Frequently Asked Questions

The questions and answers provided here anticipate the most common needs for information. If your question is not sufficiently addressed, feel free to ask your question by email. We will reply as soon as possible.

Who can apply?

Organizations that qualify as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code and that are not classified as private foundations may be eligible for consideration. The most common (but not only) qualifying tax-exempt category is 501(c)(3). Organizations requesting funds from The Joanna Foundation must provide documentation of federal tax-exempt status (i.e., a copy of the letter of determination from the IRS) with the Letter of Intent. Furthermore, only organizations that have significant activities in designated South Carolina areas are eligible. The designated areas are: Berkeley County, Charleston County, Dorchester County, the community of Joanna, SC, and the community of Newberry, SC. Anyone interested in applying to The Joanna Foundation should complete the short on-line survey to confirm eligibility each time, even if support has been received in the past.

I am an individual who needs a scholarship or financial assistance. Am I eligible to apply?

No. The Joanna Foundation does not make grants or provide funding to individuals. The Joanna Foundation makes grants only to organizations that qualify as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code and that are not classified as private foundations.

Our organization is not based in one of the five South Carolina areas listed as geographic areas of interest. Can we apply?

It is not necessary for an organization to be headquartered in one of the designated areas (Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties, the Joanna community, and the Newberry community). However, organizations must demonstrate substantive impact or involvement in one or more of the designated areas.

When can we apply? When will we hear?

The Joanna Foundation normally has three grant cycles per calendar year. Applying is a two-part process. The first step involves submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) using the form provided on the website. LOIs are accepted during specific windows of time that are designated on the Applications page of this website. Early and late submissions are not accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: The window for submission will close earlier than the designated end date if the number of LOIs reaches the limit that we can accept for review, in which case an announcement will be posted on the website and applicants will receive direct notification with a suggestion to apply during the next cycle.

The Joanna Foundation trustees review all LOIs and invite a limited number of applicants to submit a full proposal. Notifications are sent by email as soon as possible – normally within 3-4 weeks. Invitations include additional instructions and the deadline for submitting the full proposal.

An invitation to submit a full proposal does not guarantee that a grant will be forthcoming and does not convey intent to fund. It is an opportunity for further consideration.

How often can we apply?

Organizations may submit one Letter of Intent per calendar year.  Organizations that receive a grant in any given year must sit out the following calendar year before submitting a new LOI. For example, an organization receiving a grant in any cycle of 2022 will be eligible to apply again in any cycle of 2024. An organization submitting an LOI in one year that does not receive an invitation to submit a full proposal may apply again in the following year. Always complete the on-line eligibility survey to confirm eligibility.

What can we ask for?

The Joanna Foundation will consider requests to support ongoing operations, help launch a new program, support specific projects conducted by the organization, match funds to leverage the impact of a challenge opportunity, or advance a capital campaign. The Joanna Foundation will not consider requests for debt reduction, research projects, scholarships, support for individuals or families, conferences, symposia, subscriptions, tickets, tables, advertising or sponsorship for fundraising events.

How much can we ask for?

There is no set limit that an organization may request but most grants made by The Joanna Foundation are in the range of $1,000 to $3,000. Larger grants in the $5,000 to $10,000 range are less common and grants exceeding $10,000 are exceptional. Normally, The Joanna Foundation generally does not make pledges or multi-year commitments.

Can we request a multi-year grant?


Why do we have to send a Letter of Intent?

The LOl requirement helps manage the workload for both applicants and The Joanna Foundation trustees who review all submissions. The LOI process allows grant-seekers to ‘test the waters’ by filling out a brief form and attaching basic organizational information. If invited to submit a full proposal, organizations will receive additional guidance and another due date.

What should we include in the LOI?

Every data field in the LOI form is important and should be completed as appropriate. The form includes a list of documents that must be sent along with the LOI.

What if we miss the deadline for the Letter of Intentl? Can we send a full proposal anyway?


Can we hand-deliver our Letter of Intent or send it by courier?

No. LOIs must be submitted by email, as instructed

The audit for our most recent fiscal year is not available to send with the full proposal. What should we send?

Send the most recently issued audit with a note indicating the anticipated date of the current audit.

Our organization does not conduct an audit so we do not have audited financial statements. What should we send with the full propsosal?

Include a note of explanation and provide: (1) unaudited financial statements for the prior fiscal year, and (2) your IRS Form 990 Tax Return.

Our program is a part of a larger organization. Should we provide financial and organizational information for the parent organization, our program, or both?

If your organization is part of a complex entity such as a regional or national organization, college, university or school system, provide the financial data most relevant to the program, chapter, branch, or department that you represent. You also should describe the relationship between your unit and the parent organization and indicate to what extent your unit supports the parent and vice versa. Please incorporate this explanation in the Program/Project Summary field as neither the LOI Form nor the Full Proposal Form provides a dedicated text field for this purpose.

I have a question that is not answered here. How can I ask it?

Questions may be emailed to The Joanna Foundation using the website’s contact form.