Questions and Answers

If you are an applicant or are considering submitting an application, below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers related to the grant application and review process. If you would like to submit a question about a funding opportunity, please contact Gladys Hairston.  Common questions and responses will be posted here.

If you are a current John Rex Endowment grantee, we have responded to many key questions regarding grant-related requirements via the John Rex Endowment’s online grant management system.  To access the Frequently Asked Questions document see the Resources file in the “Documents” section of your grant record in the online system.

What We Will Fund

Are organizations located outside of Wake County eligible to apply for a nonprofit capacity building grant? (Posted: 1/12/2015)

The John Rex Endowment will accept applications from organizations located outside of Wake County; however, additional factors are considered in reviewing requests from such organizations.  For nonprofit capacity building grants, organizations must demonstrate the impact of their work on Wake County children.  In addition, statewide organizations must either (1) be engaged in policy advocacy work, or (2) doing work that addresses a need in regard to Wake County children that would otherwise be unmet by a local or regional organization.  National organizations as well as regional organizations operating outside of North Carolina are not eligible to apply for nonprofit capacity building support.

Will the John Rex Endowment consider project ideas that are different than the strategies specified in the request for proposals (RFP)? (Revised: 5/10/2016)

Generally, the John Rex Endowment will not consider project ideas that are different than the strategies specified in the RFP.  The exception is for current or prior grantees who are applying for an expansion grant. Expansion grant applicants may submit project ideas different from the strategies specified in the RFP.  However, such applications must be aligned with all guidelines provided for expansion grants.

We are conducting a project that is broader than but inclusive of the focus of the RFP.  Will the John Rex Endowment consider funding the full cost of the project? (Revised: 4/26/2013)

The John Rex Endowment will consider the rationale for the project and how well it fits with our five-year plan in making a determination.  It is possible that we would consider funding the full cost of the project or only partial support. 

Are we eligible to apply if we already have a grant with the John Rex Endowment in the same funding area? (Revised: 5/10/2016)

In most cases, grantees are eligible to apply for other grants in the same funding area.  We will not consider a request for funding the same work being conducted as part of an existing John Rex Endowment grant.  Grantees may submit project ideas that are new or those that build on the work of their existing grant. 

Nonprofit Capacity Building grantees may not have more than one active grant in that funding area at any single time; however, they may begin the application process prior to a current grant being closed.  Recipients of Organizational Assessment grants must have completed their organizational assessment process before beginning an application for a Capacity Building grant. 

All grantees may apply for grants in other funding areas than that of their current grant.

We’d like to apply for funding that is an expansion of a prior or current John Rex Endowment grant; however, the work is not a fit with any of the John Rex Endowment's funding areas.  Can we still submit a letter of intent? (Revised: 1/11/2016)

The John Rex Endowment will not accept applications for an expansion grant that is not a fit with our funding areas.  In addition, the John Rex Endowment provides guidance in funding announcements on the funding areas in which we are accepting applications for an expansion of a prior or current John Rex Endowment grant.  See Current Funding Opportunities for more information.

When does the John Rex Endowment decide its funding priorities each year? (Posted: 7/26/2016)

The John Rex Endowment regularly takes a look at what efforts we’ve funded, how the work we’re supporting moves us closer to our goals, what areas would benefit from additional investment, and the amount of money available for grantmaking.  Our current funding opportunities section provides detail on our funding priorities for 2016.  Looking ahead, our 2017 funding will be announced in May 2017 for our Fall and Winter Grant Award Cycles (see our schedule of funding).  At this time, we anticipate that our 2017 funding opportunities will continue with a similar focus to our 2016 priorities.

How To Apply

Can I access the RFP on your website, or do I have to register in the online grant management system to see it? (Revised: 4/30/2014)

Descriptions of most current funding opportunities, including related RFPs, are on our website under Current Funding Opportunities.  You can review these RFPs without registering in the online system.  At times, the John Rex Endowment may release special funding opportunities to a particular pool of applicants, such as our Wake County Healthy Community Grants for municipal governments in Wake County.  These special RFPs are not available except to those eligible to apply.

