How To Apply

How To Apply


Before you get started please read the Grant Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions. Thunderbirds Charities only accepts grant proposals submitted through its website. To submit a proposal you will need an email address
and your organization’s IRS tax ID number. You also must be able to attach all required materials. This means that you must have the documents stored electronically and accessible to upload. If you are new to our application process, we strongly encourage you to read the entire page of requirements before opening your initial online grant application form.

The items below are required for all requests: Narratives required in the proposal include (but not limited to)

  • Summarize the purpose of the request (maximum word count 100).
  • Organization purpose: please give us an overview on your organization; history, mission and goals; need or problem that you work to address; brief description of current projects/programs, activities and accomplishments; geographic area and target
    population you serve, please include the number of individuals served (maximum word count 225).
  • Project/Program details: please describe the project for which you seek funding; briefly describe the specific problem/need or opportunity in our community this request will address; population and geographic area you plan to serve and how they will
    benefit from the project, include the number of individuals this project will serve; summarize the activities or strategies that you will employ to implement the project; anticipated timetable of the project; how will you measure or evaluate the
    effectiveness of this project; what is your plan to sustain this project going forward (maximum word count 500).

Supplemental materials required in the proposal include (but not limited to):

  • The IRS 501(c) (3) tax-exempt determination letter. Using a “second party” 501(c) (3) status is not permitted.
  • The organization’s IRS form 990 or 990-EZ for the most recently completed fiscal year, 990/990 EZ returns older than 15 months from the date of application will be rejected.
  • Audited, reviewed, compiled or internally generated financial statements for the most recently complete fiscal year and the fiscal year immediately prior. Each financial statement must include a balance sheet (or equivalent), income statement (or
    equivalent), cash flow statement, appropriate footnotes and accountant’s reports. Financial statements covering periods older than 15 months and 27 months, respectively, from the application date will be rejected.
  • Annual operating budget for the current fiscal year with non-detailed, line items rolled up. For an example organizational budget format, please CLICK HERE.
  • Program / project budget for which you are requesting funding. For an example budget format, please CLICK HERE.
  • A list of any funds raised to date and from whom, for the program/project for which you are requesting funding, if applicable.
  • A complete list of corporations and foundations that have given to the organization in the previous fiscal year and how much each has given ($5,000 and above).
  • A list of the Board of Directors of the organization, including primary business or professional affiliation of each.

Thunderbirds Charities accepts proposals on or before the due date, and appreciates those organizations that submit prior to the deadline.


Fall Funding Cycle August 1, 2018 September 1, 2018 Late November 2018
Spring Funding Cycle February 1, 2019 March 1, 2019 Late April 2019

All materials must be received online no later than 5:00 p.m. MST the day of the deadline.


Grant Resources


Can an organization submit a proposal containing multiple requests?

Thunderbirds Charities prefers to accept only one idea per application.

Do naming opportunities give an organization a better chance for funding?


Do religious organizations need their own Section 501(c)(3) determination letter?

Please refer first to the above question and answer. If a religious organization otherwise meets the criteria in the Q & A above, Thunderbirds Charities may under limited circumstances fund an organization that does not have its own Section 501(c)(3) determination letter. While Thunderbirds Charities prefers that organizations have their own Section 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS, it recognizes that many local religious organizations are part of a group exemption, and in those cases, proposals generally should be authorized by or submitted by the central governing body. If the central governing body is a national organization that has a local affiliation (as described in the Q & A above), then the local entity should apply through the organization that represents Maricopa County as a whole.

Does an organization need its own 501(c)(3)?

Yes. An organization must have its own 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS and have been in operation for a minimum of three years.

Does Thunderbirds Charities accept proposals from colleges and universities?


Does Thunderbirds Charities fund endowments, fellowships or scholarships(for college purposes?


Does Thunderbirds Charities fund foundations or organizations, which are themselves, grant-making entities distributing funds to another non-profit agency?


Does Thunderbirds Charities make multi-year grants?


Does Thunderbirds fund medical research?


If two organizations are collaborating on a project, should each organization submit a separate proposal?

No. Only one organization should submit the proposal, but a letter of collaboration from the other organization should be included.

May I submit a hard copy proposal to Thunderbirds Charities?

No. Thunderbirds Charities only accepts proposals submitted electronically through its website.

Once an organization has submitted an application, when will they be notified as to the outcome?

Once the funding deadline has occurred, it takes approximately 3 ½ months for notification to occur.

Our organization received a grant last year; may we apply for another one this year?

You may apply again to Thunderbirds Charities in the next fiscal year.

What geographic area does Thunderbirds Charities provide funding for?

Thunderbirds Charities only accepts requests from organizations serving Maricopa County, unless the project/program serves primarily Maricopa County residents.

What if I have a question while developing the grant application?

Please feel free to email your question or phone 602-870-0163 and ask for the charity department during any stage of the grant application process for questions or clarification of the grant request guidelines.

What is the grant size range?

There is no “set” range, our grant amounts vary, depending on revenues from the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

What is Thunderbirds Charities’ fiscal year?

Thunderbirds Charities’ fiscal year is June 1 through May 31.

Who makes the final decisions on grant requests?

Thunderbirds Charities Board of Directors. The Board is made up of 15 members, 10 are Thunderbirds the remaining 5 are community at large members.

Will Thunderbirds Charities accept capital support requests from eligible organizations?

Thunderbirds Charities will consider requests for capital support.

Will Thunderbirds Charities accept programming requests for eligible organizations?

Thunderbirds Charities will consider requests for programming.

Will Thunderbirds Charities accept proposals from individual branches or clubs of larger entities, such as Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, or Boys & Girls Club?

No. Thunderbirds Charities will accept only one proposal per year from the parent organization. For these purposes, the “parent organization” generally refers to that entity to which the IRS has issued a Section 501(c)(3) determination letter.

Will Thunderbirds Charities accept proposals from individual schools or their support organizations?


Will Thunderbirds Charities accept proposals from local chapters of national organizations?

Yes, if the funds requested are used within Maricopa County and the entity has an independent governing body that is responsible for funding and governance in Maricopa County.

Will Thunderbirds Charities accept proposals from religious organizations?

Thunderbirds Charities does not support sectarian religious activities or sectarian religious facilities. However, churches and other religious organizations may submit proposals if their activities benefit the larger community and decisions to accept clients are not made on the basis of religious belief and/or affiliation.

Will Thunderbirds Charities fund partial amounts of the full amount requested?

Yes. Because of limited funds, Thunderbirds Charities will consider offering a grant in an amount less than requested.

Will Thunderbirds Charities fund recently formed 501(c)3 new organizations?

A nonprofit organization’s 501 (c) (3) status must have been in operation for a minimum of three years in Arizona.

Will Thunderbirds Charities provide operating support for eligible organizations?

Thunderbirds Charities does not provide general operating support.

With only two cycles per year, how often can an organization submit a proposal?

Organizations still may submit a proposal only once a year.


Thunderbirds Charities 2018 Spring funding cycle is now closed.

Please check back in late summer for information on future funding cycles. Thank you.