NFOIC Grants for open government
(Credit: Pakhnyushchyy / iStockPhoto)

Welcome to the NFOIC Sustainability and Project grants** page for state coalitions and member organizations. 

**Until further notice, NFOIC is not offering grants under this program. The current grant opportunity from NFOIC is a litigration grant from the Knight FOI Fund.

Only NFOIC state and regional coalitions and member organizations may apply for Project and Sustainability grants. (See brief descriptions of recent completed open government grant projects here.)

Please note that our guidelines specify two forms of state grants: Project Grants ($5,000 and less) and Sustainability Grants (more than $5,000).

On the application, you will need to indicate which grant you are applying for.

Project Grants are for shorter-term projects of smaller scope, and the amount you are applying for must be $5,000 or less.

Sustainability Grants are grants for more than $5,000, available to state coalitions and member organizations for new projects or expansions of existing services or activities. They are also available to help sustain current programs and to assist in building ongoing financial support for grantees. Unlike Project Grants, all Sustainability Grants have a mandatory matching requirement.

All member organizations applying for Sustainability Grants are required to raise funds from other sources.

The match requirement for NFOIC Sustainability Grants is 1:1; that is, applicants will have to raise a dollar in matching funds for every dollar in grant funds.

Grantees are required to document all their matching funds (with photocopies of cancelled checks, receipts, etc.)

In-kind contributions may be accepted to satisfy up to 50 percent of the match requirement and must also be documented.

Matching funds may be raised from any sources from 12 months prior to grant approval to 12 months after grant approval. But there must be written confirmation (thank you letter, receipt, etc.) that funds were raised as a match.

In exceptional cases, NFOIC may agree to a partial grant payment in anticipation of a grantee's future receipt of corresponding matching funds.

Remember: You must attach verifying documentation for each matching contribution if you are applying for a Sustainability Grant.


Grant applicants must be NFOIC members with full and current NFOIC membership status and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. For information regarding 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, see Publication 4220 (PDF/Adobe Acrobat File) on

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How to Apply

**UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, NFOIC IS NOT accepting applications for this GRANT PROGRAM**. 

You will apply online via our new Grants Management System (GMS).

In addition to the application itself, you will need to attach the following:

  • Attachment A, the proposed budget as an Invoice.
  • Attachment B, a copy of the most recent IRS Letter.
  • Attachment C, the most recent Form 990 or--if not required to file a 990--a copy of the Organization’s most current Financial Statement.
  • Attachment D, the Cover Letter.
  • Attachment E, signed confirmation of application.

Please note: All Sustainability Grants require matching funds. A scanned document detailing the match must be uploaded when applying for a Sustainability Grant.

Each application must provide a detailed process for measuring project results. This is mandatory for funding. Each application must also identify the individual responsible for the success of the project.

For questions about the grant application, contact NFOIC at 573.882.4856, or

Grant recipients may be required to provide additional financial and project-related documentation.

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Grant Application Examples

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There are two funding cycles per year, typically occurring in fall and mid-spring. Deadlines are announced twice annually.

Notification of funding will be provided within a month following funding decisions.

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Funding Criteria

Who's eligible?

Active NFOIC members who have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

What can be funded?

Projects will be evaluated upon their creativity and educational value, as well as on the project's potential to strengthen access in the state. A preference will be given to projects that are educational and enlightening in the area of First Amendment rights, the public's right to know and freedom of information.

While the NFOIC will not define what projects may be funded because of its inability to know all the possibilities, here are some successful project characteristics:

  • Presents new ideas: is creative and has educational value
  • Increases FOI educational outreach
  • Promises sustainability
  • Can be easily reproduced in other states
  • Will raise the group's profile in the community
  • Will bring in new members
  • Has matching or additional funds
  • Is partnered with another viable organization

Some new categories we now will fund include:

  • General operating funds (to be used for startups, and to encourage growth and expansion)
  • Production costs of films, videos or television programs
  • Web projects
  • Advocacy efforts

NFOIC prefers not to fund but still will consider:

  • Advertising
  • Research for books
  • Conferences

What cannot be funded?

NFOIC will not fund:

  • Operating deficits
  • Lobbying efforts
  • Fundraising campaigns or dinners
  • Honorariums/Memorials
  • Travel (unless associated with a project)
  • University F & A

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