Grants: FAQ

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions that we receive at VNA Foundation. If yours isn’t answered on this page, please feel free to contact us: by phone 312.214.1521 or email

What type of grants does VNA Foundation fund?

VNA Foundation funds program, operations, capital, and start-up grants.

How large a grant will VNA Foundation fund?

Each request is considered on an individual basis, but our average grant is in the $35,000 to $50,000 range, and our maximum is generally $65,000 to $80,000. Please see our grants list for examples of recent grant amounts.

What is the best way to approach VNA Foundation to discuss a proposal?

VNA Foundation welcomes phone calls, but a Letter of Intent submitted through our online Grants Management System is required for all new grants.

How often and when does VNA Foundation accept grant proposals?

The VNA Board of Directors meets to review grant proposals four times each year. Application deadlines are updated annually.

Does VNA Foundation make multi-year grants?

Yes, but infrequently. Feel free to call us to determine if this might be an option for you.

Does VNA Foundation consider proposals to renew grants and if so, how do I request renewal funding?

Yes, VNA Foundation considers renewal funding, but renewal opportunities must be discussed with your Program Officer. We ask that you contact your Program Officer between the 6th – 9th month of your current grant for more information.

What about multiyear grant recipients?

Multiyear grant recipients are also required to contact their Program Officers to determine end-of-year report criteria.

What are the renewal funding procedures?

Please see our renewal funding guidelines.

Will VNA Foundation accept proposals that are mailed, emailed or postmarked on the submission due date?

No. All proposals must be submitted through our online Grants Management System by 5:00 p.m. on the submission due date.

Can an agency have more than one account on VNA Foundation’s online Grants Management System?

Applicants should create only one account per agency. However multiple people may be listed as contacts and can use the account.

How do I find the link to the VNA Foundation Grants Management System?

Here is the login page.

Will VNA Foundation accept faxed Letters of Intent or proposals?

Sorry, but no. Only letters and proposals submitted through our online Grants Management System will be considered.

How can I get help with the online Grants Management System?

There is a tutorial for the online Grants Management System available.

Does VNA Foundation fund indirect costs?

VNA Foundation will consider awarding, in certain cases, indirect costs up to 20% of the amount requested. Other necessary operating costs may be added as line items to the proposal budget.

Will VNA Foundation consider funding an agency that serves both the insured and medically underserved?

VNA Foundation funds must be used only for the medically underserved. This is accomplished through grants to agencies that work exclusively with this population, or by funding specific programs that target the under- and uninsured.

Does VNA Foundation give grants to individuals?

Our Super Star in Community Nursing Award is the only grant VNA Foundation makes to individuals. However, due to the current unprecedented economic needs of Chicago’s underserved, this award has been suspended indefinitely.

Where does VNA Foundation focus its funding?

VNA Foundation funds agencies in the metropolitan Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

Will VNA Foundation consider funding in-patient care?

No. All grants must support home- or community-based health care and health services.

Does VNA Foundation fund for-profit agencies?

No. All grants are made to qualified nonprofit agencies exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3), and designated as public charities under section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2), of the Internal Revenue Code.

Will VNA Foundation consider funding a program or agency that does not use nurses?

Yes, but because of our history as the Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago, we give funding priority to programs or projects utilizing nurses and nursing services.

How can I find out if my proposal is competitive?

Applicants are welcome to call the foundation staff to discuss funding ideas. We will do our best to give you straight-forward answers that either invite a Letter of Intent, provide ideas that might strengthen a submission, or suggest other opportunities for funding. Please remember, however, that although staff makes funding recommendations, the VNA Foundation Board of Directors reviews all proposals, and it is the board that makes all final funding decisions.

If my grant is funded, do I need to provide any reports to VNA Foundation?

Yes, six and twelve month reports (also called follow-ups) are required of all grantees, unless otherwise requested by the Foundation. Please refer to your grant award letter for due dates. Additionally, you will receive an automatic reminder and link to report templates (follow-up templates) from our online Grants Management System.

Do I need to submit another twelve-month report as requested in my award letter if I submitted a renewal request for my grant that’s ending?

No, our renewal proposals request information on your grant that is ending and for which you are seeking renewal funding, so you don’t need to complete another twelve-month report on that same grant.

What should I do if my grant is not working as planned?

Contact your Program Officer to discuss any problems. Dialogue is always encouraged.

What happens if I do not use all the funds from my grant?

Please contact your Program Officer to discuss solutions.

How do I contact my Program Officer?

Call the VNA Foundation office at 312.214.1521.

To whom should I submit my Letter of Intent or grant proposal?

Letters of intent and proposals must be submitted though our online Grants Management System.

Does the VNA Foundation still provide nursing services?

No. The VNA Foundation is no longer a home healthcare agency. Since September 1995, we have operated exclusively as a grantmaking foundation.

Can you refer me to an agency for home nursing care?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide referrals to home nursing care agencies.