Concept Paper FAQs

How can we tell if our organization and project might qualify for VHCF funding?

Before developing and submitting a concept paper, please review the general eligibility requirements and grant guidelines for VHCF grants.  Please note that VHCF responds to concept paper inquiries only and does not respond to unsolicited formal proposals or to general requests for funds.

Who can we contact to discuss our concept paper?

You are encouraged to call a VHCF Program Officer before you submit your concept paper to discuss your plans. The easiest way to do that is to schedule a time to talk to a Program Officer here, but you can also call our office at (804) 828-5804.

Are there deadlines for submitting concept papers?

While VHCF accepts concept papers year-round, there are cut off dates found here.

What’s the difference between a concept paper and a formal proposal?
The concept paper is the first step of the application process and gives an organization the opportunity to concisely make its case for VHCF funding.  Concept papers are reviewed twice annually, in the fall and spring.  Projects that merit further consideration are asked to submit a formal proposal.

Do we have to submit a concept paper, or can we just send a proposal?

You must submit a concept paper.  Please do not submit a formal proposal unless VHCF requests one.

Can our concept paper be longer than three pages and can we submit additional information?

Concept papers may not be longer than three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages, using a standard font size (12 point), letter-sized paper (8½” x 11″), 1” margins, and page numbers. Please do not send attachments, cover letters or other additional information with your concept papers.

May we email our concept paper to VHCF?

Yes! Submissions should be emailed to our Grant Operations & Website Administrator, Kari Parkhurst, at

How much funding should we ask for? Is there a maximum size for grants?

There is no limit to the amount an organization can request. Foundation grant awards have ranged from $10,000 to over $200,000. First-year awards typically range from $60,000 – $100,000.  Your concept paper request should represent one year of funding.

Does VHCF make multi-year grants?

Projects are funded for one year and may reapply each year for a total of three years. Funding is reduced by at least 25% in each subsequent grant year.  Your concept paper request should represent one year of funding.

If we have more than one concept for a proposal, what is the best way to submit alternative ideas and get feedback on which would be of the most interest to VHCF?

You can contact VHCF at 804/828-5804 to discuss your ideas before submitting your concept paper.  Ask to speak with a Program Officer.

Can we submit more than one concept paper at the same time?

If your organization has more than one new project or service expansion planned, it is advisable to contact VHCF at 804/828-5804 to discuss your projects.

Can we submit a concept paper if our organization has an active grant with VHCF?

Yes. Keep in mind, however, that VHCF’s criteria for grant funding include an organization’s capacity to implement and sustain a project.

When will we receive notice of VHCF’s decision about our concept paper?

Applicants will be notified in writing within two weeks of the spring or fall concept paper submission deadline.

Important note: An invitation to submit a concept paper or a proposal does not guarantee funding for a project. Grant awards are only assured after the application/review process is complete, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees has made final determinations regarding awards, and a satisfactory letter of agreement has been signed by all appropriate parties.

Last Updated on October 25, 2023