With 400-500 applications submitted to the Foundation during its annual cycle and not all of them can be funded due to limited resources, the following tips are designed to help nonprofit agencies ensure their application is complete, concise, and deserving of consideration. For example:
- All requested information on the guidelines page and on the application form is included.
- The nonprofit and/or the project serves areas where there are large concentrations of Pacific Life employees. This includes the following Southern California counties: Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, Northern San Diego, and San Bernardino; as well as Douglas County, Nebraska.
- All spaces on the application that are designated for answers to specific questions are filled in.
- If applicable, a program/project summary (outcome) of the Pacific Life Foundation grant given in the previous year is provided.
- A list of corporate and foundation agency supporters, along with their contribution amounts, is provided.
- The requested program/project for consideration has at least one other funder listed as committed and/or the agency lists other funders that will be solicited for support.
- The agency demonstrates a need for funding of its project/program (e.g., less than 100% of the program's budget has been funded).
- The line-item budget submitted for the program/project matches the total amount stated on the application form.
- A complete audited financial report or a 990 Form is included and is less than two years old.
- The agency's current annual budget is provided.
- The 501 (c) (3) tax-exemption letter is included, unless the agency was previously funded by the Pacific Life Foundation.
- For a capital grant request, a list of committed funders to the capital campaign, along with their contribution amounts is provided.
- For a capital grant request, 50% of the fundraising goal has been pledged or committed.
- Sectarian or denominational religious agencies demonstrate that their programs are broadly promoted, available to anyone, and free of religious orientation.
- The number of board members seems adequate (five or more) in terms of serving the needs of the agency.
- Board members and administrative staff related by blood or marriage are noted. The Pacific Life Foundation does not consider it good practice if the top executive of a nonprofit agency is related to the board chair or the chief financial officer.
- Videos, DVDs, CDs, notebooks, folders, or books are not included with the application.
Note: Even a perfectly prepared application and a well deserved need can be declined for funding, as the process is very competitive.