RESOURCES FOR GRANTEES
This section provides guidance for current grantees on the management of their Tinker Foundation grant and addresses frequently asked questions.
The Tinker Foundation uses an online grants database platform called Fluxx, for the application process and ongoing management of active grants. If you are a current or past grantee and would like to access your records, please contact us at Grants[at]tinker[dot]org for login credentials.
If you want to apply for a grant from the Foundation, you may register to become a registered user through our grants management system, operated by our third-party Service Provider.
You are responsible for all activity under your registered user account. You agree to provide accurate, current, and complete information at all times and to update it in a timely manner. You must keep your username and password confidential, and you may not transfer or otherwise do anything to give another person access to your account. You must notify us immediately at Grants[at]tinker[dot]org if you become aware that anyone has gained unauthorized access to your registered user account. You represent and warrant that all information you provide as a registered user is accurate and complete.
We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to suspend or terminate any registered user at any time if we suspect that you have not complied with these terms or for other reasons that we determine in good faith are necessary or appropriate, including if we suspect you are using or attempting to use the site in any way that violates these terms or any applicable laws or regulations.
If a grant is approved, the grantee will receive a binding legal document outlining the terms and conditions of the grant, i.e., the “Grant Agreement.” Grantee organizations are required to comply with these terms. Grantees are welcome to inquire about any clause(s) that elicit(s) questions or concerns. Below are general descriptions of terms and conditions in the grant agreement.
Tinker Foundation generally funds public charities classified by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under Internal Revue Code 501(c)(3) as either a Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2). In making a grant, the Foundation needs to determine whether an organization is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. If an organization’s exempt status is revoked or changed by the Internal Revenue Service, that organization is required to notify the Foundation immediately.
International charities will be stipulated to follow the procedures for expenditure responsibility described below.
USE OF GRANT FUNDS
All payments with respect to the grant will be used by the grantee only for purposes that are charitable within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Approved Project Proposal and Budget
Grant funds may be used only in accordance with the project proposal and budget approved by the Foundation. Grant funds cannot be used as collateral, to offset other financial obligations (including interest payments on lines of credit, and securing or servicing debt), or to meet cash flow or general operating expenses that are unrelated to the purpose of the grant proposal as defined in the grant agreement letter.
Awarded grant funds may not be expended on project costs incurred prior to the official grant start date. A grant period may be extended to accommodate the need to fully expend grant funds extending beyond the approved completion date. This requires prior written approval from the Foundation.
You may include a maximum of 15 % in the project budget to account for indirect costs attributed to project implementation. Provide a description of what is included in indirect costs. Program officers analyze indirect cost requests as part of their overall review of project budgets and approve them on a case-by-case basis.
Please note that we rarely fund capital equipment purchases on any single tangible item that has a useful life of more than one year and a value equal to or greater than $5,000. However, if your organization has 501(c)(3) status, some capital purchases may be allowable and are analyzed as part of our overall review of project budgets. If you have any questions, please contact us.
If a proposal is approved by our Board and you need to revise the budget or propose an alternate use of funds other than what was proposed and approved, please consult your program officer. Modifications of more than $10,000 to any line item in the project budget must be approved by the Foundation in advance in writing.
Narrative and financial reports should be submitted on or before the due dates specified in the Foundation’s grant agreement, or as modified in subsequent correspondence. Reports should be submitted through the online grant platform. No further payments will be made if reports are outstanding.
If the grant will be paid in multiple installments, specified in the Foundation’s grant agreement, or as modified in subsequent correspondence. The payment of each installment is contingent upon (i) grantee’s progress towards achievement of the grant purpose as determined in our sole discretion, (ii) grantee’s compliance with the terms of this agreement, including without limitation timely submission of reports, and (iii) there having been no material changes in grantee’s operations, staffing, funding, structure or tax status that would adversely affect grantee’s ability to carry out or accomplish the grant purpose.
