This section provides an overview of the Hall Family Foundation’s grant application process.

The Hall Family Foundation considers support for programs that fit the grantmaking strategy and meet specific review criteria.

Preference is given to programs that:
  • Create long term solutions;
  • Respond to and positively impact the community;
  • Promote excellence;
  • Have the capacity to achieve the desired results through leadership, management and financial resources;
  • Are innovative and catalytic;
  • Have the likelihood of future support for ongoing operating costs;
  • Don’t compete with government programs; and
  • Cooperate with other community resources and agencies.
Areas of Exclusion:
  • Organizations outside the greater Kansas City area;
  • Political parties, candidates or political activities;
  • Individuals;
  • International organizations;
  • Religious organizations where the primary purpose is promotion of specific religious doctrine;
  • Endowments;
  • Scholarly research;
  • Past operating deficits or debt reduction;
  • Event promotion (i.e., golf tournaments, walk-a-thons, etc.); or
  • Travel or conference expenses.
  • Groups classified by the IRS as 509(a)(3) supporting organizations.

All grant requests should first be submitted to the Hall Family Foundation as a brief summary, in writing. These initial letters of inquiry are reviewed by the staff. If the request appears to fall within the Foundation’s areas of interests and meets the guidelines, staff will then ask for a full proposal.

A full proposal should include:
  1. A clear description of the project for which funds are being requested, including program goals and objectives, documentation of need and expected outcomes;
  2. A brief background on the proposing organization or agency;
  3. A detailed expense budget for the project indicating how the funds would be spent and over what time period;
  4. An income statement showing other sources of project support, public and/or private, which have been or will be solicited, including a statement of funds that have been received or pledged to date;
  5. A financial plan showing how the project will be supported beyond the grant period;
  6. Criteria and/or method by which effectiveness of the grant will be measured;
  7. Biographical information on the staff responsible for managing the project;
  8. A list of the organization’s current board of directors and their terms of office. Board members may be contacted for information regarding the grand proposal;
  9. A copy of the organization’s most recent 501(c)(3) tax exempt ruling from the IRS;
  10. The organization’s most recent certified audit or audited financial statement, where applicable; and,
  11. Proof of risk management provisions (i.e., accreditations, certifications, licenses, insurance coverage, background checks for contact with children, etc., as applicable).

The applicant will be contacted if staff needs further information or wants to conduct a site visit. The average review period is six to eight weeks. Lengthy proposals and phone calls without previous staff contact are strongly discouraged.

Recipient Accountability

REPORTING. Grant recipients may be asked to make periodic written progress reports on grant outcomes. The Foundation may also monitor grants by telephone, correspondence and/or site visits. At the conclusion of the grant, recipients are expected to submit a written report describing the outcomes and the use of the funds.

USE OF GRANT FUNDS. It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to ensure that the grant is used for the charitable purposes indicated in the grant request unless otherwise authorized by the Foundation. In certain cases the recipient may be asked to sign a statement to this effect prior to the disbursement of funds. If for any reason the grant is used for other than the stated charitable purposes without prior permission, the Foundation reserves the right to cancel any future grant payouts. Additionally, under no circumstances should the recipient use Foundation grant funds to influence the outcome of any election for public office, to facilitate voter registration drives, or to influence local, state or federal legislation.

PUBLICITY. The Foundation does not seek publicity for its grant awards, but will include information about grants on its website and in its annual reports. If the recipient wishes to issue a press release or announcement regarding the grant award, the Foundation appreciates the opportunity to review and comment on any materials prior to release.

TAX-EXEMPT STATUS. The recipient is responsible for maintaining its tax-exempt status as a public charity throughout the grant period. Should the recipient’s tax-exempt status change or be challenged by the Internal Revenue Service, the recipient must notify the Foundation within fourteen (14) calendar days of such change in status and/or classification. The Foundation reserves its right to terminate the grant under such circumstances and all unspent funds must be returned to the Foundation.

