For Grant Applicants

Checklist for Eligibility

  1. Your group is a non-profit with active 501(c)(3) status. If you’re not sure, you can check at
  2. Your group has an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This can also be looked up at
  3. Your grant proposal’s primary focus is one or more of the following:
    * Literacy
    * Children
    * Arts
    * Humanitarian
  4. While not necessary, the foundation generally shows preference to groups that are local to the Maryland/DC/West Virginia area.


This page includes answers to most Frequently Asked Questions. Please read the entire page before contacting us.

What is your average grant? How much should we ask for?
Our average grant is $5000. For first time grant seekers, we recommend asking for $2,500-$7,500. You can also ask for less than $2,500.
What documents are required? Do you need a budget? What is the difference between Request and Organization Documents?
Please include a budget for requests of $10,000 or more. No other documents are required. Read our Application Guidelines for information about Request and Organization Documents.
When will we hear back with a decision? When should we apply?
We have a meeting each quarter. At the meeting we make decisions on most of the applications from that quarter. A few applications are held for the next quarters meeting. This means a final decision may take up to 7 months. Please apply accordingly, at least 7 months before the funds would be needed. We apologize for the potentially long wait, but we wish to give each application as much consideration as we can.
Will Nora Roberts speak at or attend our event or fundraiser?
No. We appreciate the sentiment behind the offer but Ms. Roberts is very busy. She continues to write books as a more than full-time job, and prefers to contribute financially through her foundation rather than with her time. If you wish to ask her publicist about a potential appearance from the author, you can email Laura at
Can we apply through a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor?
How often can we apply?
Once per our fiscal year (August - July).
Do you fund general operating expenses? Salaries? Office supplies?
The board usually makes granting decisions based on the programming offered by an organization. If the general operating expenses, salaries, and paper clips are needed for the programming then we generally approve funds for gen op use. Your application should be focused on a project or programming. Final decisions about how the funds can be used would happen after approval of a grant.
We’ve been approved for a grant! Can we apply again?
Yes! Please apply at least one year after you first applied, and include a brief report on how the funds were used.
We’ve been declined multiple times. Should we just give up?
Please get in touch with us for a more in depth conversation. Email Kat at
I’ve read this entire page, but I still have questions. I just need to talk to a human being.
We understand. Email Kat at to set up a phone call.

Application Form

Our management software requires new users to register prior to applying, this is a one time step. Your registration should be processed within 2-3 buisiness days.

If you have difficulty registering, or if your password reset does not work, please contact us at This is not an automated process. We will manually search for your account, this may take a couple days.

All applications not meeting the requirements for eligibility must be dismissed.

Unfortunately, even if your group does meet all the requirements, the Nora Roberts Foundation has limited funds to distribute every year, and may not be able to donate to your group for this fiscal year (ending in July).

Application Guidelines

The most important part of the application is the 2-3 sentence summary. The summary should answer the following questions:

  1. What is the organization's purpose?
  2. How does the project or organization uniquely and directly benefit one or more of our focus areas (Literacy, Children, Arts)?
  3. What would a donation to your organization be used for?

Request Documents and Organization Documents are not required. These documents are only viewed if the request makes it past the first round of votes based on the summary.

Request Documents are documents pertaining to the project or to the current operations of the organization the request is for. These are documents that would change or be updated each year. For example, a program/organization brochure, a program/organization budget, a report on the impact of the program, testimonials, other reports or recommendations.

Organization Documents are documents that would pertain to the organization year after year. These documents only need to be uploaded once, and will thereafter appear in any subsequent requests made by the organization. Some organization documents suggested would be a mission statement or a history of the organization.

Multiple Users are encouraged for each organization. Each user needs to register with their own email address. After approval, all users connected to the same organization can view and edit their applications.

Deadlines for applications are based on our quarterly board meetings in January, March/April, June/July, and October/November. To be safe, submit your application by Dec. 1st, March 1st, June 1st, and October 1st to be considered at that quarters meeting.

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