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General Grant Focus: The Ray Charles Foundation's mission is to administer grants for scientific, educational and charitable purposes; to encourage, promote and educate, as to the causes and cures for diseases and disabilities of the hearing impaired and to assist organizations and institutions in their social educational and academic advancement of programs for the youth, and carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with these goals as allowed by law.

Geographic Area of Grant Focus: The Ray Charles Foundation funds grants to organizations and programs incorporated and delivering services in the United States.

Types of Support: The Ray Charles Foundation considers funding for educational programs that provide academic services to disadvantaged and underprivileged youth in the area of arts, sciences, college preparation, after school tutoring. Funding is favored for educational programs and resources for youth with hearing disorders and/or who are visually impaired or blind. Lastly, funding will be considered to qualifying institutions and museums whose mission it is to provide musical, cultural education and access to the arts to underprivileged and disadvantaged youth. Funding for capital or construction will be considered on a case by case basis but is not encouraged.

Grant Duration: The Ray Charles Foundation grants are awarded for a limited period of time and most grants will be limited to one year in duration. Multi-year funding will be considered on an exceptional case by case basis. The Foundation generally does not approve grants to organizations on a continuing annual basis. If an agency applies for a 'one year grant' more than three years in a row, they will be declined and asked to wait at least two years before applying again.

Funding Amounts: While requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, applicants should note that as a general practice, the Foundation does not fund the total cost of a capital, program, or capacity building budget. Requests should be proportional to the amount of the specific capital, program, or capacity building budget, or in the case of core support, the size of the agency’s operating budget.

Applicants should request a grant amount that is consistent with a thoughtful and sustainable fund raising strategy. The information below is intended to provide general guidance. Based on individual circumstances, the Foundation’s Board of Directors will use flexibility and apply individual judgment to each request.

Applicant Eligibility: An organization that is certified as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code is eligible for consideration. The Foundation does not fund organizations and programs outside of the United States.

Grant Guidelines

Philosophy: The Ray Charles Foundation funds programs and projects that show promise of strengthening the community beyond the grant period. We respond to programs and projects that offer maximum community impact to achieve long-term results.


• Applicants must be a public charity organized under Internal Revenue Section 501(c)(3) tax exempt code.

• Filed IRS Form 990 or its equivalent must be included in the application in order to be considered in the process. Applications without this information will be rejected.

• Applicants must be a public charity in existence for a minimum of three years.

• All programs must address issues, concerns or opportunities by organizations incorporated and delivering services in the United States.

Funding Parameters: Proposals may be awarded partial or full funding.

Types of Grants: Program must advance the mission of the Foundation in the following program categories:

Education: May include Grants to qualifying institutions whose mission is to provide educational services to disadvantaged and underprivileged youths. Such services may include, but are not limited to, after school programs, academic activities aimed at college preparation for the underprivileged and academic/therapy services for youth who are blind and/or deaf.

Hearing Disorders: May include Grants toward the research and the treatment in the area of hearing disorders and educational programs and resources for youth with hearing disorders.

Culture and the Arts: May includes Grants to qualifying institutions and museums whose mission it is to provide musical, cultural education and access to the arts to underprivileged and disadvantaged youth.

Obligations and Responsibilities of Grant Recipients

1) Since an award is made only for the purposes set forth in the Grantee’s submitted proposal and the Grantee’s grant application, any modifications to the project, as originally proposed, may be made only with prior written approval by The Ray Charles Foundation.

2) The Grantee may not grant any portion of the award to a secondary Grantee without prior written permission of The Ray Charles Foundation.

3) The Grant must be spent in full within the time set forth in the Grant proposal and if no such time is set forth, then within twelve (12) months following the Grant. In the event that the Grant is expressly made for multiple years, any funds not used in the current year may be applied to the purposes of the Grant in following years but only for the years covered by the Grant proposal.

4) The Grantee must maintain complete records of receipts and expenditures sufficient to identify grant funds and expenditures made in the furtherance of the grant proposal. These records shall be available for inspection by The Ray Charles Foundation and shall be maintained by the Grantee for at least four years after the grant funds have been expended.

5) Within six (6) months of receiving a Grant, the recipient is required to report the following to the Foundation unless expressly agreed upon otherwise in writing:

a. A written and complete report with supporting documents and financials every 6 months following the Grant detailing how the Grant has been used (included but not limited to proper accounting of all receipts, expenditures, invoices and other documents or records related to the purposes of the ‘Grant’ that you were awarded);

b. Reports shall be submitted to The Ray Charles Foundation 30 days prior to the end of first 6 months of the grant period and every subsequent 6 months thereafter and within thirty (30) days of when the grant funds have been expended (unless specifically stated otherwise in the Agreement);

c. Any and all progress made through the use of the Foundation’s funds;

d. Successes in delivering programs and achieving your stated goals; and

e. Failure and disappointments in the programs.

6) The recipient Grantee must repay any funds not used for grant purposes as determined by financial disclosures and audits. Failure of the Grantee to comply with the terms and conditions set forth will entitle The Ray Charles Foundation to request the return on the Grant Funds within a specified time period. The Ray Charles Foundation reserves the right to pursue legal action to ensure that Grant funds are being utilized for its intended purpose and may request payment of Attorney’s Fees if necessary.

7) If the grant is awarded for multiple years, the expected funds for a particular year will be considered for roll over into the subsequent grant year as long as the funds are used to support their original purpose.

8) At the end of the grant period any unexpended grant funds should be returned within thirty (30) days after completion or expiration of the grant to The Ray Charles Foundation. A written request for an extension of time to expend funds may be submitted to The Ray Charles Foundation two months before the close of the grant period.

9) The Grantee agrees to follow GAAP procedures with regard to The Grantee’s accounting procedures.

10) Legally appropriate standards for disclosure are required and The Grantee shall provide any documentation deemed necessary and reasonable by The Foundation. The foregoing includes any documentation required by The Foundation to exercise its responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code and any other state or federal laws.

11) The Foundation shall be entitled to examine and audit all records of the Grantee with twenty (20) days written notice to the Grantee.

12) The Foundation and its representatives shall be entitled to conduct on-site visits to the Grantee without prior notice and shall be entitled to appoint outside evaluators in regard to all matters related to the Grant.

13) Full and complete Annual Financial Reports of the Grantee’s organization shall be submitted annually. The Grantee also shall supply the Foundation with such other information as may be necessary or desirable to permit the Foundation to exercise its responsibility for the supervision of the Grant as required by the Internal Revenue Code.

14) It is the responsibility of the Grantee to notify The Ray Charles Foundation in writing within 30 days of any material changes in the Grantee’s organizational status, management organizational purpose, tax status, utilization of grant funds or any other material changes.

15) The Ray Charles Foundation must be notified immediately of any change in the recipient’s Federal tax status. In such an event, The Ray Charles Foundation may request the return of any unexpended funds that have been awarded.