REPAYMENT OF FUNDS
Grantee will promptly repay any grant funds not used for the grant purpose or otherwise in accordance with this agreement.
Each installment of the grant funds received by the grantee must be maintained in a separate fund dedicated to the charitable purposes described in this letter. Such a separate fund may be either: (1) a physically separate bank account restricted to the described charitable purposes, or (2) a separate bookkeeping account (limited to the described charitable purposes) maintained as part of your financial records.
Grantees are required to retain account records, detailing all receipts and expenditures, for a minimum of four years following submission of the final grant report. The Foundation reserves the right to conduct on- and offsite audits of records related to the use of grant funds. In cases where grantee spending is not consistent with the Foundation’s award, the Foundation reserves the right to request the return of awarded funds, disallow expenditures, or take other remedial actions.
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Foundation may monitor and evaluate grant activities. This may include, for example, visits from Foundation personnel, discussing the project and its progress with grantee’s personnel, and reviewing financial and other records and materials connected with the activities financed by this grant. The grantee agrees to cooperate with the Foundation and to provide any information reasonably requested by the Foundation.
Direct/Indirect Lobbying, Propaganda, etc.
Grantees will not use any amounts distributed to grantee nor any income from the grant to carry on propaganda, direct or indirect lobbying, or otherwise to attempt to influence or to influence the outcome of any specific public election or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any partisan voter registration drive. Please see Overview of U.S. Lobbying and Political Campaigning Rules for Grantees for additional guidance on lobbying definitions.
Funds may not be used to support violence or terrorism-related activity. For a detailed list of restrictions on grant funds, grantees should refer to the grant agreement. Grantees are also expected to maintain controls to see that use of grant funds complies with the rules and guidance promulgated by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT / USE OF NAME
Grantee will acknowledge the Foundation’s funding in an appropriate manner in all publications, press releases, talks, interviews, audio recordings, films/video, and other media and activities related to or resulting from grant-funded activities.
Any other use of the Foundation’s name or logo is subject to the prior written approval of the Foundation.
The Foundation may include information relating to the grant, including the name of grantee, on its website or in periodic public reports, press releases, or other public materials.
RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE FUNDING, RESCIND PAYMENTS, AND REQUIRE RETURN OF UNSPENT FUNDS
The Foundation reserves the right to modify or terminate the grant or to withhold future grant distributions at any time if it determines that grantee has failed to comply with any term of the agreement or is not able to carry out or accomplish the grant purpose. The Foundation may also modify or terminate the grant if it determines that continuing grant payments would expose the Foundation to liability or adverse tax consequences, or otherwise be inconsistent with the mission and values of the Foundation. In the event of termination in accordance with this section, the grantee must promptly return to the Foundation any unexpended grant funds.
Notice of Significant Organizational or Project Changes
Grantees are expected to inform the Foundation promptly of any significant changes in project staffing, organizational leadership, scheduling, or budgeting, when such changes occur during the grant period. Grantees are also expected to inform the Foundation of notification by another significant funder that the funder is ceasing further funding.
Notice of Tax Status or Change
Grantees are expected to inform the Foundation promptly if there is any change in grantee’s status as a charitable organization under the laws of the grantee’s jurisdiction.
Unless otherwise noted in the grant agreement, the grantee organization retains all copyright interests to the work product created as a result of the grant. However, the grantee grants to the Foundation an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce and publicly display all publications, studies, research, and similar works provided by the grantee to the Foundation in connection with grant-funded activities (together, the “works”) solely for the Foundation’s charitable purposes (for example, to highlight the grantee’s grant-funded work on the Foundation’s website).
Grantee organizations will be asked in the agreement to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Tinker Foundation, its Directors, officers, employees, and agents.
