Q1: What does The Children’s Trust typically fund?
A: According to our strategic plan, our priority investment areas are parenting, early childhood development, youth development, health and wellness, family and neighborhood supports, community awareness and advocacy, and program and professional development. A detailed look at where our funding goes can be can be found here.
Q2: What can Trust funding be used for?
A: The use of Trust funds is governed by budget guidelines. You can review those guidelines here. Some things that Trust funding CANNOT be used for include food and beverage; gift cards and cash incentives for program participation; purchase of buildings, construction costs, mortgage costs, leasehold or capital improvements; direct medical care; expenditures for lobbying; Florida sales tax; purchase of vehicles; staff entertainment costs; alcohol; severance pay, unless required by law; overtime pay, bonus pay, accrued vacation pay, accrued sick pay and/or pay to employees who are suspended; and capital equipment purchases for subcontractors. Refer to the budget guidelines for a comprehensive list of allowable and unallowable expenditures.
Q3: Who can apply for Trust funding?
A: Governmental entities, universities, and not-for-profit, for-profit and faith-based organizations providing direct services within Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade County Public Schools or any agency under its jurisdiction (including charter schools) may not apply. If you don’t qualify, we encourage you to partner with other agencies seeking funding through The Trust who do meet our eligibility criteria. Your agency can then provide services through the eligible agency as its partner or subcontractor.
Q4: How often does Trust funding become available?
A: Funding for direct services is awarded through competitive grants opportunities (such as a request for proposal aka an RFP) usually on a three- to five-year cycle. Funding for the selection of proposals that do not involve direct services is available on a rolling basis (e.g., innovation and the small grants program for community awareness and community engagement efforts).
Q5: How will I know when Trust funding is available?
A: Frequently visit The Children’s Trust website; subscribe to our Weekly Provider Bulletin; and follow The Children’s Trust on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
Q6: What paperwork do I need to apply for funding from The Children’s Trust?
A recent annual financial statement audit (we recommend utilizing a Trust-approved CPA vendor; a list can be found here.); proof that you are currently qualified to conduct business in the state of Florida; and confirmation that you owe no funds to The Children’s Trust (any amounts owed must be repaid to The Trust prior to the release of any solicitation for which you wish to apply).
Q7: What should I keep in mind when applying?
A: The Trust uses an online solicitation process; register in the system as early as possible, even if you decide not to apply. You should review the grant opportunity in its entirety prior to completing the application, and ensure that you are able to provide all required documentation. Your application and all required attachments must be submitted on time; do not wait until the last minute. Prior applicants have said that it takes them approximately 80 hours to complete an application. And be aware that after-school programming for elementary school children requires service sites to be certified by DCF. Approval must be received by the time the program starts; please note that the DCF approval process may take some time.
Q8: How can I learn more about the solicitation I’m applying to?
A: Each competitive grant opportunity describes precisely the type of services we seek to fund; make sure you read the entire document to understand what you’re applying to. You should also review all posted materials and attend all relevant meetings before applying and the debriefing meeting after applying (dates will be posted on The Trust website). Signing up to be a volunteer reviewer for other grant applications to familiarize yourself with the review process, gain a better understanding of what we look for in a winning proposal and learn how to write a solid application, is also recommended.
Q9: What’s the best way to remain informed during the application process?
Visit The Children's Trust website frequently for application updates and notifications; subscribe to our Weekly Provider Bulletin; make note of all requirements and important dates and meetings outlined in the grant opportunity; and, if you have additional questions while working on your application, submit those in writing to the email address noted in the grant opportunity. Answers to all submitted questions are posted regularly on The Trust website.
Q10: How are applications reviewed?
Each grant opportunity outlines precisely how its applications will be reviewed and scored. Rating and ranking teams are comprised of Trust staff and trained community reviewers, with each member scoring an application independently. The team then convenes in a public meeting to discuss their reviews and insights, and to reach consensus on a team score for each application. Members of the public are welcome to attend as silent observers. The highest-ranking numerical score does not assure a funding recommendation, as other factors may be considered, such as location of services in underserved areas and/or populations, and whether or not the proposed costs of the program are deemed appropriate and reasonable. Once all application scores have been confirmed, The Trust CEO and staff submit funding recommendations to the board of directors for its consideration. Board meetings are open to the public and applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.
Q11: If I’m recommended for Trust Funding, what are the next steps?
If the Trust board approves the recommendation, applicants are awarded a grant with The Children’s Trust. The terms of the grant are bound by a contract, negotiated and approved by both parties, with typical requirements including promotion of The Children’s Trust and your program in all materials; adherence to all program management, fiscal and programmatic reporting requirements; and compliance with Trust staff program performance metrics expectations. Pending successful program implementation, contracts may or may not be recommended to the board for renewal annually during the funding cycle.