Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that many applicant questions regarding eligibility, the application process, and funding timelines can be answered by thoroughly reviewing The Clowes Fund’s Competitive Grant Guidelines (PDF).

  • How do you pronounce Clowes?

    Sounds like Clews.

  • Are there two "Clowes" foundations?

    Yes! You are currently on the website of The Clowes Fund, a family foundation seeking to enhance the common good by encouraging organizations and projects that help to build a just and equitable society, create opportunities for initiative, foster creativity and the growth of knowledge, and promote appreciation of the natural environment. The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, a private foundation, was established by Allen Whitehill Clowes, a leading philanthropist in Indianapolis, Indiana, who during his life made major contributions that promoted or preserved the fine arts, music, literature, education, science and history.

  • What is the best means of initial contact with The Clowes Fund?

    First, read our guidelines carefully and peruse our website. If you have a request that you believe is compatible with the Fund’s interests, then please introduce your organization by submitting a Preliminary Proposal if the eGrant portal is open for your geographic region.

  • What is the difference between a Preliminary Proposal and a Letter of Inquiry?

    These terms are synonymous. A complete Preliminary Proposal consists of an online eGrant application form and a narrative summary (PDF) attachment, both of which must be submitted via eGrant by November 1. Other foundations might refer to the "narrative summary" as a "letter of inquiry."

  • I’m ready to submit my Final Proposal; do you need my IRS Form 990 including all schedules?

    No, The Clowes Fund does not require the IRS Form 990 as an attachment for any part of the application process. We review your 990 using Guidestar.

  • What is the Fund's practice regarding multi-year grants?

    The Clowes Fund recognizes that multi-year grant commitments can yield higher impact by providing a higher degree of financial stability for a non-profit organization. The Fund will invite a multi-year proposal from an organization when deemed appropriate. Rather than adopting a policy that automatically or arbitrarily limits the number of grants an organization can receive within a certain time period--i.e. no more than three grants in any five-year period--the Fund has a more subjective policy. Each one of our geograhpically based grants review committees is required to review multi-year grants in its respective region upon payment of the final installment to determine whether a new proposal is appropriate. The determinations are based on a variety of factors--our overall grants portfolio in a given geographic region, the grantee's progress toward proposed goals or at least candid communication regarding goals, the grantee organization's life cycle and sustainability plan, just to name a few. The determinations are made early each fall and are communicated to the grantee upon receipt of its e-mailed statement of intent to re-apply.

  • I am having trouble uploading required attachments; what can I do?

    Your application must be completed online. However, if you are not able to upload the narrative and other required attachments, you may submit them electronically to If absolutely necessary, you may mail required attachments; please ensure that documents are postmarked by the deadline date.

  • What happens if our organization’s request for funding is declined?

    The Clowes Fund will send written notification of all decisions. If your organization is declined, you are welcome to contact Fund program staff for information about reviewers’ comments regarding your proposal.  If you do not have the program officer’s direct contact information, you may contact

  • How do I submit a report to the Fund?

    All reports should be submitted by e-mail to Due dates are generally one year and 30 days following the initial grant payment; specific dates are stated in your grant agreement. Use the Grantee Self-Evaluation Form in the Grantseekers tab. Detail progress to date towards the measurable outcomes you proposed in the application.

  • What is the difference between interim, final and status reports?

    Interim Reports are due for multi-year grants to trigger annual payment; include progress to date toward proposed goals; state revised goals for upcoming year.

    Final Reports are due within 30 days of project completion; generally one year following grant award; refer to the date stated in your grant agreement.

    Status Reports are due with a new proposal unless a final report already has been submitted or an interim report has been submitted within six months of the proposal deadline (i.e. since Aug. 1) for a prior Clowes Fund grant; report progress to date by completing at least Section I, Section II (questions 1 and 5), and Section III (question 7).

  • What sort of measurable outcomes does the Fund expect us to report?

    The Fund does not prescribe outcomes; instead, we ask you – the grantee, the expert – to determine how to measure success. List at least three measurable outcomes in your application.

    Expand upon the methodology for measurement in your proposal narrative. Tell us why the measurable outcomes listed on the application are important, and how you intend to measure and track outcomes.

  • What sort of financial information is required with my report?

    Refer to the budget submitted with your proposal and note any changes in actual versus proposed budget.

  • What can I do if I can’t find a copy of our application or proposal?

    Contact to request a copy of your application or proposal.

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