Expenditure responsibility is the U.S. federally mandated procedure that a private foundation must follow for any grant made to an organization that is not an Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-recognized public charity. A failure to fulfill this obligation exposes the foundation and its management to potential tax penalties. Expenditure responsibility has five steps:
- Pre-grant inquiry. Before a grant is awarded, the Tinker Foundation will undertake a reasonable investigation of the grantee to ensure that the grantee can perform the charitable activity to be funded. We will collect several organizational documents related to an organization’s basic structure and capacity to track and manage grant funds. The information will help inform the required pre-grant inquiry.
- Written agreement. The grantee must sign a written agreement with the Foundation that sets out specific charitable activities to be accomplished with the funds granted. The agreement must also contain certain limitations, such as prohibiting the use of any of the funds for lobbying. See below for expenditure responsibility grant terms and conditions for specific limitations.
- Separate account. Unless the grantee is another private foundation or private foundation equivalent, the grantee must establish a separate account in its ledger for the funds. Charitable dollars cannot be commingled with noncharitable funds. There is no need for a separate bank account for the funds received from the Foundation. Recipients must exercise standard accounting/bookkeeping procedures to show expenditures, etc. of the funds, such as a separate chart of accounts.
- Regular reports. The grantee must provide regular status reports (narrative and financial) on the expenditure of the funds and the progress made toward fulfilling the charitable purpose for which the funds are granted. At a minimum, for expenditure responsibility grants, we must receive annual narrative and financial reports no later than two (2) months after the close of an organization’s accounting year. If we do not receive the reports when due, the IRS requires us to withhold all future payments (including funds associated with any other outstanding grant) until the reports are received.
- Report to IRS on the tax return.When filing our Form 990-PF tax return in any year in which a payment for an expenditure-responsibility grant is made, the Tinker Foundation will indicate that expenditure responsibility payments were made and must add a schedule to the form with a brief description of each grant indicating the grantee, the amount, the charitable purpose, and the current status of the grant.
ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR EXPENDITURE RESPONSIBILITY GRANTS
The foundation’s grant agreement contains these additional terms and conditions required under U.S. law for expenditure responsibility grants.
- Limitation on Use of Grant Funds: Grantees will not undertake any activity for purposes other than those specified in Section 170(c)(2)(B) of the Code (i.e., religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes, or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals) including an obligation to compensate the foundation for any funds not used for the stated purpose of the grant.
- Diversion of Grant Funds: If grant funds are used for any purposes other than charitable purpose agreed to in the grant agreement, the IRS considers it a “diversion” of grant funds, and the Foundation is required to take all reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure the recovery and restoration of the funds. We are prohibited from making further payments until we have received adequate assurances that no future diversions will occur.
- Segregated Bank Account: Each installment of the grant funds received by the grantee must be maintained in a separate fund dedicated to the charitable purposes described in this letter. Such a separate fund may be either: (1) a physically separate bank account restricted to the described charitable purposes, or (2) a separate bookkeeping account (limited to the described charitable purposes) maintained as part of your financial records.
- Re-Grants: Grantee will not use any amounts distributed to grantee nor any income therefrom to make any grant to an individual for travel, study, or other similar purposes except in compliance with the provisions of Section 4945(d)(3) of the Code or make any grant to any organization except in compliance with the provisions of Section 4945(d)(4) of the Code.
- Recordkeeping: Grantees are required to retain account records, detailing all receipts and expenditure, for a minimum of four (4) years following submission of the final grant report. The Foundation reserves the right to conduct on- and offsite audits of records related to the use of grant funds. In cases where grantee spending is not consistent with the Foundation’s award, the Foundation reserves the right to request the return of awarded funds, disallow expenditures, or take other remedial actions.
- Capital Expenditures: Your organization may not use expenditure responsibility grant funds for capital equipment purchases on any single tangible item that has a useful life of more than one year and a value equal to or greater than $5,000.
