Skip to Main Content
Interact for Health Logo

Grantee FAQ

We’ve compiled the following list of common questions about the grant process.

  • Is my organization eligible for grant funding?

    All applicants must: 

    Organizations that are not nonprofits or governmental entities may still seek funding through fiscal sponsorship. A fiscal sponsorship is a relationship between a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization (the sponsor organization) and charitable project that does not have a tax-exempt status (the sponsored organization). 
  • Does my organization need a fiscal sponsor?

    Interact for Health is not able to make grants to unincorporated groups and non-governmental organizations that (1) do not have IRS recognition of their tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) and (2) are not also classified as a public charity under either Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2). Occasionally, eligible organizations would not be able to pass their public support test required to maintain Section 509(a)(1) or Section 509(a)(2) public charity classification if Interact for Health funded them directly.

    When these issues occur, Interact for Health may be willing to work through a fiscal sponsor – an eligible organization willing to receive funding from Interact for Health that is used to support the project. (As part of its receipt of funding from Interact for Health, the fiscal sponsor must be willing to agree to the terms of Interact for Health’s Grant Agreement.) Interact for Health requires that there be a written Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement between the organization that will undertake the project (the project entity) and the project’s fiscal sponsor.

    To be sure IRS requirements for fiscal sponsorship are met, Interact for Health requires that the Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement cover the following items. Note this is not a complete list of items that a Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement might include.

    • The fiscal sponsor maintains “complete discretion and control” (as required by the IRS) over the funds received for the project. The fiscal sponsor decides to work with the project entity, and the project entity agrees to follow fiscal sponsor’s financial and operational procedures for authorization and documentation of charitable purpose of expenditures, and other issues as relevant.
    • The Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement should address what performance is required of the project and specify the sponsor’s right to withhold, withdraw, and demand return of the grant funds to the fiscal sponsor by the project entity if the performance requirements are not met. The fiscal sponsor’s performance requirements should not conflict with Interact for Health’s performance requirements for the project.
    • The fiscal sponsor determines that the project furthers its tax-exempt purposes.
    • The fiscal sponsor holds the funds for the project in a restricted fund.

    In addition, fiscal sponsors and project entities should consider these issues:

    • Limitations on the fiscal sponsor’s liability for any obligations incurred, damages or injuries caused, or misconduct committed by the project.
    • The disposition of anything of tangible or intangible value created with the aid of the grant.
    • A project entity that wishes to engage in lobbying must follow the fiscal sponsor’s guidance on lobbying, as lobbying may affect the sponsor’s tax-exemption and IRS reporting. Interact for Health will not earmark any funds for lobbying.

    Some fiscal sponsors may have developed a standard Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement, and this may be helpful to the parties. However, agreements are not one-size-fits-all and may need to be tailored to the circumstances. Either or both parties may need the assistance of a lawyer. Interact for Health does not provide legal or accounting advice.

    Additional resources for those contemplating a fiscal sponsorship arrangement include:

    Colvin, Gregory L. (2005) Fiscal Sponsorship: 6 Ways to Do It Right (Second edition). San Francisco: Study Center Press. Note: Most situations we deal with are described in this book as either Pre-Approved Grant Relationships (Model C) or Direct Project sponsorships (Model A).

    Fiscal Sponsorship: Six Ways To Do It Right – A Synopsis 

    Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits

    Sample Fiscal Sponsorship Agreements

  • Does Interact for Health fund overhead or administrative costs?

    Interact for Health supports organizations whose work advances Interact for Health’s mission and the goals of the organization. Interact for Health adopts this Indirect Cost Policy in recognition that nonprofit organizations have indirect costs that are not directly attributable to projects or activities being funded by Interact for Health grants but are necessary to support grant-funded projects or activities. In adopting this policy, Interact for Health aims to be explicit, transparent and equitable across fields and organizations.

    It is the policy of Interact for Health to provide indirect cost recovery (defined as a portion of a grant intended to cover indirect costs) as a percentage of project costs on all project grants.  This indirect cost policy applies only to project grants to public or private nonprofit or governmental organizations. General operating support grants are not eligible for indirect cost recovery.  The policy does not apply to grants made under Interact for Health’s Director and Staff Advised Grant or President’s Grant programs. 

    The percentage of indirect cost recovery will be based on the asset size of the organization.  The asset size will be determined from IRS Form 990 Line 22 Net Assets of the organization’s most recently filed Form.   

    • Organizations with assets $10 million or less will receive indirect cost recovery of 15% of direct costs on all project grants.
    • Organizations with assets greater than $10 million and less than $100 million will receive indirect cost recovery of 10% of direct costs on all project grants.
    • Organizations with assets of $100 million or greater will receive indirect cost recovery of 5% of direct costs on all project grants.

    Direct Costs are expenses related specifically with a particular project. They include costs for salary and benefits for staff working directly on the grant-funded project, equipment, supplies, grant-related travel, grant-related meeting costs and consultants. These costs would not be incurred if the project being funded did not exist.

