How to Write a Grant Proposal to Giant Eagle Foundation

by Cynthia Barstad

Giant Eagle Foundation is the charitable arm of the supermarket chain based in the northeastern United States. It holds more than $40 million in assets and reportedly awarded $4 million in grants in 2010. Typical grants range from $1,000 to $10,000, although a few have been given as high as $100,000 to $1 million or more. The foundation does not have published grant guidelines or an application form, but the corporate website and the foundation's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filings provide information that grant writers can use when they create a proposal.

Pittsburgh draws a significant proportion of Giant Eagle's support.

Search the list of more than 200 Giant Eagle-affiliated stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland, including Market District, Riser Foods and County Markets. See if your organization provides services in an area that the foundation would consider "local." The home page of the supermarket chain's website provides a link to a "Store Locator" tool with locations arranged by zip code. The foundation does not have any specific geographical limitations, but it tends to fund programs in communities where it operates, especially in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

Children's programs, food banks and other social services interest Giant Eagle.

Verify if your program or project matches the Giant Eagle Foundation's demonstrated interest areas, where your chances of getting funded might be more likely. There are no specific restrictions on charitable fields, but the foundation has heavily funded human health, social services, education, Jewish organizations, the arts and museums in the past.

Successful grant proposals organize information well.

Create an outline that summarizes your grant request to Giant Eagle. Typical proposals cover the following elements: the organization's mission, history and accomplishments; the need for the program or service, the strategies you will employ to address the problem and the impact the organization will make; a budgetary overview and other funding sources being approached; the personnel and their qualifications to implement the project effectively, as well as any partnerships or collaborations; and the evaluation methods that will be used to determine the success of the project.

Explain how your organization can help Giant Eagle effectively invest in the community.

Write one or two concise paragraphs covering each element in your proposal outline. Focus your narrative toward Giant Eagle's commitment to community involvement. Keep the proposal brief, limiting it to no more than two or three pages, and specify the grant amount requested.

Many foundations today prefer concise letters of inquiry, rather than long applications.

Format your proposal as a letter, as preferred by the Giant Eagle Foundation. Grant writers often refer to this format as a "letter of inquiry," providing enough information for the funder to make an immediate decision or request more detailed information, if needed. Edit and proofread your proposal letter, which should be signed by your board president and include your nonprofit tax-exempt ID number.

Giant Eagle Foundation's fiscal year begins July 1.

Submit your written proposal by first-class mail to David Shapira, Giant Eagle Foundation, Giant Eagle, Inc., 101 Kappa Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 15238. There are no submission deadlines. However, many foundations commit the bulk of their available funds early in their fiscal year, which for Giant Eagle runs July 1 through June 30, rather than the normal calendar year; so, grant writers may choose to target a July submission date for transmitting the grant proposal or letter of inquiry to the Giant Eagle Foundation.

About the Author

Cynthia Barstad has worked as a writer and editor since 1990. She has contributed to newspapers and magazines, including "Environmental Action," "Trilogy" and "The Workbook." Barstad earned an environmental reporting certificate from the Society of Professional Journalists and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of New Mexico.

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