- Reporting: At a minimum, for expenditure responsibility grants we must receive annual narrative and financial reports no later than sixty (60) days after the close of your organization’s accounting year. The annual report must cover how grant funds were used, compliance with the grant agreement, the grantee’s progress towards grant purposes, and budget-to-actual comparison of grantee expenditures, as well as any other reporting requirements specified by the foundation in the grant agreement. The annual reports to the foundation should cover only your organization’s most recent fiscal year. The final report to the foundation should cover the entire term of the grant. The due dates for the annual and final expenditure responsibility reports will be documented in the grant agreement. If we do not receive the reports when due, the IRS requires us to withhold all future payments (including funds associated with any other outstanding grant) until the reports are received.
- Lobbying: Your organization may not use expenditure responsibility grant funds for lobbying as defined by the IRS. Please review the Overview of U.S. Lobbying and Political Campaigning Rules for Grantees.
- Return of Unspent Funds: You are required to return any unused funds at the end of the grant period.
- Interest Earned on Grant: For each reporting period, grantees should give an account of how they spent or allocated earned income on grant payments within the approved budget categories or provide a written explanation if no income was earned on awarded funds.
The Foundation requires timely and informative interim and final grant reporting. Narrative and financial reports should be submitted through Fluxx, the Foundation’s online portal, on or before the due dates specified in the Foundation’s grant agreement. In cases where reports are delayed significantly or show unsatisfactory progress toward project objectives, we may cancel any pending/future grant payments and/or ask the grantee to return unspent funds.
Please review the following guidelines before preparing your proposal and prior to accessing the site. Allow yourself sufficient time to transfer data into Fluxx.
Interim reports of 4-6 pages and final reports of 5-10 pages are generally appropriate. Feel free to append any other information that you consider relevant. Please note that all reports to the Foundation must be submitted in English unless otherwise agreed with Tinker.
Additional expenditure responsibility (ER) reports due outside of our regular reporting dates of May 1 and Sept 15 should only include question #2 below (i.e., describing activities that have taken place during the ER reporting period).
- Briefly summarize the project objective.
- Describe the activities that have taken place and progress against the project objectives, and any initial outputs (e.g., products produced) and outcomes (e.g., results, effects) from your work.
- Describe any significant challenges or opportunities (internal and external) that emerged during the execution of the project in the last year and how you have approached them.
- Enclose copies of or links to any media coverage or major social media activity related to the project (if applicable).
- Has the project yielded any publications, videos, audio clips, etc. to date? Please send electronic copies of any publications or products to us. Provide the URL for materials distributed online.
- Describe the activities planned for the coming year, referencing the plan of work provided in your proposal, as appropriate. Make note of any project learning or external factors that have led you to adjust your approach or planning for the coming year. (Consistent with the grant agreement, please reach out to your program officer for approval of any significant changes to project objectives, timing, or budget.)
- Provide a brief update on your organization, if relevant. Mention any recent or anticipated organizational transitions, new areas of work, or shifts in strategy. We invite you to share any ideas or requests for how Tinker can support your organization’s broader work and goals.
- Briefly summarize the project objective that was initially proposed.
- Provide a brief summary of the activities that took place over the course of the project, as well as the ultimate outputs (e.g., products produced) and outcomes (e.g., results, effects). Address whether the project met the objective set forth in the original proposal. If the project included formal monitoring and evaluation, we invite you to include any additional data and commentary as an appendix.
- Describe any significant challenges or opportunities (internal and external) that emerged during the execution of the project and how you approached them.
- Identify project personnel and describe their roles over the life of the project. If there were any personnel changes, how did this affect the project?
- How did you disseminate the results of the project? What was your target audience(s) and how did you reach and engage it (them)? Share any evidence that this audience or others have made use of these results. Enclose copies of or links to any media coverage or major social media activity. If the project included work with communities or individuals, please describe how you engaged and informed them about project outcomes.
- Did the project yield publications, videos, audio clips, etc.? Please send us electronic copies of any publications or products. Provide the URL for materials distributed online.
