The Fund encourages all prospective applicants to read through these Frequently Asked Questions prior to completing an application.

Last updated: March 8, 2022


Do you accept unsolicited proposals?

Any organization that meets the Fund’s eligibility criteria is welcome to apply.

Can I schedule a meeting with a member of the Fund’s staff to discuss a prospective grant application?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of requests, the Fund cannot meet with applicants prior to submitting an application. The Fund’s staff typically conducts site visits and meetings after full proposal invitations have been extended.

My organization has a pending 501(c)(3) status; can I apply to the Fund?

Only organizations that are verified with a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, as determined by the Internal Revenue Service, are eligible to receive grants.

My organization has not yet completed an annual audit; can I still apply to the Fund?

Organizations may still apply to the Fund even if they have not completed an annual audit. In lieu of the audit application requirement, please upload a copy of the organization’s most recent IRS 990 filing (signed and dated) with the Letter of Inquiry.

Is the Fund’s support limited to organizations in certain geographic locations?

Yes. Please refer to the Eligibility page for a complete listing of jurisdictions in which the Fund awards grants.

Do you accept grant applications from public charter schools?

The Fund does not accept unsolicited proposals from public charter schools. In recognition of the role charter schools play in the public education landscape of Washington, D.C., the Fund does occasionally award grants to high-quality public charter schools but these applications are by invitations only.

I am a previous grantee, when can I next apply to the Fund?

Applicants must wait 24 months from the date of their last grant award before applying again to the Fund. If you are unsure about your organization’s eligibility, please email the Fund at to confirm.

How to Apply

When is the deadline for Letters of Inquiry?

The Fund typically has three Letter of Inquiry deadlines each year. Please refer to the How to Apply page for exact dates. The application form is made available on the website one month prior to each deadline.

Does the Fund accept paper applications?

The Fund only accepts applications through its online application system.

Does the Fund award multiyear grants?

Yes. The Fund occasionally awards multiyear grants.

What size grant should my organization request?

The Fund typically awards grants ranging in size from $30,000 to $75,000, with larger grants awarded on occasion.

Application Review

When will I be notified if my organization has been invited to submit a full proposal?

Organizations will either be invited to submit a full proposal or declined within 45 days of each Letter of Inquiry deadline.

If my organization has been invited to submit a full proposal, will the Fund conduct a site visit?

The Fund will coordinate with your application’s request contact to schedule a meeting, conference call, or site visit as needed.

How long does it take to receive a final funding decision?

Each grantmaking cycle lasts between four and six months from the Letter of Inquiry deadline to receipt of the final decision.

When are grants approved?

The Board of Trustees typically convenes to determine grant awards three times per year in the spring, summer and late fall/early winter.

If I have been awarded a grant, when can I expect to receive the grant award funds?

Effective March 2020, the Philip L. Graham Fund disburses grant award funds through electronic funds transfer. Once grantees submit the Fund’s electronic funds transfer form and the information is verified, grant funds are typically disbursed within one week.

Grant Award Reporting

Does the Fund have a preferred final grant report format?

The Fund requires grantees to submit all final grant reports online. The grantwriter who submitted the original Letter of Inquiry for the grant will receive an email containing instructions on how to access and complete the online form one month prior to the final grant report deadline. If the grantwriter has left the organization, please contact the Fund prior to your final grant report deadline to provide a new point of contact.

When will my final grant report be due?

Please refer to your grant award notification letter for the grant report deadline.

Should I alert the Fund if there has been a change to my project budget or grant award timeline?

Please contact the Fund as soon as possible if you anticipate there will be any changes to the project budget or timeline submitted with your approved grant application.

How should I notify the Fund of organizational and grant contact changes?

Please send an email to