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Funding Guidelines

Seeking innovators poised to disrupt the concept and quality of aging

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Our recent grant application cycle closed on February 28, 2019. Grant awards will be announced in late May 2019. Our next application cycle will be open June 15 - July 31, 2019. Interested applicants may call to schedule a time to talk with NFI staff to discuss if a project is a fit with our funding priorities.

NextFifty Initiative will only accept applications using the provided online application. No paper or other electronic submissions will be accepted.

Grants will be made to non-profit entities organized under sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the IRS code, as well as governmental entities, which are in good standing with the state or jurisdiction in which the organization resides. Applications are strengthened by collaborative partnerships in planning and execution, but we will consider projects that are designed and operated by single entities.

Funding Guidelines

NextFifty Initiative® invites eligible entities to submit an application for the current grant funding cycle. Through its grant making, NextFifty Initiative seeks to identify and partner with organizations that are working to improve the lives of the current aging population and craft an exciting future for aging. In addition, NextFifty Initiative seeks projects that target the most vulnerable in the aging sector including low income individuals, ethnic and racial minorities, the homeless and LGBT communities.

The Following Guidelines Should be Reviewed Before Submitting an Application

General Guidance

NextFifty Initiative was created to fund projects, ideas, technology and innovations that improve the lives and capacities of those who are aging. We seek to partner with service providers, visionaries, scientists and community leaders to fuel ideas and drive innovations that will improve the experience of aging in Colorado and the nation.

NextFifty Initiative is required to direct at least 80% of its funding to benefit the people of Colorado; therefore, the majority of funded initiatives will directly serve the people of Colorado. Initiatives should target or be able to demonstrate benefit to those who are age 50 and older, including the older adult disabled population.

NextFifty Initiative will host two funding cycles each year, one in the first quarter and one in the third quarter (dates to be announced). Applications submitted but not funded in one cycle may be submitted again, but a new application must be completed. The notice of Grant Awards for this funding cycle will be sent out late-May 2019.

Grant making is competitive. In a single grant cycle, an eligible organization is limited to submitting one (1) grant application for a qualified project.

NextFifty Initiative is committed to social equity and expects grantees to demonstrate performance accountability that is free from discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, national origin, disability, military status, genetic information, or any other protected status.

What is Eligible for Funding

Who can apply for funds?

Grants will be made to non-profit entities organized under sections 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the IRS code, as well as governmental entities. All applicants must be in good standing with the state or jurisdiction in which the organization resides.

IRS regulations require that Private Foundations such as NextFifty Initiative collect additional information from organizations that are not 501(c)(3) public charities to demonstrate that grant funds would be used exclusively for charitable, not political or member-oriented, purposes. Thus, 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6) and governmental applicants will be required to provide additional data to demonstrate charitable purpose and, if funded, will be required to account for the use of grant funds separately.

Applications are strengthened by collaborative partnerships in planning and execution, but we will consider projects that are designed and operated by single entities.

What is a Fiscal Sponsor?

A fiscal sponsor is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides fiduciary oversight, financial management and other grant administrative services. From the perspective of the IRS, a fiscal sponsor is held legally responsible for management of grant funds and the attendant requirements and obligations of the grant.

The fiscal sponsor must have a formal relationship with the entity carrying out grant activities and be able to exercise control over grant activities. NextFifty Initiative requires that the fiscal sponsor have a contractual relationship with the grant project partner and possess a mission that clearly aligns with the activities of the grant.

Fiscal Sponsor relationships acceptable to NextFifty Initiative:

  1. An operating organization has not yet secured its own not-for-profit* status but has a formal relationship with a not-for-profit entity which acts as a fiscal sponsor to manage grant oversight functions, including financial operations and grant fund management.
  2. An operating organization is too small to support full administrative functions and has a formal relationship with a not-for-profit entity which acts as a fiscal sponsor to manage grant oversight functions, including financial operations and grant fund management.
  3. A cluster of eligible not-for-profit organizations work cooperatively on a project and select one of the members to manage grant oversight functions, including financial operations and grant fund management.

* 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) of the IRS code, as well as governmental entities.

What is a Partner?

