Apply for a Grant

2020 Application Deadlines

Cycle 1 

Applications Become Available:
February 3

Applications Due:
March 9

Grant Term:
June 2020 – June 2021

Cycle 2 

Applications Become Available:
July 1

Applications Due:
July 31  

Funding decision:
By mid-October


In order to apply for a grant in 2020, you will be asked to complete an eligibility quiz that is available within our grants management system.

General Requirements

Applicants must be either a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization or sponsored by an eligible fiscal agent. 

For past grantee partners, you will not be eligible to re-apply untiall of the following terms are met:

  • Your grant term has officially ended. Grant terms will be noted in your last grant’s agreement letter.
  • You submitted a satisfactory final report to the Foundation, indicating that all terms of  your grant were met.

Past grantees that received funding in (Cycle 1) 2019 should have received further instructions from the Foundation regarding a request for a follow-up questionnaire. If you did not receive further instructions, please contact the staff. 

Geographic Focus

MD, OH, DC, & NY:  The Foundation will only accept proposals from past grantees* in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City, MD; Cuyahoga County, OH; Washington, DC (proper); and New York City, NY.

HI, TX, FL, & VT: The Foundation will accept proposals from new applicants and past grantees* in the Big Island, HI; Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties; TX; Greater Orlando, FL; and Bennington and Rutland counties, VT. 

 *A past grantee is defined as an organization that has received a Responsive grant dating back to 2013, the year the Foundation shifted its funding priority to strengthening families.

Grant Focus

Family-Focused: Applicants must serve families, with preference given to applications with whole-family approaches.

Grant Focus Area

Health & Well-Being, Educational Success, and Homelessness

Types of Grants

General Operating

Grant Size

Our Responsive Grantmaking Program is extremely competitive. Between now and the end of the year, we anticipate having approximately $1 million (total) to distribute across 8 communities. Although you may request up to 10% of your total operating budget (up to $50,000), realistically, the average grant size will be in the $25,000 range. 

Our Grant Process

The application process begins with the submission of a proposal through our grants management system. A confirmation email will be sent to the primary contact after the application is submitted.

The time between the application deadline and award notification will be approximately 3 months. During this time, staff and O’Neill family members will review proposals. Selected organizations may be invited by phone or email to schedule a clarification call (no more than 30 minutes) to discuss any questions that we have after reviewing your application. Questions will be shared prior to the call. We are not expecting any formal presentations, such as that which we typically see in our standard site visits. 

We will expedite our review and approval process and plan to have funding decisions finalized no later than mid-October. We have moved to an ACH payment process for all of our grants. If your organization is approved for a grant, we will ask for an ACH form as well as a copy of a cancelled check or a bank verification letter in order to process your payment. If declined, we will be happy to answer questions regarding the request.

Why these changes?

In 2017, the William J. & Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation concluded a year-long review by re-affirming the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to strengthen families and improve communities in which O’Neill family members live.

In 2020, as part of our ongoing effort to streamline our processes and organize for greater learning and impact, we had planned to further focus our Responsive Grantmaking program.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we made further changes to our Responsive Grantmaking Program. During these unprecedented times, we know that each of you is doing everything you can to keep your workers and communities healthy and safe while responding to the immediate needs of the families you serve. As we fund in multiple communities with diverse populations and needs, we want to make sure that any proposed changes support our goals to strengthen families in all our communities.

Before Starting Your Application

Review the following 2020 Responsive Grantmaking webinar recording and view the slides.

In this webinar, staff discuss the Foundation’s decision to shift to provide General Operating Support grants and changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn about the online application process and changes to the Responsive Grantmaking Program’s funding criteria.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to listen to the webinar, even if they listened to our February 2020 webinar.

Preview: Grant Application Questions

For inquiries from organizations in MD, VT, DC, & NY, contact Marlene Corrado:

For inquiries from organizations in HI, TX, FL, & OH, contact Kara McCullough:

Log In to Submit Your Application

If you have further questions, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Grants Management System  Login Instructions