Vancouver Methodist Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?
The Vancouver Methodist Foundation, based in Vancouver, Washington, is a Protestant-affiliated foundation that was formed in 1970. With a focus on educational scholarships, study grants, and other various charitable programs, this foundation may seem like a promising potential funder for your nonprofit.
However, before you spend time and energy drafting a compelling request for support, it is important to assess whether this funder is a good fit for your project.
You may not be sure how to make this determination—and that’s ok! Instrumentl is here to help you.
Throughout this article, we will share some valuable funder insights with you, and we will also ask you to assess funder fit based on a handful of criteria. This will ensure that by the end of the article, you are confident as to whether the Vancouver Methodist Foundation is a good-fit funder for you.
Vancouver Methodist Foundation: Mission and Background
Founded in 1970, the Vancouver Methodist Foundation has a nearly nonexistent web presence. However, based on insights from the foundation’s 990 data, we can make some inferences about the foundation’s mission, background, and giving priorities. We will dive into this in much more detail throughout the article, but here are some basics.
Most of the foundation’s giving is allocated toward education-related projects and initiatives, such as elementary and secondary schools, alliances & advocacy, and professional societies and associations.
The foundation also gives to human services-related initiatives, although in significantly smaller amounts.
Based on this information, please assign yourself a score based on how well your project aligns with the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s giving priorities.
Criterion #1: Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit's mission aligns with the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
Add this when there is little to no understanding of the alignment between you and the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
Add this when there is a distant alignment between you and the Vancouver Methodist Foundation - e.g. Foundation supports a broader funding category.
Add this where there is an evident close alignment between you and the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
Vancouver Methodist Foundation: Interesting Funder Insights
Giving priorities are important, but they certainly aren’t the only factor to consider when assessing funder fit. You can gain even more insights about whether a funder is a good fit for your project by reviewing their 990 data.
However, 990 data can be difficult to read through and analyze. It isn’t user-friendly, and if you’re not experienced at reading these forms, it can feel impossible to glean any useful insights from the data provided.
However, this is where Instrumentl can help! Instrumentl’s 990 tool analyzes and breaks down 990 data into a user-friendly format with easy-to-read graphs and charts. By analyzing funder fit, you can ensure that you are only spending time on opportunities with a high return-on-investment probability.
Keep reading to learn the three key funding insights that Instrumentl’s 990 tool will show you to help you determine funder fit.
#1 General Giving Trends
The first insight to examine is the foundation’s "Total Giving" trend over the last few years. Why? Because past giving is the single best indicator of future giving! These historical trends will give you an idea of what the foundation’s giving practices will be in the coming years.
Let’s take a look at the bar graph below, which shows total giving trends.
The Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s total giving has decreased 6.6% since 2018. This is not a positive sign for potential grantees, as it indicates that there is a good chance the foundation’s total giving will continue to decrease in coming years.
This brings us to our next scoring criterion. Since the foundation’s total giving has decreased, we will ask you to deduct points from your score.
Criterion #2: Deduct 0.5 points from your funder score to reflect the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s negative giving trend for the last 3 years.
Add this since the Vancouver Methodist Foundation has had a decreasing giving trend for the last 3 years.
"Total Giving" is important, but we also need to consider the “Number of Grants”.
As you can see, the number of grants awarded by the Vancouver Methodist Foundation increased from 2018 to 2020. In 2018, only 31 grants were awarded. In 2020, the foundation awarded 59 grants. This increase in number of grants is a positive indicator in that it tells us that the foundation is making more grants each year.
Here’s another insight: if the total giving is decreasing while the number of grants is increasing, we can safely assume that the average grant size is getting smaller. We can confirm this assumption if we dive deeper into giving average data.
Let’s keep investigating and explore the “Giving Average” trend.
As you can see in the above graph, there have been significant fluctuations in the average grant amount since 2017. With both giving averageand total givingdecreasing, this is not a positive sign for potential grantees. This data allows us to infer that the foundation is allocating fewer funds to grantmaking, which, combined with the increased number of grants awarded, results in smaller grant average amounts.
What does this mean for you? It means that it may be easier to secure a grant from this foundation, however, your award amount will likely be smaller. It’s important to assess whether that meets the needs of your project before you submit an application.
Criterion #3: Deduct 1 point from your funder score to reflect the decrease in the average grant amount given by the Vancouver Methodist Foundation for the past 3 years.
Add this when the average grant amount awarded by the Vancouver Methodist Foundation has decreased for the past 3 years.
#2 Funding by NTEE Codes
You might be feeling a bit discouraged after reviewing the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s past giving trends. Just remember—those are just a few data points out of everything we will review in this article.
NTEE Codes provide valuable insights into the types of projects that foundations fund. This information will help you determine whether your project is a good fit for the foundation before you invest your valuable time in submitting an application.
As you can see in the table, the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s giving is broken down into NTEE categories: Education and Human Services.
The Education category receives the highest amount of funding ($43,050) and also has the highest average grant amount ($1,000).
The Human Services category receives much less overall funding ($3.500), but has the same average grant amount of $1,000.
Just looking at the NTEE Codes can be misleading, however. We also need to take a deeper dive into the NTEE Code subcategories that can be accessed by clicking the “+” next to the code name.
