Each year, Gates Family Foundation invests about 40 percent of annual grantmaking dollars in capital projects across the state. We strive to be responsive to each community’s unique needs and opportunities, in both rural and urban areas.

While the relative amount we plan to distribute to capital projects in 2020 will remain consistent, we are reducing the number of cycles in which we’ll accept capital grant requests, from three to two. Our proposal deadlines for 2020 are:

  • March 15, 2020 (for a decision at our mid-June board meeting)
  • September 15, 2020 (for a decision at our mid-December board meeting)

Why are we doing this? Over the past few years, we have experienced a notable increase in the number of proposals we receive each cycle from nonprofits seeking funding for worthy capital projects. While we strive to weigh each proposal using a consistent set of priorities, it has become increasingly difficult to compare projects and their relative impact across all three cycles. There have been times when we have arrived at the end of the year, with little funding left to give.

By reducing the number of capital grant cycles to two, we hope to be able to more effectively compare and prioritize projects, while also continuing to provide potential grantees with flexible deadlines and timely responses.

Will this reduce your chances of receiving a capital grant from Gates? No. We still plan to dedicate the same proportion of our annual funding to the capital grants program — that’s 40 percent of our total grantmaking. By way of example, in 2018 our capital grants program received more than 100 requests, and we made $3.35 million in capital grant commitments. In 2020 we do expect to evaluate more requests per cycle, but ideally we will dedicate closer to one half of the available capital grant dollars each cycle, instead of one-third.

If you have questions about this change or the capital grants program in general, please contact me, Lisa Rucker, at lrucker@gatesfamilyfoundation.org. or (303) 722-1881.