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Grant Cycle Application Process to Change from One to Three Opportunities per Year

Shorter process will include more technical assistance

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation is pleased to announce a significant change to its Grant Cycle submission process and time frame. The Foundation will now offer three opportunities per year to apply for Core Programs and Services grants rather than just once a year for each focus area, providing more flexibility and faster decisions for grant applicants.

The four focus areas remain the same: Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, and Substance Use Disorders, as will the geographic focus of Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties in Massachusetts; Erie and Niagara Counties in New York. (Click the links for specific requirements and information for each focus area.)  The Technology Initiative and Small Grant Program will continue and applications can be submitted in any one of the grant cycles.

The new process provides applicants more opportunities throughout the year to make requests in one or more focus area, recognizing that many of the fields the Foundation serves intersect (e.g., addressing mental health issues among people with intellectual disabilities).

The time line, from application through final notification, has been halved, going from approximately six months to three months. New grant guidelines were released in October 2016 with changes effective as of January 2017. 

 Grantmaking Calendar for 2017



Core Programs and Services:
Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders, and
Strengthening Partners:
Technology and Small Grants


Applicants create grants portal account




Preliminary grant requests/Small Grants applications/Healthy Communities inquiries due




Proposal invitations sent (Core Programs and Services; Technology); Healthy Communities discussion invitations sent




Small Grants application decisions sent




Proposal decisions sent (Core Programs and Services; Technology)






These changes are expected to help the Foundation to build stronger relationships with the people and organizations doing the work in the communities it serves, allow Program Officers to spend more time in the community, and provide more opportunities to engage in thoughtful conversations with those who apply for grants and learn from those who haven't (yet) applied.

The new approach will benefit grantees by allowing for:
•    More opportunities throughout the year to apply for grants.
•    The ability to make grant requests for projects that affect more than one target population.
•    A shorter, more responsive application process.
•    A more straightforward, less redundant application.
•    More guidance from Tower Foundation staff for those invited to submit full proposals
•    Stronger relationships with potential grantees from the very beginning of our conversations.

The Foundation is making these changes in response to findings from its 2014 
Grantee Perception Report
conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. The Report indicated the Tower Foundation's application process took more time compared to other Foundations.  The shorter, streamlined process is designed to lessen the administrative burden on potential grantees in applying for funding.

To apply for a grant, click here to learn more:

To learn more about the updated grant cycle click on the Fact Sheet.