If I’m applying for a grant that would have a fiscal sponsor, which organization should set up the account in the online grant management system? (Posted: 5/13/2013)

The organization responsible for carrying out the work as outlined in the application, rather than the organization serving as fiscal sponsor, should set up the account in the online system.  During registration, you will be asked to list the Organization Name.  When using a fiscal sponsor, you should enter:  Fiscal Sponsor Organization’s Name/Your Organization’s Name.  For the Tax ID, you should enter the Fiscal Sponsor’s Tax ID.

How do I apply for a John Rex Endowment grant? (Revised: 8/19/2014)

To apply for a grant opportunity, organizations must use our online grant management system.  We highly recommend that, if not already registered, you complete the registration process early and familiarize yourself with the system.  A system tutorial is available in the section "Resources for Applicants and Grantees."  To begin, Log In now.

How do I submit a letter of intent (LOI) to the John Rex Endowment? (Posted: 1/12/2015)

The LOI is the initial stage of the application process in our online grant management system.  When you login to the online system and select the grant for which you wish to apply, you will automatically be directed to the LOI form.  Please note that Organizational Assessment (within our Nonprofit Capacity Building funding area) grants are the only John Rex Endowment grants that do not require a LOI as part of the application process.  Organizational Assessment applicants are allowed to directly submit a full application.

The letter of intent is not due for another five weeks.  Will I be okay if I wait until the week before to start working on it? (Posted: 1/12/2015)

We recommend that if you are considering submitting a letter of intent, you access our online grant management system as soon as possible to review the letter of intent form.  This will allow you to determine what information you will need to provide, decide who you might need to involve in working with you to prepare the letter of intent, and outline your timeline for completing the letter of intent.  This will also give you plenty of time to work on your letter of intent so that, should you have questions or experience an unanticipated challenge, you will still be able to submit prior to the published deadline.

May we meet with John Rex Endowment staff before we submit a letter of intent? (Posted: 3/28/2014)

Interested parties are welcome to email or call our Program Associate, Gladys Hairston, with specific questions.  Either she or our Program Director, Kate Shirah, will respond within a timely manner.  However, program staff do not meet with individuals to discuss a project idea at the letter of intent stage of the application process.

We would like to apply for a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant, but have not yet selected our consultant.  Are we still able to submit our letter of intent or application prior to the consultant selection? (Posted: 5/10/2016)

For organizations applying for an organizational assessment grant, all applicants must  have selected their consultant by the time they submit their application.

For organizations applying for a capacity building grant, it is not necessary to have identified your consultant prior to submitting a letter of intent.  However, we encourage organizations to either have their consultant selected prior to submission of their letter of intent or to have started the search process.  Generally, capacity building grant applicants need to identify their consultant by the time they submit their application.  We have found that organizations that have not identified their consultant often don’t have a clear picture of the work to be done or how to budget appropriately for the activities to be conducted.  In some cases, we will accept an application if a capacity building consultant has not been identified.  Please contact Gladys Hairston ( or 919-838-1110 x6) to discuss your specific situation before submitting your capacity building grant application.

Review Of Applications

What is the John Rex Endowment policy regarding indirect, or overhead, expenses? (Posted: 1/14/2014)

The John Rex Endowment policy for indirect, or overhead, expenses for grants and contracts is up to 10% for government agencies and colleges/universities. 501(c)(3) nonprofits that are designated as public charities with an operating budget of $10 million or more also are allowed up to 10%. 501(c)(3) nonprofits with an operating budget of less than $10 million are allowed up to 15%.

