Grant Making Guidelines

Online Proposal Process

The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation reviews unsolicited proposals and awards grants once every year. We accept proposals up to August 15th each year and issue notifications in December.

To make the proposal submission process easier on you (and us), we’ve created an online grant submission portal that lets you easily upload and track your grant proposal.

1. Getting Started

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the entire process, so there won’t be any unforeseen surprises. Be sure to review all the steps and requirements before you submit your proposal online. Check out our Funding & Eligibility, Reporting Requirements, Proposal Writing Tips and FAQs for detailed information about the entire process.

2. Creating Your Account

Before submitting your proposal, you’ll need to create an account. Creating your account is easy and once you’re set up in our system, you’ll be able to:

  • Create and edit your company profile
  • Review and submit your grant proposal
  • Check the status of your grant
  • Submit mid-term and final reports

3. Submitting Your Grant Proposal

Once your account is created, you’ll be ready to start the proposal submission process. In the first section, you’ll tell us a little about your organization, so we can get to know you. In the second section, you’ll provide detailed information about your project for consideration.

If you’d like to preview the online submission form before getting started, click here to download a PDF.

Electronic Documents

In addition to the narrative details that you will provide in the online submission form, you will also be asked to upload the following electronic documents (acceptable formats: PDF, Word, Excel):

  • Detailed Program Budget: provides specific line items and MUST include a budget narrative
  • Audited Financial Statement: provides financial documentation for the current fiscal year
  • Board of Directors Roster: provides each member’s occupation and length of term in office

You’ll also have the opportunity to upload one supporting document when providing details about your organization, which can be one of the following:

  • Strategic Plan
  • Fundraising or Development Plan
  • Company/Project Brochure
  • Annual Report
  • One page of News Clippings

If you have any questions regarding your proposal or experience technical difficulties with the online grant submission portal, feel free to email us. We’re here to help!

C.B. Pennington Jr. YMCA of Baton Rouge


In order to receive a grant from the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, your organization must be recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue code. We primarily award grants to organizations and agencies in the Greater Baton Rouge area and the surrounding parishes, including East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee.

Unfortunately, we do not award grants to individuals or unsolicited fundraising events.


There are several types of funding we provide:

  • Capital: Funding for new construction, a major renovation or permanent assets/equipment; an endowment
  • Disaster: Funding for the entire arc of disaster relief, from preparedness to recovery.
  • Operating: Funding to cover the ongoing needs of an organization and its infrastructure (staff salaries, benefits, office leases and utilities)
  • Program: Funding to cover the expenses associated with a particular initiative (staff salaries, benefits, supplies, equipment, travel, office leases, utilities and training)
  • Seed: Funding for a start-up or emerging organization, or a potentially risky initiative for an already established organization.

Check out Our Focus to learn more about the types of projects we love to fund. If you are requesting funding for a capital initiative or a capital campaign, email us before you submit your proposal. We’d love to talk to you first.

Online Reporting Requirements

We provide funding for projects that we are passionate about, and we love to hear your success stories. Sending us mid-term and final reports lets us know that funding was used appropriately and ultimately helped you reach your organization’s goals. Providing up-to-date reports also keeps you in good standing for continued funding or support for new initiatives. If we do not receive your mid-term and final reports then any future grant submissions will not be accepted. Our goal is to measure the impact to our society and without your help we are limited in those efforts.

Your grant term begins on the date you receive your award check. Use this date to determine when you’ll need to send us mid-term and final reports.

Mid-term Reports

Midterm reports are due 6 months from the date on your award check.

Click here to download the Mid-term Report Form

Final Reports

Final reports are required for all grants awarded and are due 12 months from the date on your award check. If you are receiving a multi-year grant, you will need to submit a report each year for life of the grant.

Click here to download the Final Report Form

Online Reporting Process

Just like your original grant proposal, you can submit reports to us electronically through our Online Grant Submission portal. Simply login using the using the email address and password you provided when creating your personal account.

