Opportunity Knocks

The window for accepting new Letters of Inquiry for this program is now closed.


The Opportunity Knocks program is a specific initiative created by the Foundation to focus on educational and mentoring opportunities for disadvantaged youth and families that would not otherwise be available.

Research has proven that reading skills are developed during the first four critical years of schooling. We firmly believe that by developing a child's ability to read, they will have a greater probability of becoming productive citizens in the future.

The Andrew Family Foundation seeks to provide expansion capital to an established organization(s) to build a new program or to enhance an existing program that addresses the issue of literacy and focuses on teaching young children in grades K-3 how to read. The program must positively affect and enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth ("program participants") and enable them to read at grade level by the end of 3rd Grade.

In addition to financial support, the board members of the Andrew Family Foundation may desire to provide expertise and resources necessary to ensure the success of the program, including the pursuit of collaborative efforts to replicate ideas and to implement proven solutions to expand the program to other geographical locations. Accordingly, providing opportunities for involvement may be a plus.

The program's objectives should include a plan:

  • To develop early childhood literacy among the program participants by properly teaching them to read and develop reading skills for the future.
  • To maximize the impact on the greatest number of program participants.
  • To become self-sustaining in three to five years.

Preference will be given to organizations that focus on collaborating with other organizations to replicate proven solutions. The Andrew Family Foundation will NOT consider programs that directly impact public policy or provide funding of endowments or capital grants.


The Foundation will award grant(s) of up to $250,000 over a three-year period. The financial support will be restricted to a specific purpose or project and can include operational support. The grant is contingent on the requirements outlined in Grant Administration section and subject to the terms outlined under the Legal Compliance Disclaimer section.


The organization must meet the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Must be a U.S. nonprofit (federally tax-exempt) organization as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Must focus on literacy development specifically for grades K-3.
  • Government funding must not exceed 50% of the organization's total budget.
  • Geographic focus must remain in the United States.
  • Must have two or more years of operating experience.
  • Must have an established board of directors.
  • Must be able to provide informal progress reports on a quarterly basis.
  • Must have ability to measure results, which reflect the success of the program.

Preference will be given to those organizations and/or programs with budgets of less than $2 million.


Applications for the Opportunity Knocks Grant for the Andrew Family Foundation are processed through our online system administered by Foundation Source. Procedures for applying are as follows:

  1. On the "HOME" tab, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the "START" button to take the online eligibility quiz. (Note: when you get to the first question, you will need to select "Opportunity Knocks" from the drop down menu, then hit "NEXT" to answer the eligibilty questions.)
  2. If you pass the eligibility quiz, you will be asked to submit a letter of inquiry.
  3. The letter of inquiry must be completed by 11:00pm Central Time on Thursday, July 28, 2011. Technical Support will only be available through Foundation Source between 9am-5pm Eastern Time.
    We encourage you to submit your letter inquiry in sufficient time prior to the deadline to avoid any technical problems.
  4. Please note, the window for accepting new Letters of Inquiry for this program is now closed.

  5. A committee appointed by the Andrew Family Foundation will review Letters of Inquiry June 20, 2011 thru August 12, 2011.
  6. Committee will contact selected organizations by August 17, 2011 and invite them to complete full proposals. Qualified grant proposals will be reviewed by the committee. Applications not meeting the criteria may be declined and/or further information may be requested. Applications deemed ineligible will not be considered.
  7. Full proposals must be completed by 11:00pm Central Time on September 15, 2011. Technical Support will only be available through Foundation Source between 9am-5pm Eastern Time.
    We encourage you to submit your proposal in sufficient time prior to the deadline to avoid any technical problems.
  8. The committee will select a limited number of organizations as finalists for further review. Site visits and interviews with the executive director and/or project director of each finalist will be conducted.
  9. The committee will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors of the Andrew Family Foundation. A final decision will be made and the organizations will be notified no later than March 1, 2012.


If you are selected to submit a full proposal, you will be requested to provide the following documents:

  1. Summary description of your organization (500 words max.) - Please attach mission and vision statements (if applicable) as well as a brief description of your organization's history, current programs and accomplishments to date.
  2. Detailed narrative description of the program to be funded including:
    a. Detailed description of the target population.
    b. Statement of need and project objectives - Data and research to identify that the target population is in need and how the proposed program will meet those needs.
    c. Program design and timeline - Summarize the design of the program, including the program components, and how the program will meet its stated objectives.
    d. Description of current collaborations with other agencies or organizations - Data, techniques and ideas taken from other agencies, both direct and indirect collaboration that went into the development of the program.
    e. Community support - Discuss use of volunteers to achieve program's objectives and other methods of community support.
    f. Statement of project sustainability - The organization's plan for securing funding to continue the project. If you have a commitment from a matching or future funding source, include a letter of intent. If you have a plan for replicating the project, include a statement on how it would be funded and implemented.
    g. Project site - (if applicable) Information and description on the site where program will be delivered.
  3. Projected budget for 3 year grant period including detailed information on direct and indirect expenses, justification of budget, and maintenance of financial records for the project.
  4. Description of program evaluation - The application must include a comprehensive evaluation plan to measure the project's effectiveness in achieving its stated objectives. Key measures of outcome or impact should be provided for each objective described in the detailed program narrative. Criteria for achieving the objectives should be clearly stated and measurable.
  5. Independent audit report (if available), copy of Form 990, and annual organization budget for the prior two years.
  6. Board of directors list and staff descriptions including biosketch of key personnel describing education and experience.

Failure to adhere to the application guidelines will result in delayed processing or refusal of the application.

Please note: All inquiries should be directed to kim.llumiquinga@genspring.com. Please do not call our offices regarding technology issues as the administration of the grant application is handled by a third party administrator.


Generally, grant payments will be made on a quarterly basis. However, the Andrew Family Foundation has the discretion to set the appropriate schedule. The first grant disbursement will be made in 2012.

Grant recipients will be required to provide verbal quarterly progress reports to the Andrew Family Foundation. A full narrative report will be due on an annual basis. The first narrative report will be due 12 months after initial disbursement. The progress reports must include:

  • A measure of progress made on the program objectives using criteria presented in the grant application.
  • Narrative description of factors affecting the measure of progress.
  • Outlook on the projected sustainability of the program.

Andrew Family Foundation designees will schedule periodic site visits to the organization(s) and to the location(s) where the funded program is executed.

The Andrew Family Foundation may from time to time request additional financial statements, independent audit reports, Internal Revenue Service filings, annual organizational budgets and other various information pertaining to organizational and program changes.


The Andrew Family Foundation reserves the right to discontinue grant payments if the recipient organization does not comply with the requirements outlined under Grant Administration. Furthermore, the Andrew Family Foundation retains the right to reduce or discontinue grant payments under circumstances where Andrew Family Foundation, at its sole discretion, deems the program may not meet its stated objectives.