The Mount Sinai Community Foundation Issues Request for Proposals

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Mount Sinai Community Foundation’s mission is to improve health, enhance wellbeing, or otherwise advance medical care in the Jewish and larger communities, honoring the history and legacy of the Mount Sinai Hospital.

MSCF Giving Circle Background
In 1951, amid heightened anti-Semitism and discrimination, a group of Jewish philanthropists and medical professionals launched Mount Sinai Hospital, opening opportunities to doctors of all ethnicities and religions to practice medicine. From its inception, an active auxiliary raised funds and provided services to support the hospital and its patients. Upon the closing of Mount Sinai Hospital in 1991, the Auxiliary established the Mount Sinai Community Foundation (MSCF), which continued to serve the community by annually allocating grants to area nonprofits. In 2012, the MSCF board adopted a new giving circle model inviting the community to join the MSCF Giving Circle. Membership in the Giving Circle allows members to support local health and wellness initiatives by participating in the annual grant allocation process. Last year, over 50 MSCF Giving Circle members read applications,  listened to presentations, selected the finalists, and allocated grants.

Request for Proposals
MSCF is seeking grant proposals from 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations for one-time grants up to $10,000 that fulfill MSCF’s mission to improve health, enhance well-being, or otherwise advance medical care for Twin Cities Metro area residents.

Geographic Focus
Organizations must be located in one of seven Twin Cities Metro area counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties. MSCF gives equal consideration to proposals that impact Jewish and non-Jewish communities.

Funding Priorities

  • MSCF seeks to fund innovative programs and/or essential equipment that have a meaningful, direct, and high impact on the target population.
  • MSCF is especially interested in discrete projects that can be identified as MSCF-funded efforts. These projects or items may be funded by MSCF funds alone or with a limited number of other funding partners.
  • Applicants with unique grant requests who may be unable to secure funding elsewhere are encouraged to apply.
  • Applications seeking funding for information technology or equipment and/or software upgrades will not be funded unless they are integral to the delivery of the health or medical services provided.
  • Applications where MSCF grant dollars are only a small component of the overall project budget are unlikely to be funded.

Through the generosity of the Frances & Samuel Finkelstein/Janice Finkelstein Mattison Memorial Fund, one of the grants may receive funding in the area of cancer research and
education, mental health or cancer treatment, or medical ethics/patient advocacy programs.

MSCF Review Criteria
The MSCF Giving Circle will use the following criteria to review and select grantees:

  • The extent to which the project meets the MSCF mission and the criteria described above;
  • The extent to which the project has a direct and meaningful impact on the project’s target population;
  • The applicant’s organizational and staffing capacity to implement the project;
  • The extent to which the project design is likely to address the defined problem, achieve the stated objectives, and produce the results intended, all in the time frame outlined;
  • The ability of the project to produce identifiable and measurable outcomes. (MSCF does not have any requirement for scope or size of the project, but seeks projects that will improve outcomes for the target population); and
  • The extent to which the project is discrete and identifiable as an MSCF-funded effort.

Application Requirements
Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Applicants may not submit more than one grant application during any grant cycle.
  • The Grant Request must be for funding projects, programs, research, or equipment which are not part of the applicant’s operating budget.
  • Grant proposals are for one-time funding for projects that can demonstrate measurable outcomes upon completion of the year of funding.
  • Programs funded in this grant cycle may begin as early as June 2017 and run through May 2018. MSCF funds should be spent within this time frame. (Note that funds maybe released as late as July 15, 2017.
  • Applicants must meet the Public Charity requirement of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Applicants must list all other sources of income sought for the project or equipment identified in the application.

Grant Acceptance Requirements
Organizations that are offered MSCF grants will receive a Letter of Agreement in which they must agree to the following:

  • to submit a Grantee Outcome Report detailing the use and impact of the funds;
  • that all publicity will indicate that funding, in whole or in part, “was made possible through a grant from the Mount Sinai Community Foundation, a designated fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Foundation”;
  • to submit a picture, logo, and a one-sentence description of the grant-funded project for MSCF marketing efforts; and
  • to allow MSCF members to conduct a site visit at the grant recipient’s location during the summer of 2018.

Signed acceptance of the Letter of Agreement must be received no later than July 1, 2017 in order for funds to be released by July 15th.

Previously Funded Grantees
Previously funded grantees will not be eligible to apply in the grant cycle immediately following the year they were funded; e.g., grantees funded in 2016 will not be eligible to apply
again until 2018.

Application Deadline
Completed applications must be received no later than 11:59 pm Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Applications submitted later than this date will not be considered.

Presentation at MSCF Annual Grant Allocation Meeting
Eight grant finalists will be asked to give a 15-minute presentation (inclusive of questions and answers) to the Giving Circle members at the MSCF Annual Grant Allocation Meeting on
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 (evening). Following the presentations, the Giving Circle members will vote on the grant awards. If selected as one of the eight finalists, a representative from your organization must be available to present at the MSCF Annual Meeting.

Available Funding
For the 2017 grant cycle, organizations may request up to $10,000. MSCF plans to release approximately $40,000 - $50,000 and expects to fund between four and six grants. Grantees are encouraged to request only the specific amount needed to adequately fund their effort. Consideration will be given with regard to the availability of funds from other sources if they are needed for the project. MSCF will fully fund the final selected grantees based on their requests up to the $10,000 limit. Occasionally, MSCF has remaining funds of less than $10,000 after the grants are allocated. These funds are not sufficient to fully fund additional grantees and would otherwise go unallocated. We have developed a secondary process among finalists for allocating possible remaining funds. The eight finalists may be asked to submit a brief description of a smaller-scale version of their project in the event that they are NOT selected as a fully funded grantee. This information is collected prior to the April 25th Giving Circle meeting and is sealed and kept confidential. Secondary requests are only shared with the Giving Circle after the fully funded grantees have been selected and announced to the Giving Circle membership.

Application Submission
MSCF has moved to an online application system which is a part of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s online grant portal. Access the online grant system where you will find directions on how to log on. Once you log on, you will be able to select the Mount Sinai Community Foundation Grant Application from the list of available grants. The link to the online application system can also be accessed through the MSCF website at Copies of this RFP document can be downloaded
from thewebsite. Please refer to the website for more information on MSCF and to view a list of past grantees.

Application Questions
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact MSCF to discuss their projects or ask questions prior to submitting an application. Potential applicants may email Elyse Levine
Less, MSCF Grant Allocation Chair at

MSCF Teen Giving Circle
In an effort to engage the next generation in philanthropy, MSCF has also launched a Teen Giving Circle which works in conjunction with the adult giving circle. These committed teens
will be in attendance at the April 25th meeting and will allocate funds from a smaller, separate pool of dollars.

2017 Grant Cycle Timeline
RFP Release – November 14, 2016
Grant Applications Due – January 11, 2017, 11:59 p.m.
Finalists Notified – March 23, 2017
Giving Circle Grant Review Meeting with Finalist Presentations – April 25, 2017
Written Grant Notification Mailed to Recipients – May 1, 2017
Grant Recipients’ Letter of Agreement Due - July 1, 2017
Funds Released – Funds released upon grantee paperwork submission, but no later than July 15, 2017, unless otherwise agreed to by the MSCF Grant Allocation Chair.
Grantee Outcome Report Due – June 15, 2018