Once logged in, locate your project under “Submitted Applications” and click the status “Approved” link. The Reporting Forms are available for download in a Word Document format. Once you have completed your report, you may return to the Project Reporting page in your account, choose “Report Type” and click “Upload My Report.”

If you have any questions regarding reporting or experience technical difficulties while uploading your reports, feel free to email us. We’re happy to help!

Proposal Writing Tips

We love hearing about new developments in our community and enjoy getting excited about your projects. The best way to get us on board is by providing thorough and concise information to help us make our decision.

Check out these tips before submitting your grant proposal:

Ask for a Specific Amount of Funding

Whether you need $5,000 or $50,000, specifying the exact funding puts our trustees in the best position to make a decision. Keep in mind that individual foundations are typically not the sole source of support for an initiative, so it’s always a good idea to seek funding from multiple organizations.

Include a Budget Narrative

A narrative portion of the budget is used to explain any line items in the budget.

Narrow Your Request

Keep your request simple and concise. When requesting funding, focus on one key area. This will help you write a proposal that is both targeted and clear. Also, aligning your request with the funder’s interests will increase the likelihood that you will receive support. Check out Our Focus to learn more about the types of projects we love to fund.

Follow Proposal Guidelines Exactly

Familiarize yourself with the entire process and provide all the required information. Every foundation is different and has specific guidelines, so be sure to review the Online Proposal Process, Funding & Eligibility, Reporting Requirements, and FAQ before submitting your proposal.

Follow Instructions

We’ve created the online submission portal to be straightforward, informative and easy to use to help you create the best proposal possible. Familiarize yourself with the process, prepare your documents in advance and follow the online instructions exactly. You’ll be glad you did!

Meet Deadlines

Missing a deadline can mean missing a valuable opportunity for your cause. Know your deadlines and be sure not to wait until the last minute to submit your proposal. Submitting your proposal in advance helps you avoid unforeseen complications, such as technical difficulties.


What are the deadlines to submit my proposal?

The deadline to submit proposals online is August 15th at 4:00pm. If this date happens to fall on a weekend, the deadline is 4:00 pm on the following business day. The Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation will review unsolicited applications once a year in a single step proposal process.

Can my organization submit more than one proposal per year?

Unfortunately, your organization may submit only one proposal each year. If you have more than one project that needs funding, email us before submitting a proposal. We can help you determine which project aligns most with our interests. Also, check out Our Focus to learn more about the types of projects we love to fund.

How many times per year are grants awarded?

The Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation awards grants once a year in December.

What is the average grant award size?

Most of the grants we award range from $15,000 to $30,000 and are usually for specific programs. Grants that range from $5,000 to $10,000 are often considered for annual support for the organization. Grants of more than $50,000 are less common and are typically awarded for capital projects.

Does the foundation give multi-year grants?

In rare cases, we do award multi-year grants. These are typically large capital gifts that are often provided over a three to five year period. Most grants are awarded for one year, but you may re-apply each year for consecutive funding.

Can I renew my grant?

In some cases, the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation will consider a request to continue funding a project, though we cannot guarantee funding beyond the awarded term. If you plan to re-apply for additional funding, be sure to submit a mid-term report through the Online Grant Submission portal. Check out more information on the Reporting Requirements page.

Does the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation provide capital grants? What should I do if I want to ask for a leadership gift for a capital campaign?

We do provide grants for capital needs. However, please email us before submitting your proposal. We must be highly selective about the capital projects we support, and we’d love to speak with you before you start the application process.

Does the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation provide grants for operating costs?

We do provide grants for operating costs, but funding is typically $20,000 or less. Our trustees prefer to give operating support to organizations that have ongoing relationships with the foundation.

Does the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation provide funding for events?

Unfortunately, we no longer sponsor unsolicited fundraising events. The foundation does fund some events, but many of these grants have been predetermined and are awarded to organizations that have pre-existing relationships with our trustees.