- What do you anticipate will be the longer-term outcomes of the project beyond the grant period? Do you expect the project results to stimulate further activity or research in this subject area? Does the project have value as a model or demonstration of techniques or approaches that could be replicated elsewhere?
- Describe the impact this project has had on your institution, if applicable. What new capabilities, relationships, and expertise did the organization build as a result of this work? What learning will you carry forward to other work? Will your organization continue to work on this issue/area? Please identify any new funding secured for related work in the future.
- We invite you to share any ideas or requests for Tinker that would help amplify the outcomes or visibility of this project or deepen its ultimate impact.
- We invite you to share any feedback for Tinker on how we can best support and partner with grantee organizations like yours. Please feel free to share challenges, suggestions, or positive practices you have encountered among other funders.
For grants approved prior to December 2019:
Grantees must complete the “Funds Expended” column on the “Approved Grant Budget” for the current year of the project. The approved budget sheet will be available in Fluxx following notification of approval of grant payment.
For grants approved December 2019 and later:
For each reporting period, grantees should account for expenditures within the approved budget categories. If no money was spent or there is significant underspending of grant funds, provide a written explanation for this variance. The financial reporting template will be available in Fluxx at each scheduled reporting date.
The Foundation recognizes that project circumstances may change over the life of a grant, creating a need to modify a grant timeframe or other terms. When this occurs, the grantee is required to notify the Foundation and seek advance written approval to modify the grant terms. Please note that the Foundation does not regularly consider requests to alter the basic purpose of a grant. Grantees should consult with program staff about any such requests, as they may require our Board of Directors review and approval.
STEPS FOR REQUESTING MODIFICATIONS
Requests for grant modifications should be submitted by an authorized representative of the organization. (If the grantee is a university, the Office of Sponsored Research or Grants and Contracts may present the request.) Grantees seeking to modify a grant should first send a brief email to a program officer summarizing the proposed modification. Program staff will review the modification request and contact the grantee by email to indicate whether the requested modification has been approved. If a modification is approved, the grantee will receive a “Grant Modification Letter” or email notification, and any change will be reflected in the grant record in Fluxx.
|TYPE OF MODIFICATION||WHAT IT MEANS||WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR EMAIL REQUEST|
|No-cost extension||More time needed to complete grant activities.||
1. The new end date you are requesting
|Extension of Reporting Deadlines||You need more time to complete the report, etc.||
Propose due date(s) and include the rationale.
If approved, you will receive either an email notification or a grant modification letter.
|Payment Date||You need a payment sooner or later||
A revised payment schedule accompanied by a brief narrative justification.
If approved, you will receive either an email notification or a grant modification letter.
|Budget Modification||Examples include, but are not limited to:||
If you need to revise the budget or propose an alternate use of funds other than what was proposed and approved, please consult your program officer. Modifications of more than $10,000 to any line item in the project budget must be approved by the Foundation in advance in writing.
Submit a revised budget and brief narrative justification.
If your request is approved, you will receive either an email or a grant modification letter.
Budget modifications do NOT involve requesting additional funds.
|Scope of Work||Examples include, but are not limited to:||
A narrative description of the proposed changes as well as justification for the revised scope of work and a revised budget that reflects costs associated with new activities
If your request is approved, you will receive either an email notification or a grant modification letter.
|Unspent Funds||Examples include, but are not limited to:||
If you want to use the funds for activities related to the approved grant, provide a brief narrative description of the activities and a summary budget of how the funds will be used.
If your request is approved, you will receive either an email notification or a grant modification letter.
|Carry-Over Funds||If you haven’t expended all funds from a previous year and need to rollover funds to the next year||Specify the following:
1. The unexpended amount
2. Reason why funds were not expended
If your request is approved, you will receive an email notification.
For all other conditions, please contact your program officer.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF SUPPORT
Please acknowledge support from the Tinker Foundation in any written, visual, or recorded materials you may produce with grant funds.
Credit: This [project/event] was made possible with support from the Tinker Foundation.
