funding from a donor advised fund?

In general, donor advised funds do not make competitive grants. However, all eligible micro grant applications are shared with donor advised fund holders who still have funding available for grantmaking this year.