Grants FAQs

How do I know if my organization is eligible to apply for a Giving Circle of HOPE grant?
Please confirm that you meet our Criteria and Eligibility before applying.
What project is the Giving Circle of HOPE most likely to fund?
We are more likely to fund projects that are closely aligned with our Mission and Goals:

  • Encouraging community among diverse groups.
  • Promoting self-sufficiency.
  • Educating and increasing awareness and action about people in need.
  • Encouraging partnerships among other organizations.
What Capacity Building Effort (CBE) is the Giving Circle of HOPE likely to fund?
A capacity building effort is an activity that improves and enhances a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself into the future. Examples include, but are not limited to, developing a strategic plan, communication plan, IT strategy or plan; investments in technology; leadership succession planning; and a social media or marketing strategy.
What is meant by Geographic Area to be served by Grant?
As stated in our Criteria and Eligibility, projects must serve the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William or the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park or all of Northern Virginia. In the case of a CBE, the non-profit headquarters must be located in one of these jurisdictions.
Does the Giving Circle of HOPE fund program overhead?
At this time, the Giving Circle of HOPE does not fund general program overhead. 
However in addition to other items in your Project or CBE budget, the Giving Circle of HOPE will fund administrative costs which are directly associated with your project or CBE application. Examples include salary, consulting fees, rent and office supplies.
How can we make our application more appealing to the Giving Circle of HOPE?
You can fully follow the format of our grant application to make it easier for us to evaluate it.
 You can ensure that your Project is aligned with our areas of focus or that your CBE meets our definition of capacity building.
May my organization submit more than one grant application?
You may submit only one Project application or one CBE application. We do a thorough review of each application as well as a site visit. Our volunteer resources allow us to review only one application per organization.
What if we have not had an annual audit?
The Giving Circle allows you to submit your last IRS Form 990 or IRS Form 990N (e-postcard) in lieu of an annual audit.
If we have both an annual audit and Form 990, should we submit both?
No, both are not necessary. Please submit only the annual audit.
What if our umbrella organization’s budget is over $2M?
You must then demonstrate that you are financially independent by providing your own 501(c)3 status.
What if we do not have an annual report?
You may submit the last two years of financial statements in lieu of an annual report.
If I forget an attachment may I submit it after the grant deadline?
No, your complete application including all attachments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on the specified closing date.
Whose signature is required on the application?
Your Executive Director must sign the application.
May we include our standard marketing materials?
No. These are not used in our evaluation process and will not be distributed to our volunteer evaluators. Please do not send them with your application.
When will we know if our application has made it through the pre-screening process?
If your application has not met our pre-screening process, you will be informed no later than August 31.
When will we know if we are being awarded a grant?
You will be notified within the week following completion of the membership’s vote.
What should I do if I have additional questions?
Email your questions to