Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Dr. Phillips Charities?

Dr. Phillips Charities is comprised of two separate, nonprofit, philanthropic organizations, The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips, Inc. These two organizations are committed to enhancing the quality of life by using their resources to make a meaningful impact on the needs of our Central Florida community.

2. What is the difference between The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc.?

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation is a private foundation. The rules governing private foundations require it to distribute at least 5 percent of its average assets each year to qualified beneficiaries.

Dr. Phillips Inc. is a Type III supporting organization. The rules governing Type III supporting organizations require it to distribute the greater of 3.5 percent of its average assets each year or substantially all of its annual adjusted net income to the supported beneficiaries named in its charter.

3. How much does Dr. Phillips Charities distribute to nonprofit organizations in Central Florida each year?

Dr. Phillips Charities, comprised of The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc., generally distributes around $14 million a year, depending on the value of assets and return on investments.

4. If both The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. award grants,  why is there only the one application?

The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc. jointly review grant requests. Therefore, it is not appropriate to send a request for the same project to both entities. Simply completing the Letter of Intent (LOI) forms 1 & 2 will ensure that the boards of both charities give consideration to the request. If, after thorough review, Dr. Phillips Charities has interest in funding the request, a determination of which organization is the most appropriate entity to make the grant will be made.

5. What does Dr. Phillips Charities fund?

Dr. Phillips Charities makes grants that will have significant and lasting impact on the Central Florida community, including worthy capital purposes and innovative projects that address a critical community need and demonstrate a potential for ongoing support from the community. Proposals from well-managed, fiscally sound organizations that address areas of interest are given highest priority. These interest areas currently are: educational programs, children and youth services, cultural programs, health and rehabilitative services and social services.  Dr. Phillips Charities also supports nonprofit organizations that seek to preserve the free enterprise system and protect private property rights.

6. Does Dr. Phillips Charities have a geographical focus?

Dr. Phillips Charities encourages requests from organizations that are both located in and provide services to the residents of Central Florida with Orange and Osceola Counties being the area of primary focus at this time. Funding for organizations outside of this geographic area will not be considered. Contributions are also made to a limited number of national organizations whose missions reflect the mission and values of Dr. Phillips Charities.

7. Must an organization be tax exempt to apply?

Yes, grants are made only to organizations and institutions exempt from federal taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.  Grants are not made to organizations until the organization has completed five full years of operation from the date of receipt of its exemption determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service. Applicants for funding must have a letter from the Internal Revenue Service dated no more than 10 years old that clearly states their 501(c)(3) status and their 509(a) status.

8. What is the typical size of grant awarded?

Dr. Phillips Charities awards grants ranging from a few thousand dollars to over a million dollars. The size of the grant depends upon the purpose of the request, the scope and significance of the project, the overall budget of the applicant organization and the diversity of the applicant's funding sources.

9. Are multi-year grants considered?

Yes, but single-year requests are preferred. Multi-year requests are considered when the proposed project requires more than one year to achieve its objectives and to become sustainable. Pledges will not exceed a three-year period and the pledge for each year is dependent upon the successful completion of the previous year, compliance with the terms and conditions of the pledge, and the continued financial ability of Dr. Phillips Charities to fund the pledge. In addition, multi-year grants are made on a decreasing share basis with the grant funding less of the project costs and the organization funding more of the costs in each year beyond the first year.

10. How often may an organization apply for funding?

Multiple grants in a 12-month period are not encouraged. Organizations with a current grant are encouraged not to apply until after the current grant has been completed. Exceptions may be made for unusual circumstances. Organizations desiring feedback on whether such unusual circumstances exist are advised to contact Dr. Phillips Charities to discuss the specifics.

11. Can funding be for routine operating expenses?

Grants are generally not made for general operating costs. However, grants have been awarded to expand innovative programs and to serve more people or to continue effective programs for a limited time period (generally no more than six months) until ongoing funding can be stabilized. Organizations with questions about whether a specific request fits within these guidelines are encouraged to contact Dr. Phillips Charities for more direction.