Any organization or entity named as a partner in the project activities must provide a Letter of Commitment or MOU (memorandum of understanding) specifying their involvement in the project.

What if our project idea is an expansion of an existing program?

NextFifty Initiative does not generally provide funding for ongoing operations. However, if the project involves a significant expansion of existing services into a new area, it may be eligible for funding if the project targets a previously unserved or underserved population – such as LGBTQ, rural, low income, racial, ethnic or religious minority - and the project uses new efforts to outreach and serve that population.

If you believe your idea fulfills the above criteria, it is important that the project description focus on the new population targeted and explain what novel efforts, tools and methods will be used to outreach to the population. While your organization’s current success is helpful to know, it is essential that you fully describe what is new and different in your project’s scope and how you intend to achieve success in that expansion.

What will NextFifty Initiative consider funding?

In our initial grant-making years, NextFifty Initiative will cast the net broadly to identify and fund promising ideas in the aging space across disciplines and fields of interest. This is an opportunity for stakeholders in the broad field of aging to present ideas that will help to create a new future for aging in Colorado and the nation. We seek to stimulate interest from service providers, transportation, housing, food & nutrition, health, social programs, community design, the built environment, technology, law, research, the arts and others who are interested in creating that new future.

Projects must be directed toward the aging or the aging-disabled population age 50 and over.

Examples of areas for funding include, but are not limited to:

  • Capacity Building and Infrastructure development
  • Community Education
  • Community and building design for an aging population
  • Communications strategies and projects that break stereotypes and promote a better understanding of aging
  • Limited funding available for direct services supporting a broader aging project
  • New models in services, housing and transportation that enhance quality of life and functional capacity for those age 50 and older
  • Projects that explore or promote socialization, improve mobility and enhance engagement in community
  • Projects that seek to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to identify and address issues of aging
  • Projects that train for encore careers and volunteerism
  • Projects that enhance the workforce to serve the aging and promote use of older workers
  • Research that enlightens our understanding of the aging process and helps to promote functional status
  • Research and innovations that shed light on the aging process and assist the population to prepare for the next 50 years of life

What will not be funded?

Within the field of aging and related services, NextFifty Initiative is not able to fund the following:

  • Organization Endowments and fundraising ventures
  • Budgetary shortfalls or debt reduction
  • General Operating Support for existing programs and services
  • Pure Capital Projects unless they support a broader innovative aging project
  • Individuals and Individual Needs
  • Projects that target lobbying interests or efforts, political campaigns and projects with a goal of supporting a specific political position
  • Fundraising and general event sponsorships
  • Supporting Organizations (as classified by IRS form 990, Schedule A, Part 1)
  • Student or fellow tuition costs
  • Costs related to attending conferences or seminars
  • Disease-specific laboratory research

Application Evaluation

How will applications be vetted?

Applications for funding will be evaluated using multiple criteria including, but not limited to:

  1. Thoroughness and timeliness of submission. All grant seekers must submit all grant material on time in order to be considered for funding. All attached documents must be readable in the submitted format. Applicants must be certain not to submit password protected documents as these cannot be opened or considered. Applications missing materials will not be considered for the immediate grant cycle. Additionally, future funding will be dependent upon timely grant report submission.
  2. Target Group. The program, project or initiative proposed for funding must have direct relevance to the aging community age 50 and older. Applications are strengthened by the inclusion of vulnerable populations as a target (i.e., disabled, low income, rural, ethnic minorities, LGBT, homeless).
  3. Strength of the Proposed Model. Applications for funding will be evaluated on the strength of the case that the project will meet the identified need. The project must demonstrate the ability to improve the lives and functional ability of older adults, improve community life and engagement for older adults, provide services or solutions that help individuals and society to age well, answer critical social and scientific questions, or prepare communities to craft places where older adults can fully engage in community life.
  4. Likelihood of Impact. The project or program must clearly describe how the project is expected to impact the aging community. Where appropriate, the project plan should include the projected number of people served. Evidence for impact and project evaluation tools should be described and provided whenever possible.
  5. Evidence of Collaboration. Applications are strengthened by the involvement of a diverse group of stakeholders and/or work across providers, departments or delivery systems. Evidence includes letters of support or other printed documentation.
  6. Innovation. Applications are strengthened by their ability to test, employ or expand new ideas within the aging community or the community that supports them.
  7. Sustainability and Scalability. Applications for projects and initiatives funded under the Project or Initiative-Specific Grants category should be able to explain how the project will continue once grant funding is no longer available. If successful, projects should be able to demonstrate how the elements could be expanded within the community or shared with other communities to enhance impact.
  8. Strength and Capacity of the Organization Executing the Grant. Because we want the project to be successful, we will evaluate the history, strength and capacity of the applying organization, their track record with other projects and their history in the field. Applicants will be asked to explain their capacity and experience in shepherding other projects. Charitable organizations unable to provide an outside audit will be required to provide additional organizational documents attesting to the capacity to manage funds. In addition, grants will be limited to a $25,000 cap. Multi-year requests will not be accepted for organizations without an audit.
  9. Clarity and Relevance of the Goals and Objectives to the Project and to the Issue of Aging. The project plan should include goals and objectives that are measurable and reflect a logical relationship to the project plan.
  10. Evaluation. The project must include clear evaluation measures and a timeline for evaluation.

