General Guidelines


Please see the individual committees for their geographic guidelines.

United States grantees must be a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. In addition, grant recipients must certify that they are not a supporting organization within the meaning of Code Section 509(a)(3). 


  • Private Foundations Code Section 509(a)(2)
  • State Colleges or Universities Code Section 511(a)(2)(b)
  • Annual Appeals or Capital Campaigns Construction or New Facility expenses
  • Fundraising or Event Sponsorships
  • Individual scholarships
  • Political Activities and lobbying
  • Churches or other religious organizations
  • General operating support requests unless the NBO Foundation already has an established relationship with the organization, and the organization has demonstrated success with previous grants.

The Foundation strongly suggests that applicants review the NBO requirements and clarify any questions before submitting a letter of inquiry. To learn about the three NBO Foundation funding areas and their specific requirements please click on the name of the committee to the left.  Please direct all inquiries through the Contact Us form. 

The Nicholas B Ottaway Foundation accepts online grant applications between November 1st and March 31st. The NBO Fund requests letters of inquiry to initiate the grant application process, and does not wish to review full proposals from first time applicants without first receiving a letter of inquiry. First time applicants are encouraged to submit letters of inquiry using our online form. Letter of inquiry applicants are typically contacted within two months of receipt. Applicants  will be contacted if a full application is requested.  Any grant application received after March 31st will not be considered for the current year.

Proposals recommended by the committees are reviewed and voted upon by the Board of Directors.  Decisions will be sent out on or before August 1 following NBO's annual meeting of the Board. However, letters of inquiry are accepted on a rolling basis; there are no deadlines.

All grant applicants will be notified of the board’s decision via e-mail and or snail mail.

Most grants are funded for a one year period only and applicants are encouraged to apply again the following year based upon the success of their programs and after they submit an end of year report.

The final determination of grant recipient awards is at the sole discretion of the full Board of Directors of the NBO Foundation. Once you have confirmation your application has been received and is under review please do not call or e-mail to inquire about your applications standing before August 1st.