Frequently Asked Questions - 2021 Grant Cycle

1. How do I apply for a grant?

The first step in applying for a grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation is to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) through our online application portal. Please visit our "How to Apply" page for additional information.

2. Who may submit a request to the S. Mark Taper Foundation?

Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves clients in Southern California (see "How to Apply" for specific counties) and hasn't received a grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation during the last three grant cycles.

3. What types of funding does the S. Mark Taper Foundation provide?

We provide General Operating Support, Program Support, and Capital Support.

4. What issue areas does the S. Mark Taper Foundation fund?

We typically fund organizations that work in the following fields: Arts, Civic Affairs, Education, Environment, Health and Social Services.

5. What amount should I request in my Letter of Inquiry?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation does not provide guidance to organizations on the amount of their request. Instead, we recommend that you make this decision based on the size of your organization and the size of past grants (both from the S. Mark Taper Foundation and other foundations).

6. Does the S. Mark Taper Foundation provide multi-year funding?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation only provides multi-year grants for capital projects.

7. How many grants are awarded each year?

Between 70 and 90 grants are awarded each year.

8. My organization has a fiscal sponsor. Can we apply for a grant?

Yes, the S. Mark Taper Foundation provides grants to organizations with fiscal sponsors.

9. I work for a local branch of a national non-profit organization. Can we apply for a grant?

Organizations that provide services in one of eight counties in Southern California are eligible to apply for a grant. Please see the "How to Apply" page to see a list of eligible counties.

10. I recently received a grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. When may I submit another Letter of Inquiry?

A past grantee is not eligible for three grant cycles immediately following the year in which they received their grant. For example, an organization that received a grant in 2018 would not be eligible to apply for another grant until the 2022 grant cycle.

11. Can I submit a proposal after the deadline?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation does not accept late proposals.

12. Are Grant Guidelines available?

Yes. Please see "LOI Guidelines".

13. May I have a meeting or a phone call with a Foundation staff member regarding my organization's eligibility or LOI proposal?

Foundation staff members do not have meetings or phone calls to discuss individual LOIs. However, if you have general questions regarding eligibility, the online grants portal or the "LOI Guidelines", please email us at grants@smtfoundation.org or call (310) 476-5413.

14. How will I know if my LOI has been approved to move forward to the application stage?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation will reach out via email to your organization's CEO/Executive Director and the staff person that submitted your LOI to invite your organization to submit a full application. Please be sure that all contact information is up-to-date on your organization's profile. Every applicant will receive a final decision by the end of October.

15. Our LOI was declined. Can you tell us why? How soon can we re-apply?

Due to time constraints on our staff, the S. Mark Taper Foundation cannot provide individualized feedback on declines. An organization that has been declined and meets the Foundation's guidelines is eligible to reapply in the next grant cycle. A past grantee is not eligible for three grant cycles immediately following the year in which they received their grant.

16. What kinds of supporting documentation will we be asked to submit with the LOI and the Grant Application?

Prior to the opening of a new grant cycle, the Foundation will make PDF versions of each LOI available for download on the website. These documents include full lists of required uploads.

17. Will you schedule a site visit with us?

The S. Mark Taper Foundation may conduct a site visit during or after the application process. If we decide to do a site visit, we will contact the organization to schedule a date and time.

18. What do I do if I forgot my password for my account on the online grants portal?

Please click on the "Forgot Password" button on the login page of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Online Grants Portal and follow the instructions.

19. Who do I contact if I have questions about the online application portal?

Contact the Foundation via email at grants@smtfoundation.org or by phone at (310) 476-5413.