Grantmaking FAQ

Who is eligible to receive a blue moon grant?

 blue moon grants to a range of organizations, including 501(c)(3) nonprofits, foreign NGOs, and public and private universities. We generally do not make grants to individuals, and we are prohibited by law from funding lobbying or political campaign activities.  Please read our "Where We Work" page for more information on our programmatic goals and geographic areas of focus.

May I submit a letter of inquiry?

Potentially.  Please take our grant eligibility quiz.  If your project meets our general requirements, you will be directed to a link through which you may submit a letter of inquiry (LOI).   Please visit our “Applying” page for more information on the LOI process.   

Please do not submit inquiries via mail, email, or telephone.  We accept LOIs and applications solely through our website, and we will disregard all other inquiries and requests for funding. 

I have been invited to apply, but I am having trouble accessing the application screen.

You will need to enter two different passwords: the unique password you established when you created your application account and the system password you received in your application instructions. If you have entered both passwords and are still unable to begin the application, try clearing the cookies from your browser. If you have further problems, please email grants@bluemoonfund.org or call 434-295-5160 x.217.

Which web browsers does your application system support?

Applicants using PCs must have Internet Explorer v6 or higher or FireFox v1.5 or higher. Applicants using Macs must have Internet Explorer 5.1.4 for Mac OS X.  For all browsers, cookies must be enabled.

I have begun filling out a grant application, and I have saved my work.  When I log back in to the application screen, the form is blank.  Is my information lost?

No, probably not.  Saved applications are accessible through a different URL than new applications.  Please click here to return to your proposal. 

I forgot to include an attachment when I submitted my proposal.  May I still turn it in?

Yes.   Please email your document to grants@bluemoonfund.org.

My organization is based outside the United States. Do I need to submit a foreign grant affidavit?

Possibly. Please get in touch with us before filling out the affidavit forms, as they are lengthy and time-consuming. We will review your organizational documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, and equivalent materials) and let you know whether an affidavit will be necessary.

Affidavits are usually required for organizations that are structurally and legally equivalent to US-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits. If your organization is not set up in a manner equivalent to a 501(c)(3) entity, we will place expenditure responsibility (ER) restrictions on your grant and bypass the affidavit process.

What do you mean by “expenditure responsibility”?

In compliance with federal law, we exercise expenditure responsibility (ER) when we grant to organizations that are not tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States (or whose 501(c)(3) equivalency we have been unable to establish). ER requires us to take responsibility for ensuring that our grant funds are used for charitable purposes. When we exercise ER, we complete a more rigorous due diligence review, impose additional reporting requirements, and make various other modifications to our normal grantmaking process.

ER restrictions generally do not make a grant significantly more work-intensive for a grantee. Nevertheless, it is particularly important for ER grantees to carefully follow all requirements. We are happy to work with you to clarify any part of the ER process.

Am I required to use blue moon's budget and reporting templates?

Yes, and the templates may be found here

A project budget submitted on blue moon's template is a required component of every application for project support.  (Applications for general operating support are exempt from this requirement because these applications do not require project budgets.) The expense categories listed on the budget template are examples. Please modify these headings to reflect the needs of your project.

If your grant is approved, you will also be required to use blue moon's financial reporting template.  Please make sure that the spending categories on your report match those on your approved project budget. 

All budgets and reports must be in English and USD.

What activities are covered by your policy on lobbying?

In general, there are two types of lobbying: direct and grassroots.  Neither is an allowable component of a blue moon grant. 

Direct lobbying consists of any attempt to influence legislation through communication with 1) a member or employee of a legislative body or 2) another government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation for the principal purpose of influencing legislation. Prohibited communication refers to specific legislation and reflects a view on such legislation. 

Grassroots lobbying consists of any attempt to influence legislation through an effort to affect the opinions of the general public or any segment of the general public.  Prohibited communication refers to specific legislation, reflects a view on such legislation, and includes a “call to action”.  A communication includes a “call to action” if it incorporates any one of the following elements:

  • It urges the recipient to contact a legislator, staffer, or other government employee who participates in the formulation of legislation for the principal purpose of influencing legislation
  • It states the address, telephone number, or similar information for a legislator or employee of a legislative body.
  • It provides a petition or tear-off postcard for the principal purpose of influencing legislation.
  • It states one or more legislators as being opposed or undecided about the legislation, or identifies them as the recipients’ representative or as members of a committee or subcommittee that will consider the legislation; however, this does not include naming the main sponsor(s) for purposes of identifying the legislation.

What activities are covered by your policy on political campaign activities?

The participation in, or intervention in (including by publishing or distributing statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

If you are in the process of applying for a grant and are uncertain about whether your project contains lobbying or political campaign activities, please contact your program officer.

My application is complete. What happens next?

Your application will be added to the docket for an upcoming grantmaking meeting (your program contact can give you a specific meeting date). If your grant is approved, we will send you a notification letter and a grant agreement to sign and return. Once we have received your signed grant agreement, we will process your grant payment during our next check cycle.

I’m a current grantee, and I want to revise my budget and/or extend my grant term. Is this possible?

Sometimes. We strive to help grantees devise realistic budgets and workable timeframes before our funding is approved. However, although we prefer not to amend grant agreements, we recognize that unavoidable complications can arise. If the circumstances of your project have changed, please immediately contact blue moon's grants officer at grants@bluemoonfund.org or 434-295-5160 x.217.

We will work with you to address any obstacles, and, if necessary, we can adjust the conditions of your grant agreement. Only in rare circumstances will we amend a grant more than once.