Apply for a Grant

2021 Application Deadlines

Cycle 1

Applications Become Available:
February 1

Applications Due:
March 8

Cycle 2 

Applications Become Available:
August 16

Applications Due:
September 27


In order to apply for a grant in 2021, 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.

For example, if you received a grant in Cycle 1 2020, your organization is not eligible to apply until Cycle 2 of 2021. If you received a grant in Cycle 2 2019, you will be eligible to apply as early as Cycle 1 of 2021, provided you have met our other eligibility requirements.

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

Basic Needs: Given the prolonged public health and economic crises facing our communities, we expect to prioritize organizations that are helping families to meet basic needs.

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 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 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.

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

In this webinar, staff review the updated online application process and changes to the Responsive Grantmaking Program’s funding criteria for 2021.

Download the slides >

Download the Application

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