The Catalogue For Philanthropy Apply: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Catalogue?
The purpose of the Catalogue is to connect caring citizens with worthy community causes. Individual nonprofits -- approximately 75 each year -- with budgets of $3 million or less -- are featured in the print Catalogue and on its website in order to educate and inspire donors, and help to create a culture of giving in the metropolitan Washington region. Each selected nonprofit is also featured on the Catalogue website for an additional three years.
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Who are the sponsors and why are they supporting the project?
Current sponsors of the Catalogue include, among others, Harman Family Foundation, Meyer Foundation, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Philip L. Graham Fund, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, CGI, and Raffa, and a group of corporations, family foundations, and individuals. They support the Catalogue as a service to the donor community and because they believe in building the capacity of commiunity-based nonprofits.
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When is the deadline to submit proposals and when will we hear the results of our application?
Online applications are due no later than Monday, February 27, 2016 at 11:59 PM. Applicants are notified of the results of their application by the end of May.
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How are the featured organizations selected?
Seasoned grant-makers and other professionals in the field review all proposals. The current committee includes over 100 individuals who read across a wide range of subjects. They rank and comment on proposals, and their rankings and detailed responses fuel the final decisions. The accounting and auditing firm Raffa reviews all financial materials. Diversity across types of programs, fields of interest (Nature, Culture, Human Services, Education, International, and their respective subfields), location, and constituency are also central to our aim of creating a broadly attractive and engaging publication and website.
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To what address and in what form should we submit our application?
Proposals (including narrative and financial sections) are submitted online at our website HERE.
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Our budget is more than $3 million. May we apply?
Nonprofits currently featured on our website who are otherwise eligible to apply may do so, though if accepted they will be featured on the website, not in the print Catalogue. They will receive all of the other benefits of being in the Catalogue (including a new seal) and a notation on our site will indicate that they have a budget above $3 million.

Otherwise: no: new organizations with budgets above $3mm are not eligible to apply. The fiscal limitation exists because one of our purposes is to showcase smaller charities that often don't have the staff or budget effectively to reach the public on their own. Please note: we do not count in-kind contributions towards the $3 million budget cut- off. If your organization is borderline, or if, for some reason, you are unsure about your eligibility, call us at 202-955-6538 to discuss your situation.

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We are an independent "project" of a larger organization with a budget over $3 million (ie, an after-school arts program at a hospital).We don't have a 501(c)(3) designation. May we apply?
Usually not. Our goal is to feature smaller organizations that lack the resources and visibility of larger ones. The exceptions to this rule are 1) the independent nonprofit whose fiscal agent carries the 501(c)(3) designation because it performs financial and administrative functions for a variety of unrelated nonprofits. These otherwise independent nonprofits may be eligible and should explain their situation. 2) the locally headquartered chapter of a national organization -- as long as it 1) has its local headquarters inside our geographic footprint; 2) fundraises for itself; 3) has its own, distinct revenue and expenses budget; 4) is allowed to earmark donations for its chapter; 5) is permitted independence in handling finances and marketing to potential donors; and 6) has a local board of directors.
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We are a national organization with a DC address. May we apply?
We focus on organizations that serve the local population (or, as noted below, are international in focus). If you are national, headquartered locally, AND have very significant local programs, then you may be eligible to apply.
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May our organization apply if we are located in Greater Washington but provide services internationally?
Yes. International organizations headquartered in Greater Washington who by definition serve populations around the world ARE eligible.
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May our organization apply if we are headquartered outside of the geographical area you describe but we provide services within it?
New this year: yes: if the great majority of your programs are focused within our geographic footprint. If you are unsure about your eligibility, call us at 202-955-6538 to discuss your situation.
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We are an independent fundraising arm of a larger organization. We have our own 501(c)(3). Are we eligible?
If you are strictly a fundraising arm, then no. The Catalogue focuses on smaller organizations that lack resources for significant fundraising staff. Exceptions to this, however, would be nonprofits that fundraise but are also involved directly in programming.
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If we are selected for inclusion in the Catalogue, will we be able to review and approve the final text and photographs for our presentation?
You will be invited to review the text we create for you. We are always eager to correct errors and update crucial information. Decisions about photography and artwork in the print Catalogue are ours, but we do invite active participation. Nonprofits always have a hand in selecting an image for their place on our website.
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Are there other benefits we should consider in weighing our decision about whether to apply?
The Catalogue has been quite successful in raising the visibility of its network of charities, visibility and recognition on which you can build. If you are featured in the Catalogue, you will likely have access to a far broader audience than most nonprofits can afford on their own. If you then receive inquiries or donations, you may gain prime prospects for future support; your success in cultivating those prospects will be up to you -- though we offer many (free) workshops of donor cultivation and stewardship that you can attend. Catalogue charities also have the opportunity to announce that they have been selected from a competitive field, and to use our growing collection of in-person workshops and online tools. Some nonprofits report to us that access to these tools, and the stamp of approval that the Catalogue provides, have been just as important to them as appearing in the print Catalogue itself. Increasingly, family foundations turn to the Catalogue to select charities among whom they wish to circulate requests for proposals, and other foundations report to us that they use the Catalogue to screen applicants. So there are many interesting uses beyond direct fundraising -- even some you may never know about but that are still relevant.
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How much money have you helped to raise since you published your first Catalogue in 2003?
Over $35 million.
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