What are the reporting requirements if my organization receives a grant?

We ask that every organization or agency that receives a grant submit a final report 12 months from the date on the award check. If you plan to apply for funding in a subsequent year, then you must also file a mid-term report which is due 6 months from the date on the award check. If you do not intend on applying for a grant for the subsequent year, then you do not need to file a mid-term report. Check out more information on the Reporting Requirements page.

What happens if my organization does not submit the required reports?

We trust that all organizations will be diligent with reports and hope they will be excited to share their successes with us. In the rare cases where final reports are not issued by the organization, the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation reserves the right to decline funding. Late reports also jeopardize the organization’s grant status and can be considered a violation of the grant agreement, so please be aware of your due dates and submit your reports in a timely manner.

What should I do if my organization realizes it cannot use a grant award as originally stated in the proposal?

If circumstances arise that prevent you from using funding for the original intent detailed in the grant agreement, please contact us, so we can work to devise a solution. We award grants in good faith that organization will utilize the funds as intended an within the specified grant term. However, there are instances when organizations are faced with program changes and other challenges that require funds to be used in different ways. We’ll do our best to create a mutually-agreed upon alternative should this issue arise.

If my organization does not have a 501 (c) 3 IRS designation, can it still receive a grant?

The Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation is bound by law to the types of organizations and agencies it can support, and we require this documentation to validate your organization's credibility. Without the 501 (c) 3 IRS designation, we cannot award a grant.

What geographic areas does the Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation support?

Most of the foundation's giving focuses on organizations and agencies within the Greater Baton Rouge area and the surrounding parishes, which includes East and West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee. Nonprofits and agencies outside of the Greater Baton Rouge area and surrounding parishes that receive funding typically have a direct connection to the foundation’s trustees.

Should a representative from my organization speak directly to one of the Pennington family members/trustees about submitting a grant?

We welcome questions and interest in our foundation and encourage organizations to contact us for guidance and information. Feel free to email us.

Is the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation (also known as the Pennington Family Foundation) the same as the Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation?

No, The Pennington Biomedical Research Foundation is a completely separate entity.

I'd like to send a thank you note/gift acknowledgment to the foundation. What should I do?

We’d love to hear from you. Please send all correspondence to:

The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, P.O. Box 80239 Baton Rouge, LA 70898

You may address your note to Lori J. Bertman, President and CEO. If a trustee assisted you directly, you may name him or her personally.

Online Grant Submission

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The deadline for submitting your grant proposal is August 15 at 4:00pm Central Time. In the event that August 15 falls on a weekend, the deadline will typically be moved to the following Monday. However, please reach out to a foundation staff member to confirm deadlines should you have any questions.

We will issue notifications in December of the same year.

Before beginning your online grant submission, please familiarize yourself with the Online Proposal Process, Funding & Eligibility, Reporting Requirements, Proposal Writing Tips and FAQ.

If you’d like to preview the online submission form before getting started, click here to download a PDF.

Online Submission Instructions:

The application process is broken down into 3 simple steps:

  • Step 1: Create your account
  • Step 2: Provide information about your organization (2 pages)
  • Step 3: Provide details about your project (4 pages)

We recommend using a general email address central to your organization, so the account will be accessible to all grant-writing personnel (Step 1). If your project needs to be reviewed, edited or modified by another person, you may give them your email address and password to grant them access to the application. You must complete both pages of organizational info (Step 2) and click “Next Step” before your information will be saved in the system.

Once you complete Step 2 you will be directed to the first page of your project proposal (Step 3). While in Step 3, you may click “Save for Later” at any time to save your progress. Be sure to save your progress before logging out to avoid losing project information.

You may log in at any time to add information or edit your proposal. Click on “Incomplete Proposals” to return to the project section (Step 3). You must complete all required fields before advancing to the next page. You may go back to previously completed pages at any time. Your project information will not be submitted to us until you click “Submit” at the end of Step 3.

If you have any questions along the way or experience technical problems, please email us.