Evaluation Criteria

We take the grant review process very seriously.  Each proposal that fits our priorities and meets our minimum requirements is carefully read, researched and evaluated against the following criteria.  Proposals fully meeting the criteria are compared to each other in order to determine how best to invest our limited resources. We can not fund all of the excellent proposals that fully meet our evaluation criteria.

Successful applicants will demonstrate:

1. Affirmed shared values.

Please affirm that you share our commitment to creating a welcoming and affirming environment for people and communities as they are, respecting all of the elements of identity, race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation without hesitation. If you cannot do this, please do not apply for funding.

2. Fit with Carolyn Foundation funding priorities.

See our guidelines for Climate Change, New Haven Youth Development, and Minneapolis Youth Development

3. Qualified staff & organization leadership.

Provide information regarding staff skills, experiences and prior success and provide a list of the applicant’s Board of Trustees. Describe staff training and professional development process.

4. Systemic alignment within the community.

Explain the relation to and distinction from other similar and/or cooperating agencies/organizations.

5.  Sound fiscal policies, management & financial health.

Provide required financial information including past, committed and anticipated sources of financial support.

6. Solid outcomes and evaluation processes.

Provide clear outcome measures and a detailed plan for evaluation of the results of the proposed project including performance measures.

Review our online application questions to see the information we request to assess an organization’s fit with our priorities. To do this: log into the online application system, click “Apply” at the top of your page, “Preview” under the program you’d like to review, and “Question List” at the top right.