What to know About Applying for an ALA Foundation Grant

Are you considering applying for an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Foundation grant, but you’ve got questions about the application process? No problem! Here are some tips to help you.

First: Identify your project

Veterans’ needs vary from community to community. For example, some communities may have higher rates of unemployment among veterans, while other areas have higher rates of depression among veterans. That’s why it’s so critical to do some research before deciding on a project.

If you want some insight on how your unit or department can help, talk with the Veterans Health Administration staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), members of The American Legion, ALA members in other units, or other parts of the Legion Family.

After identifying a specific need, make sure your proposed project backs the ALA mission of supporting our veterans, military, and their families. Other ALA units and departments have successfully completed grant applications to help purchase laptops and support walking trails for veterans.

Lastly, determine how much money is needed for your proposed project. Remember: the grant request cannot exceed 80 percent of the total project cost; you need to raise funds for the remaining 20 percent. For instance, if the total cost of a project is $3,000, apply for a $2,400 grant and raise the remaining $600.

Second: Identify which grant best fits your needs

Did you know the ALA Foundation offers four different grants? Now that you’ve established your project, let’s identify which grant best fits your needs.

Veteran Projects Fund:

If your Auxiliary unit, district/county, or department identifies a specific, emergent need for your local veterans or active military, the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Veteran Projects Fund may be able to lend a helping hand.

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Spring Street Veterans Renaissance in Springfield, Ill., a veterans-only transitional home, was awarded a $2,584 Veteran Projects Fund grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.

Brief grant application guidelines

  • The applicant must be an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) entity: unit, district/county, or department.
  • The proposal must address a specific, emergent need by an ALA entity that supports veterans, military, and their families. An emergent need is a new need — appearing, arising, occurring, or developing for the first time.
  • The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation will fund small emergent need projects in the amount of $1,000 – $5,000, and in unusual circumstances, in an amount no greater than $10,000.
  • One grant per grantee in a 12-month period will be awarded.
Subgrants:

American Legion Auxiliary units, districts/counties, or departments that have identified a source for grant funding from a foundation or corporation that requires the recipient to be a 501(c)(3) can have the ALA Foundation serve as the recipient. The ALA Foundation will then sub-grant to the unit, district/county, or department, according to the terms and conditions of the grantor. In order for sub-granting of third-party grants to be considered, they must support the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Veterans Creative Arts Festival Grants:

The purpose of Veterans Creative Arts Festival (VCAF) Grants is to aid in the well-being of veterans by introducing them to art therapy. Grant funds may be requested for needs that contribute to this effort, such as workshops, or for preparation and/or facilitation of local competitions which feed into the national festival.

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The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation granted $2,500 to assist White River Junction’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) with the local Veterans Creative Arts Festival.

Brief grant guidelines

  • The applicant must be an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) entity: unit, district/county, or department.
  • The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation will fund grants up to $2,500.
  • One grant per grantee in a 12-month period will be awarded.
Mission in Action Grants:

The ALA Foundation wants to help your unit, district/county, or department take to the streets and put the ALA mission in action. If your ALA entity wants to transport items to a food pantry or local shelter, set up a mobile Stand Down vehicle, create a mobile shower unit, transport Christmas gifts to veterans and military families, or deliver meals to homeless veterans, then this option is for you.

The Mission in Action Grant can help our members be recognizable in the community for all their good work throughout the year. This grant can help provide a way to transport all of your goods and materials in an ALA branded vehicle. We want to make sure our members stand out. The following are examples of Mission in Action Grant related  ideas, including vehicles and other spots for attention-grabbing branding: plastic storage totes, utility trailer, cargo trailer, vehicle wraps, car/trailer magnets, and car/trailer/tote deals.

Brief grant guidelines

  • The applicant must be an American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) entity: unit, district/county, or department.
  • The proposal must address a specific ALA branding need that will help members with mission delivery and be recognizable in the community. The project must support the ALA mission or an ALA program identified in the national Programs Action Plan.
  • The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation will fund grants up to $5,000.
  • One grant per grantee in a 12-month period will be awarded.

Third: Fill out an application

After identifying the grant that best supports your project, you’re now ready to start the grant application process. You can complete the form by filling it out online, faxing it, or submitting it through postal mail.

The process is easy — requiring you to fill out a maximum of four pages, including a brief description of your project, the amount requested, and a budget for any items that must be funded. Also, you will need to make sure your ALA department or unit is in good standing with the IRS, and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Be sure to explain how veterans can benefit from the funded project. You probably will have already gathered most of this information when you did your research. If not, ask for more details from a representative of the veterans organization you are assisting.

Finally, submit your application to the ALA Foundation.

Email: ALAFoundation@ALAforVeterans.org

Fax: (317) 569-4502

Mail: American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters, Attn: ALA Foundation, 8945 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46260

If more information is needed, an ALA Foundation staff member will contact you.

And just like that, your application for an ALA Foundation grant has been submitted!

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