Take a look below. In the “Education” category, the average grant amount is listed as $1,000. However, if you look at the subcategories, you can see that some receive much higher average grant amounts. For example, “Research Institutes & Public Policy Analysis” has an average grant amount of $18,250.
You wouldn’t be able to guess any of this information by just reviewing NTEE codes. Looking at NTEE code subcategories will help you determine where your project may fall in terms of funding amount, and whether that aligns with what your organization needs. You can discover even more NTEE code subcategories and their exact grant amounts by signing up for a 14-day free trial with Instrumentl!
Criterion #4: Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s funding for your niche is what you desire.
Add this when the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s funding for your niche lies below your desired amount.
Add this when the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s funding for your niche is around your desired amount.
Add this when the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s funding for your niche is greater than your desired amount.
Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from 12,000+ active opportunities.
#3 Openness to New Grantees and Their Average Grant Amounts
It’s also important to assess if the Vancouver Methodist Foundation is open to new grantees. While there is no magic number that indicates a foundation’s willingness to work with new organizations and projects, we have found that a 40%-60% ratio of new to repeat grantees is a good place to start.
So—how do you determine if a foundation is open to new grantees? Instrumentl can help!
The bar graph above shows us that in the most recent 3 years of data, the Vancouver Methodist Foundation has awarded approximately 25% of grants to new grantees.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the data, and look at average grant amounts for new versus repeat grantees.
The average grant amount for new grantees is $1000. Repeat grantees have a slightly higher average grant amount of $3,500.
These insights are useful, especially if you are not a repeat grantee. If your project needs more funding than the average grant amount for new grantees, you might want to reconsider applying to this foundation. This can help you save time and make sure that you are focusing only on opportunities that meet your needs.
This brings us to our next scoring criterion.
Criterion #5: If you are a new grantee, add the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s proportion of giving to new grantees to your funder score.
If you are a repeat grantee, add the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s proportion of giving to repeat grantees to your funder score.
Add this when you are a new grantee for the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
Add this when you are a repeat grantee for the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
[Bonus Tip] Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees
We have a bonus tip for you! In addition to all the insights and data points we’ve discussed already, you should also take a look at the geographic locations of the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s past grantees.
Why? Because many foundations have specific geographic areas or regions where they focus their giving. Determining if your project is in one of these heavily-represented locations will give you valuable insights into the likelihood of being funded by the foundation.
Check out this map:
As you can see, the Vancouver Methodist Foundation focuses its grant-making in only two states: Washington and Oregon.
Washington is the most heavily-represented state in terms of the number of grant awards, having received 374 awards.
Oregon, while receiving only 4 grant awards, is still the next most heavily represented state.
Every other state in the US, as you can see by their white shading, has never received an award from the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
This information is helpful—if your project is located in Washington or Oregon, you have a much better chance of being awarded.
Criterion #6: Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether or not your organization’s state has been historically represented.
Add this when your state isn’t historically represented - shaded in white - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is sparsely represented - shaded in light purple - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is represented more heavily - shaded in darker purple - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is represented most heavily - shaded in darkest purple - among past grantees.
Vancouver Methodist Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of whether your project is a good match for the Vancouver Methodist Foundation.
So, what’s next? Well, we have two action items for you to add to your ‘to-do’ list. Keep reading!
If the Vancouver Methodist Foundation is not a good fit for you, don’t worry! We’re going to give you a list of similar foundations to research.
Action Item #1: Get in Touch with the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s Key People
As we discussed, there is almost no information available about the Vancouver Methodist Foundation online, which includes their grant application process. This means that in order to catch the eye of the foundation, you need to do some networking with their key staff members.
This can be tricky—you need to target your outreach to the decision-makers within the foundation. But how do you know who those people are?
Instrumentl’s “Key People” report will show you the foundation’s top employees so you can begin creating your outreach strategy ASAP.
Action Item #2: Contact the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s Past Grantees
There is no one better qualified to give you advice and insider tips about how to get on the Vancouver Methodist Foundation’s radar than their past grantees.
Using Instrumentl’s past grantees feature, you should be able to identify grantees who have been awarded a grant in your expected range or category, and reach out to them for advice.
Insights from past grantees will help you craft a winning outreach strategy and grant proposal and will give you a competitive edge over other nonprofits who lack access to this information.
Foundations Similar to the Vancouver Methodist Foundation
If you have determined that the Vancouver Methodist Foundation is not a good fit-funder for your project, don’t stress. Here’s a list of similar funders that may better align with your organization and project.
Marguerite Casey Foundation
Alaska Airlines Foundation
May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
Meyer Memorial Trust
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
The Boeing Company
Oregon Community Foundation
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Casey Family Foundation
Wrapping Up: Vancouver Methodist Foundation and You
It is so important to evaluate whether a funder is a good fit before you invest your time and energy into submitting a proposal.
Let’s make a final determination about the Vancouver Methodist Foundation and whether it’s a good fit for you. Please add up all of your scores from throughout this article and make sure to round your cumulative score to the nearest 10th.
8.5 - 11: Great fit!
3.8 - 7.8: Good fit
0.8: Bad fit
If the Vancouver Methodist Foundation is a good or great fit, then congratulations! Be sure to complete the two action items we assigned you above.
If not, don’t stress! We gave you a long list of other foundations that may be a better fit to keep you on the path to finding good-fit funders.