    Indirect costs are an organization’s overhead, administrative, or other expenses which are not readily identifiable with a specific activity or project or are shared among projects or functions. Examples of such costs include personnel costs (wages and benefits) of management, administrative and fundraising staff, occupancy and facilities, utilities, telephone/internet access, etc.

    Project grant requests to Interact for Health should include a project budget that sums direct costs (defined above), to which the appropriate indirect cost rate would then be applied by Interact for Health.

    If this policy creates a burden for an organization, the matter should be discussed with Interact for Health staff during the consultation stages of developing a proposal. 

  • What policy activities can Interact for Health fund?

    Interact for Health believes that one of the key ways to achieve transformational change is by changing policies and systems. We are committed to sustainable systems-level change by supporting public policy efforts that improve health and advance health justice in Greater Cincinnati. Interact for Health does not engage in lobbying activities. While our role looks different based on the intended objective of policy efforts, some of the key roles we play to advance health policy include: 

    • Strengthening organizational capacity and alliances to support equitable policy and system change 
    • Funding organizations to advance health policy issues 
    • Conducting public opinion polling 
    • Taking positions on policies 
    • Providing technical assistance and support to grantees and partners on policy issues 
    • Organizing advocacy capacity building opportunities 
    • Conducting in-depth evaluations of policy efforts 
  • What are Interact for Health’s lobbying restrictions?

    Interact for Health is a 501(c)(4), tax-exempt organization, however we have restrictions that prohibit us from participating in legislative activities. Interact for Health funds cannot be earmarked for lobbying. Rules governing lobbying and advocacy are complex and subject to interpretation. For more information on nonprofit advocacy and lobbying, refer to the Alliance for Justice.

  • Does Interact for Health require evaluation and reporting for grants? 

    The extent to which grantees engage in evaluation and learning activities with Interact for Health varies based on the type and size of grant, how grantees define and measure success and what we are hoping to learn from our grantmaking initiatives. Our goal is to be clear about these expectations at the beginning of funding and throughout the life of the grant.

    Evaluation and learning questions and measures are typically embedded in our standard application and required reporting process. When a grantee needs additional support, we provide thought partnership and tools and templates to facilitate the evaluation process. 

    In order to understand the impact across multiple grantees, we may ask grantees to engage in evaluation and learning activities beyond their grant. Often an external evaluator is brought on by Interact for Health for these efforts.

    Grantees are sometimes asked to participate in other shared learning activities.

  • What grants does Interact for Health not fund? 

    Grant funds may not be used for any of the following purposes: to attempt to influence the outcome of any specific public election; to make grants to individuals or to other organizations, which do not comply with the requirements of Section 4945 (d)(3) or (4) of the Internal Revenue Code; or undertake any activities for other than a charitable, educational or scientific purpose as those terms are used within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3). Grant funds may not be earmarked for attempts to influence legislation. Grant funds may not be used to promote or engage in violence, terrorism or the destruction of any state, nor to make sub-grants to any entity that engages in these activities.

  • How does Interact for Health’s Section 501(c)(4) tax exempt status affect grantees?

    Interact for Health (“Grantor”) is exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in Section 501(c)(4).  The Grantor is not tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3).

    Many Interact for Health grantees are Section 501(c)(3) organizations that are not private foundations. (Non-private foundation classification is referred to as public charity status.)  Due to the benefits of public charity status, the Grantor wants to be sure its grantees consider whether a grant from the Grantor will affect their public charity status.

    Many (though not all) Section 501(c)(3) public charities must meet a public support test to retain their public charity status. The public support test – if it applies – is annually calculated as part of Schedule A of the Form 990. Application of the public support test can be quite complex. Failure of the public support test may result in negative consequences to your organization.   

    For purposes of the public support test, contributions from the Grantor are not received from a public charity or a publicly supported organization. If you are unsure about the effect of an Interact for Health grant on your organization’s public support test, you should contact a professional adviser. 

    The Grantor does not provide advice concerning Grantee’s public support test or the effect of a Interact for Health grant on Grantee’s status as a public charity.  Nothing in this notice should be construed as legal or professional advice.

  • Can my organization publicly announce its grant and results?

    Interact for Health believes it is important to share news about projects with the community. Publicity can take a variety of forms. For the following methods, simply mention Interact for Health by our full and complete name.  

      • Social media posts (please tag Interact for Health ( and/or @Interact4Health on Twitter)  
      • Articles in newsletters published by your organization. 
      • Presentations to audiences within your organization. 

    If you would like to publicize your grant in the following ways, please first contact the Interact for Health staff member with whom you are working.  

      • Grant announcement/grant results news releases 
      • Journal article 
        Conference session or paper 
      • Results news conference 
      • Conference poster
      • Results report 
      • Flyers  
      • Presentations to individuals outside your organization  

    For any items not mentioned above, please first contact the Interact for Health staff member with whom you are working.   Interact for Health’s Recognition Guidelines.