Are there any restrictions on the amount or length of a grant? (Revised: 8/18/2016)

The John Rex Endowment does not set a minimum or maximum award amount or duration for project grants.  However, we do have limits on how much we can award each calendar year.  Right now, we are limiting payments to all newly awarded grantees at $850,000 for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017.  Specific funding area limits are shared in published requests for proposals (RFPs).  As part of the review process, the proposed budget and timeline is assessed as it relates to the proposed activities and desired outcomes of the project.

I missed the published due date for a letter of intent by one day.  Will you still accept my letter of intent for the current grant cycle?  (Posted: 1/12/2015)

Our letter of intent and application deadlines are clearly specified in every request for proposals.  If a letter of intent and application are not submitted by the specified deadline, they will not be reviewed in the current grant cycle.  However, they will be maintained in our online system and reviewed in the next grant award cycle if the applicant wishes to submit later. 

We understand that at times there may be extenuating circumstances that are unpredictable and unavoidable.  In such cases, an applicant should contact Gladys Hairston immediately ( to provide information about the situation and request a one-time allowance.  Please note that we rarely make exceptions as we want to be fair and equitable to all applicants.  Thus, we strongly recommend that applicants do not wait until the last moment to submit their application so that they have time to handle unanticipated challenges (e.g., a computer malfunction or difficulty obtaining a required signature).

I submitted my application ahead of schedule.  Will I receive my award decision sooner? (Posted: 1/12/2015)

Grant applications will only be reviewed according to the schedule detailed in each request for proposals.  Award decisions for Summer Grant Award Cycle applications will be made in June; for Fall Grant Award Cycle applications, decisions will be made in October; and for Winter Grant Award Cycle applications, decisions will be made in February.

Who reviews grant applications and makes the award decision? (Revised: 9/1/2012)

Grant applications are reviewed by the Health Improvement Committee, a sub-committee of the John Rex Endowment Board of Directors.  The board reviews grant applications recommended by the committee and makes a final award decision.  Grant applications that are not recommended by the committee are not reviewed by the full board.  

Does the John Rex Endowment provide a reason if a grant is not recommended or awarded? (Revised: 9/1/2012)

Grant applicants are notified that the application is not being recommended or awarded within one to two business days of the committee or board review.  The notification includes the reason/s why the application is not being recommended or awarded.

If Grant Is Awarded

How does the grant payment process work? (Revised: 5/10/2016)

The John Rex Endowment establishes the schedule of grant payments based on the amount of the award and the length of the grant.  Grant payments are made in advance and reports on John Rex Endowment grant funds spent are required.

Will we be required to meet with John Rex Endowment staff? (Revised: 5/10/2016)

Grantees are required to meet with the Program Director, Kate Shirah, who oversees the management of awarded grants and the Program Associate, Gladys Hairston, who serves as the day-to-day contact for grantees.  The meeting schedule depends on the type and length of the grant.  

All grantees receiving a project grant award will be required to participate in an implementation meeting (typically close to the grant start date) and a final meeting (usually six weeks after the grant end date).  Typically, for grantees receiving a Nonprofit Capacity Building grant award, only grantees new to working with the John Rex Endowment are required to meet with John Rex Endowment staff. 

All grantees receiving a multi-year grant are required to participate in interim meetings annually.  Grantees may request additional meetings as needed, and the John Rex Endowment may require other meetings than those outlined here.

How long will we have to develop an evaluation plan? (Revised: 3/28/2014)

If an evaluation plan is required, the completed evaluation plan is expected to be submitted within the first two months of the grant.  Grantees will be notified of evaluation plan requirements soon after award notification.  The John Rex Endowment provides evaluation technical assistance to some grantees; information about this is provided to qualifying applicants at the time they are invited to submit a full application.  Implementation grant recipients are not allowed to begin intervention or program activities until the evaluation plan has been submitted to and approved by John Rex Endowment staff.

When can my grant start? (Posted: 7/26/2016)

See our schedule for funding for grant start dates for all of our grant award cycles.  Grant start dates are also published in open requests for proposals.  Grants may begin on, or anytime after, published start dates.