12. Are there other things that Dr. Phillips Charities does not fund?

Dr. Phillips Charities does not fund individuals, private foundations, or Type III supporting organizations defined under Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Requests for endowments, research, trips or tours, scholarships, conference attendance, newsletters or other promotional materials, magazines or books, and television, video or audio production are not encouraged. Requests for vans or other passenger vehicles will not be considered. Grants are not made to private schools for projects other than scholarships that increase total enrollment using a nationally accepted screening criteria to determine financial need; to social, religious, fraternal or veterans groups for projects that primarily benefit their own members or adherents; or to any organization to retire accumulated debt, or for legislative lobbying or other political purposes.

13. Does Dr. Phillips Charities require reports after a grant has been received?

Yes, at the end of six months and after a year, Dr. Phillips Charities requires both a programmatic report compared to the objectives in the grant and a financial report compared to the budget line-items in the grant with invoices to substantiate all expenses. If grant dollars remain after that time, subsequent report dates and requirements will be determined as appropriate.

14. Can requests be submitted at any time?

Yes, our Letter of Intent (LOI) forms 1 & 2 are accepted anytime of the year.  If you are invited to apply, there are three grant cycles each year.  Following timely submission of a grant request and acceptance by Dr. Phillips Charities, a grant review meeting is scheduled to discuss the request with the applicant.  Additional information may be required from the applicant as a result of the grant review meeting.  After all the required information has been provided, the Boards of Dr. Phillips Charities meet to review the grant requests and determine whether to provide funding.  The dates that completed requests must be received and the timeframes for consideration of such requests by the Boards of Dr. Phillips Charities are posted in the Deadlines  section of this site.

15. What are the most common reasons a grant request is denied?

There are several reasons why a grant request may be denied; however, some of the most commonly declined are those that:

  • Do not relate to types of projects funded by Dr. Phillips Charities.
  • Do not follow general grant making guidelines of Dr. Phillips Charities.
  • Are for programs or services that are being provided by other organizations.
  • Are more appropriately funded by another organization, either public or private.
  • Do not have a viable plan for sustainability without reliance on grants.
  • Do not have an independent audit for the most recently completed fiscal year.
  • Are of lesser priority than other needs, as determined by Dr. Phillips Charities.
  • Are beyond the financial capacity of Dr. Phillips Charities.

16. If denied a grant request, can an organization reapply?

If a grant request has been denied, reapplication for the same grant will not be considered unless the reason for the denial has been cured. However, if a new program or service has been developed that the organization thinks has merit and fits within the guidelines of the Dr. Phillips Charities, a new request may be submitted.

17. Can a grant request be e-mailed or faxed?

No, Dr. Phillips Charities does not accept faxed or e-mailed grant requests.

18. What is the grant review process?

All requests are screened for completeness, accuracy and consistency with the stated guidelines. Requests that are missing information, contain inaccurate information, or are outside the stated guidelines will be denied.  Grant review meetings will be scheduled with applicant organizations as appropriate. Requests will then be referred to the full Boards of Dr. Phillips Charities for a final review and decision. The review process may take several months.

19. What is expected of an applicant organization during a grant review meeting to discuss a specific grant request?

Depending on the grant request that has been submitted, grant review teams from Dr. Phillips Charities will ask questions about the specific request to understand if the project is integral to the mission of the applicant organization and has been carefully developed with the full knowledge of the board and staff of the organization. It is important that key board and key staff members be present and able to participate fully in the discussion of the request. Questions will usually be asked about governance, financial management, staff capability and program implementation and evaluation. Most grant review meetings last about one and one-half hours.

20. Is it appropriate to call Dr. Phillips Charities prior to sending a request or to receive guidance on how to complete the application package?

Yes. Grant seekers are encouraged to read the Guidelines, How to Apply, Deadlines, and Application sections of this site for more information to determine if they qualify for a grant.   If you need additional assistance in submitting grants, you may contact Dr. Phillips Charities in advance of submitting a request.  Wendy Oliver, Director of Grants, or her grant making assistant, Pauline White, are also available to answer specific questions concerning completion of the grant request forms.

21. Is it appropriate to contact Dr. Phillips Charities to receive feedback on requests that were not funded?

No, applicants are notified by letter of the disposition of their requests after they have been reviewed by Dr. Phillips Charities. Organizations are not encouraged to seek or request more feedback than is in the letter.

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