The Dr. Seuss Foundation provides grants in California through approved funding cycles each yearr, or by invitation. No grants under $10,000 will be considered.
Letter of Intent (LOI) and Request for Full Proposal
All applicants must complete the LOI via the Grantee Portal. LOIs will be accepted and reviewed based on the above three funding cycles, and evaluated based on eligibility and fit with Foundation priorities. Applicants will be notified via email whether they have been invited to submit a full proposal or if their request has been denied. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not guarantee funding.
Note: the apply button is only activated during the open LOI submission periods.
Full Proposal Submission and Review
Applicants invited to submit a full proposal will do so via the Grantee Portal. Invited applicants will have approximately one month to submit. Guidelines for creating a budget and a recommended budget format can be found below. The review process will begin after a full proposal has been submitted. Additional information, follow-up conversations, or site visits may be requested.
Building a Budget: Direct and Indirect Costs
Dr. Seuss Foundation prefers to fund direct project costs, but understands that, particularly with smaller organizations, the recovery of indirect costs is a necessity. The Foundation calculates indirect costs as a percentage of direct project costs. If indirect costs exceed 20 percent of direct costs, and the applicant can provide justification for the amount, it may be accepted and the grant approved. If the applicant’s explanation is insufficient to justify the higher rate, the applicant will be notified that its grant request may not be approved. If the percentage appears reasonable, the Foundation usually approves the inclusion of indirect costs in the budget.
Direct costs are those for activities or services that benefit specific projects, e.g., salaries for project staff and materials required for a particular project. Because these activities are easily traced to projects, their costs are usually charged to projects on an item-by-item basis.
Indirect costs are those for activities or services that benefit more than one project. Their precise benefits to a specific project are often difficult or impossible to trace. For example, it may be difficult to determine precisely how the activities of the director of an organization benefit a specific project.
It is possible to justify the handling of almost any kind of cost as either direct or indirect. Labor costs, for example, can be indirect, as in the case of maintenance personnel and administrative assistants; or they can be direct, as in the case of project staff members. Similarly, materials such as miscellaneous supplies purchased in bulk — pencils, pens, paper — are typically handled as indirect costs, while materials required for specific projects are charged as direct costs.
In-kind contributions include materials, equipment or services that are given without charge to the program or organization. These items should not be included in the budget of cash revenues and cash expenditures submitted with proposals to the Foundation. However, in-kind contributions should be noted in the project budget narrative. The final accounting on the grant must report against the approved budget submitted with the proposal and the actual cumulative expenditures since the start of the grant. In order to determine if all sources of funds were disbursed, actual cash expenditures are compared with actual cash revenues received; in-kind contributions are excluded from this calculation in determining if a refund is due to the Foundation.
A grant to an organization may include the purchase of capital equipment, which generally includes such items as computers, office furniture and other items. Books purchased to enhance a library may also be considered capital equipment. On the other hand, office supplies and other consumable items are not generally considered capital equipment. Books purchased for limited research purposes are not considered capital equipment. (indirect costs can not be included in direct costs)
Budgets submitted should include 1) itemized budget for the entire project (or for the amount requested) including all revenue sources known to date, and 2) justification showing how each budget line item relates to the project and how the budgeted amount was calculated.
Budgets are generally broken down into two main sections: personnel costs and non-personnel costs. Salaries and benefits should include all staff salaries allocated to the project. Each position and percentage of time devoted to the project should also be identified. Contracted services, including an estimation of the hours and hourly rate, should be listed separately from salaries. Supporting detail should also be provided for all other major non-personnel line items.
Example of preferred budget format
Example of a sample budget
Applicants will be notified via email once decisions have been made. If awarded, an applicant will receive a grant agreement for review and signature pending any additional due diligence requirements. The grant agreement will outline reporting and other requirements. Payment of the grant will be processed, typically within 30 days once the signed agreement is received. Receiving a grant does not guarantee future funding.