SUPPLEMENTAL GRANT AGREEMENT. Depending on the recipient’s tax-exempt status or change in tax-exempt status, the Foundation may require the recipient to enter into a supplemental grant agreement that specifies the recipient’s obligation to (i) use the grant for the charitable purpose specified in the grant request, (ii) return any portion of the grant not used for such purpose, (iii) provide annual reports to the Foundation related to the use of the grant, and (iv) maintain and make available to the Foundation the recipient’s books and records related to the use of the grant.


Cristo Rey Kansas City students attend a science lecture.


Does the Foundation fund organizations outside the Kansas City area?

Not usually; the Foundation prefers to concentrate its philanthropic efforts in the greater Kansas City region, including Jackson, Cass, Clay and Platte Counties in Missouri, and Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas. The Foundation’s bylaws state The University of Kansas is an exception to this rule.

Does the Foundation make operating support grants?

The Foundation generally does not provide operating support grants. The Foundation prefers investments in capital projects and programs that enrich the community, help people and promote excellence. The Foundation views its primary function as that of a catalyst, seeking to be responsive to programs that are innovative. Working with the nonprofit community in the Kansas City region, the Foundation strives to create permanent solutions to community needs.

Does the Foundation have an application?

No, the Foundation does not have a formal application, but suggests guidelines for making a request.

Does the Foundation have request deadlines?

No, requests may be submitted at any time. Requests are accepted and reviewed on a year-round basis.

How long does the approval process take?

The Foundation strives to respond to proposals within six to eight weeks. Sometimes, due to the nature of the request, staff workload and the Foundation’s board meeting schedule, the approval process can take longer. The board meets quarterly:
Fourth Monday in March
Fourth Monday in June
Fourth Monday in September
Second Monday in December

Are there organizations the Foundation does NOT fund?

Yes, the Foundation seldom makes grants to or for the following:

  • Organizations outside of the Kansas City region
  • Political parties, candidates or political activities
  • Individuals
  • International organizations
  • Religious organizations where the primary purpose is promotion of a specific religious doctrine
  • Endowments
  • Scholarly research
  • Event promotion (such as telethons, walk-a-thons, golf tournaments, parties)
  • Past operating deficits
  • Travel or conference expenses
  • 509(a)(3) organizations
What grant amount should my organization apply for?

The Foundation suggests reviewing the current grant listing here. Grants vary in size based on the program or project. We value organizations that have a diversified base of support and advise that agencies should not rely on the Foundation for substantial, annual support.

Does the Foundation make multi-year grants?

Yes, the Foundation has made grants over two to five years depending on the type of project involved.

Will I be required to submit reports showing how my grant is being used?

Each grant carries different reporting requirements. These requirements will be discussed when an organization is notified of grant approval. It is the responsibility of the grant recipient to ensure that the grant is used for the purposes indicated in the grant award.

How many proposals may I submit?

The Foundation typically accepts no more than one proposal per year from an agency.

How will my organization know if its application has been approved?

The program officer who has been working on the request will contact the executive director (or primary contact) by phone or email. An award letter will follow.

Once my organization’s request is approved, how soon will we receive the grant payment?

Grant payments are sent during the last week of the month, typically in the month in which the grant was approved, unless a different payment schedule has been established. Some awards are made as grant pledges, which may carry contingency requirements to be met before grant payments are made.

Is the Hall Family Foundation part of Hallmark Cards or the Hallmark Corporate Foundation?

No, the Hall Family Foundation is separate from Hallmark and the Hallmark Corporate Foundation. The Hall Family Foundation’s assets were derived from the estate of Hallmark Cards, Inc.’s founder Mr. Joyce C. Hall, his wife, Elizabeth Ann Hall, and his brother, Rollie B. Hall. Grants from the Hallmark Corporate Foundation are funded from Hallmark Cards’ annual profits. More information about the Hallmark Corporate Foundation can be found here.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

Please call the Foundation office at 816-274-8516.