USE OF NAME
Under federal law, Tinker Foundation grantees are prohibited from lobbying with Foundation funds. Grantees may, under applicable law, engage in certain lobbying activities that do not involve the expenditure of Foundation funds. No program or project that bears the Tinker Foundation name may engage in lobbying activities or lobbying communications. Please review the advocacy and public policy section, which explains the scope of prohibited lobbying activities.
We welcome any content that may help us communicate our grantees’ work to a larger audience. Tinker promotes grantees’ work on our website and on Twitter (@TinkerFdn). Written content that showcases your work, such as stories, press coverage, or publications, as well as photographs or videos, is helpful to our communication efforts. Please share these materials with us at Grants[at]tinker[dot]org.
LOGO AND VISUAL IDENTITY STANDARDS
Current Tinker Foundation grantees may use the Foundation’s logo in print or online materials. Logos may be used only if Tinker has provided direct support for a project and adheres to the guidelines in the “Use of Name” section. Send requests for use of our logo to Grants[at]tinker[dot]org. Please indicate the format and use of the logo.
We do not need to review your press release, unless you would like us to do so. Please submit a draft of the press release or announcement to Caroline Kronley at ckronley[at]tinker[dot]org.
All materials that use the Tinker Foundation logo must be reviewed by the Foundation prior to publication or distribution. Please share all final materials via email to Grants[at]tinker[dot]org.
The Tinker Foundation has a Twitter account (@TinkerFdn) to follow our grantees. You are encouraged to send us your Twitter handle. Please tag us in your tweets when mentioning us.
How can I access my data/grant as a current or former Tinker grantee?
If you are a current or former grantee and you want to access your grant record(s) or details from your grant application, email Angelina Pienzykowski, apienczykowski[at]tinker[dot]org for login credentials for the grant portal.
Can our organization have multiple people access a grant?
If multiple people would like access to the grant record, please email our Grants Manager, Angelina Pienczykowski, apienczykowski[at]tinker[dot]org with the names and emails of users. She will establish login credentials for these individuals.
What are our obligations when a grant is awarded?
All grants are subject to the “Grant Agreement.” Most notable grant terms and conditions are highlighted in the section above.
Are there specific controls we should include in the evaluation of the program’s activities to align the evaluation of progress with your processes?
We encourage you to draw on any metrics or indicators presented in the original proposal when you report to the Tinker Foundation. You do not need to create a specific/new evaluation framework in support of the grant unless specifically discussed with your program officer.
In our project budget, should we list costs by week/month?
Show expenditures in lump sums at the date of the report. We do not need to see weekly or monthly payments.
If we earn interest on our grant funds, how can we spend this money? Can we allocate it freely within the approved budget categories for the program?
You may allocate interest earned to any existing budget line item(s) as well as to unexpected or unlisted expenditures related to the project, such as bank fees, etc. You must show additional income earned on your project budget.
We are submitting our first interim report due May 1, but the reporting period on the report states until July 1. Should we send you an update after July 1 with the full report?
You do not have to resubmit another narrative and budget form; simply adjust the expended amount in subsequent financial reports.
What happens if we fail to submit the required narrative and financial reports?
The Foundation will send delinquency/overdue notices to the grantee. If continued attempts by the Foundation to receive the required reports fail, the Foundation will close the grant as unsatisfactory. Any future payments will be suspended, and the organization will no longer be eligible to receive grants from the Foundation.
What happens if we are late in submitting our interim report?
If an interim report is late, the next grant payment will be delayed until the interim report has been received and approved.
We have a grant balance at the end of the award period. How should we proceed?
The Tinker Foundation prefers that award recipients fully expend the grant. However, we understand that under certain circumstances, grantees may not be able to do so. Unexpended balances for expenditure responsibility grants must be returned to the Foundation. All other grantees should contact the Foundation to determine an appropriate plan of action for the remaining funds.