Funding Limits

Important Note: NextFifty Initiative prohibits the assessment of a Gift Tax or Investment Fee assigned by grantees.

How much funding should I request?

NextFifty Initiative encourages applicants to be realistic by requesting only what they need for a project to be successful. The upper limit of funding for a single year is $500,000. Proposals that request more than $250,000 will be expected to secure considerable funding from other internal or external sources to support the project.

Applicants may apply for up to two years of funding, however, funds are limited for multi-year funding. Proposals must clearly describe unique goals and objectives for each year of funding and provide a budget that reflects the unique goals and objectives. Prior to making a multi-year request, it is required that you speak to a staff member from NextFifty Initiative. Please call 303-547-1800 prior to 4:00 p.m. MDT, July 17, 2019 to schedule an appointment.

Are there limits on administrative costs?

NextFifty Initiative understands that there may be costs outside a specific project budget that support the infrastructure of the grantee. However, as prudent stewards, we require the vast majority of funds to be directed toward a project or idea, not toward infrastructure. Therefore, we set a 20% cap on administrative overhead permitted. This cap may be adjusted downward for large grant requests. In all cases, the funds must be clearly stated on the project budget.

Nonprofit organizations without an audit:

Non-profits which have not yet completed a year of operation or have not yet completed an annual audit, will be limited to funding requests of $25,000 or less. Multi-year requests will not be accepted for organizations without an audit.

Requirements of Grantees

If a project is selected for funding, the project manager will be expected to:

  • Sign a document outlining the terms of the grant award.
  • Provide periodic financial expenditure and grant activity reports (minimum of every 6 months; more frequently if audited financials have not been provided).
  • Acknowledge NextFifty Initiative publicly as a funder in marketing of the project or program.
  • Notify NextFifty Initiative within one month if there are any substantive changes in the grant project, location, grant manager or other key factors.
  • If an applicant uses a fiscal sponsor, the sponsor must be responsible for reporting and grant oversight and reflect this in the application and their Letter of Commitment or MOU (memorandum of understanding).
  • Agree to grant NextFifty Initiative a non-exclusive license to intellectual property created in conjunction with the project.

Innovation Defined

Why the focus on innovation?

We are at the vanguard of a new age. For the first time in the history of humanity, the majority of our population will live beyond age 60. Yet, our communities, our services and our culture are not well configured for such dramatic increases in longevity. NextFifty Initiative recognizes that it has the capacity to stimulate and fund innovative models that will help us to build stronger communities, age better, be more engaged, more active and healthier as we advance in years.

We hope to fuel programs, projects, technologies and initiatives that break new ground, take promising ideas to new communities and expand successful models to scale. If we simply do what we have always done, we will not get where we want to go.

What do we mean by innovation?

To NextFifty Initiative, innovation denotes the design or application of a novel method, concept or technology that is intended to improve function, enhance quality of life or provide other tangible benefit to individuals or groups related to aging or serving the aging community. The concept of innovation includes taking a previously tested model to scale, testing it in a new setting or expanding an existing technology for novel uses in the aging market.

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