Questions about Project Proposals & Grant Applications

*Please note that we now have an online grant application system through eGrant and if your Internet technology permits, we prefer that you use this on line process. Our grant request process has two steps. STEP ONE is to submit a Project Proposal. If your proposal meets all of our requirements, we will invite you to submit a Grant Application, which is STEP TWO.

1. What is the difference between a Project Proposal Form and a Grant Application?

The Project Proposal Form, which is STEP ONE of our grant request process, is a solicitation for a Grant Application. If your proposal meets all of our requirements, we will invite you to formally apply for a grant. The Grant Application, which is STEP TWO of the grant process, is the official form that will be reviewed by our Board.

2. Is there a deadline to submit a Project Proposal Form?

No. We accept project proposals year-round. There are only deadlines for the submission of Grant Applications. If you are invited to complete a Grant Application, you will be notified of the deadline submission date.

3. What if I can’t use the online eGrant application system?

May I fax or e-mail the Project Proposal Form?

Yes, but remember to include a complete mailing address to which the application materials may be sent. If your proposal meets all of our requirements, a Grant Application will be mailed to you.  You must send back the ORIGINAL Grant Application form by regular post.

May I make my own version of a Grant Application? 

No. You must return the original application form in order to qualify for funding. No copies will be accepted. Although the Project Proposal Form may be submitted by fax or e-mail, the Grant Application may not.

If I can’t use the online grant application system and don’t have a typewriter, how can I complete the Grant Application using my computer?

To complete the application without a typewriter, you will need to print your answers from a computer and then CUT them with a scissors and PASTE them into the application form using tape or glue.

4. How much is typically granted to a project?

The size of the average grant is $10,000 USD. Our grants rarely exceed $15,000 USD.

5. What are needs internal to a congregation and why don’t you fund them?

Sometimes, when sisters hear about the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters they assume that we award grants to congregations to help them care for their sisters and provide them with necessities such as health care, education, transportation and housing. This is understandable; but, it is not the case. Though these needs are very real and it is critically important for the Church and other organizations to address them, such is not the mission of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters. We exclusively provide financial support for the apostolic work of sisters. The funds must be used to support a specific, well-defined and sustainable project in which sisters are directly involved on a full-time basis. We do not award grants for general congregational support.

6. What is considered full-time involvement?

At least one sister must work at least 30 hours per week with the project.

7. What is expected in an income/expense report?

An income/expense report lists the income and expenses for the project over the past two fiscal years. A budget itemizes your expected income and expenses for the upcoming fiscal year. For a sample format, click here. Under income, itemize all sources of monetary funding for the project, such as fees, donations, foundations, the sisters’ congregation, the government or the diocese. You should also estimate the value of non-monetary donations such as food, labor and facilities. If sisters volunteer their time, for example, estimate what you would have to pay someone to do their work and enter that value as contributed services (you should also enter this value as a salary under expenses even though you do not actually pay them). Do not forget to list the total income of your project. Under expenses, list everything for which you must pay over the course of a year, such as salaries, rent, utilities and the cost of transportation. Even if you do not actually pay salaries to volunteers, you should estimate what you would have to pay them if they were to receive salaries and enter that value as an expense (you should also enter this value as contributed services under income). Subtract the total expenses from total income and list the balance on hand at the beginning and end of each year. Remember to provide a budget and income/expense reports for any institution in which your project is located or with which it is closely affiliated. If you are seeking a grant for a literacy project affiliated with a school, for example, report the income and expenses for the entire school.

Questions about the Application Process

1. Who is a Monitor/Guarantor?

The Monitor/Guarantor must be an individual NOT directly involved with the project who agrees to verify in writing at the end of the grant period that the funds were used for the purpose for which they were given.  The Monitor/Guarantor must be a sister from a different congregation, a priest from the local area, or a lay employee of a well-established Catholic organization like Catholic Relief Services, Caritas, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, etc.

2. How long does it take to hear if we have been awarded a grant?

The time from which we receive your proposal until the final review of your application by the Board can be six to nine months, even longer if you fail to include all of the supplementary information we require you to submit with your Grant Application. We will notify you by email of the Board’s decision as soon as possible following the meeting.

3. How often may we apply for funding?

Second and third proposals for the same organization may be submitted after the grant report from the previous grant has been completed.

4. How many Grant Applications may a congregation or province submit?

It is unusual for the Board to consider more than two projects in each grant cycle from the same region or province of a religious congregation.