Since 2016, the Plutus Foundation has provided over $20,000 in grant and sponsorship money to financial education and literacy programs across the United States. We’ve funded programs targeting high school students, college-aged students, members of the military, student entrepreneurs, and even programs that train financial literacy educators. We’re ready to do more, and that’s where you come in.
Each year, in the spring and fall, we issue an RFP (request for proposal) to members of the personal finance media who provide community-based financial education and literacy programs. That may sound interesting, or like something you’d like to do, but maybe you need some more information.
Let’s see if we can help.
How much are the grants?
The Plutus Foundation issues four $2,000 grants per calendar year. We do sponsor programs, but that is on a case-by-case basis and in varying amounts.
Where can I find the RFP announcement and how can I find out about it?
RFPs are announced on the Plutus Foundation website, our social media accounts, and in our newsletter. You can find out by connecting with us or signing up for our newsletter. The RFP announcements are generally made in early spring and early fall.
Can you explain the RFP process?
Once the RFP is issued, potential grantees have one month to respond. This is all done electronically, so there’s no need to mail anything (or even leave your house)! Just fill out the RFP form completely and thoroughly, and attach any requested documents, and submit it.
You can see the application form here.
After the deadline, the Plutus Foundation Executive Team meets to discuss the applications. Decisions are typically made within two weeks of the closing date, and recipients are notified via email. An announcement is also made on our website and social media. Fall recipients receive additional recognition during the Plutus Awards ceremony at FinCon.
What should I include in my RFP response?
The application is clear about what you need to include but you want to make sure your response contains:
- A summary of your program including mission, target population, and method of delivery
- How you plan to use the money
- How the money will benefit your program, both in terms of service delivery and outcomes
- Any awards, recognition, or publicity your program has received (if it hasn’t received any, that’s okay)
- Your bio
Essentially, you want to include as much detail as you can so we understand the full scope of your program and how the grant money will be used for program creation, delivery, and/or improvement.
What happens if my proposal is accepted?
As previously mentioned, recipients are notified by email and announced on social media. After you receive that notification, a call is scheduled with our Director of Grants and Programs to discuss reporting requirements, invoicing, your contract or MOU, and other administrative details as well as answer any questions you might have.
During that call, you will also discuss what types of non-financial support the Plutus Foundation can provide during (and after!) your grant term.
What happens if my program is not selected?
Unfortunately, we can not fund every program that applies for a grant. However, we still want to keep in touch!
If your program is not selected, you are welcome to join our Nonprofit Mastermind Facebook group, you may request a call or email to get feedback on your program and how it might improve to receive a grant later on, and, in some circumstances only, we might be able to find a different way to financially support your program.
If your program is not selected, you may also apply again during a different RFP cycle.
What does a successful RFP response look like?
Of the programs that have won a Plutus Foundation grant, the majority of their RFP responses:
- Demonstrated a passion for financial education and literacy
- Met the standards for community-based education (ex., curriculum taught in-person rather than online)
- Presented an innovative and creative idea for teaching financial literacy OR addressed the needs of an underserved or marginalized population
- Showed compatibility with Plutus Foundation’s mission
- Followed RFP instructions thoroughly and completely
You can see the types of programs we’ve previously and currently support here.
This covers the basics of Plutus Foundation RFP process. If you have any questions that weren’t answered, or you need further clarification on anything related to the RFP process, please get in touch with Jana Lynch, our Director of Grants and Programs.