Grant Guidelines

November 2020 Update

Effective August 3, 2020, the foundation resumed its grant making program, temporarily suspended on 3/9/20. We appreciate your patience as we all continue to work through numerous issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We sincerely hope you and yours, your staff, volunteers, and clients are protecting their health as our community works on recovery.

Our application guidelines remain largely unchanged. The application begins with an emailed abstract (which is not an LOI or summary) and if approved, a hard copy proposal will be requested. We continue to meet monthly and urge you to review our grant-making guidelines prior to application. Abstracts and/or proposals that do not conform to our guidelines or that are incomplete as submitted, will not be considered. Potential applicants are welcome and urged to contact the foundation to discuss possible requests prior to submitting an abstract. Calls and emails should be directed to David Zemel, at 918-584-4711 or to

Until further notice, the foundation will accept funding requests that conform to our guidelines with the exception that capital requests for new facilities will not be accepted. Capital requests for equipment that enhance the applicant's ability to improve service delivery effectiveness and efficiency are eligible for consideration.

The Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation
November 2020

Please click here to download the guidelines as a pdf. [Revised November 2020]


The Grantsmanship Center News, included a proposal checklist (1979) as part of a much longer piece entitled “Planning Programs and Proposal Writing.” We use this checklist today to evaluate applications. You would be well served to use the following outline and suggestions while constructing your request—whether you’re writing one sentence to address each issue or much longer descriptions. For applications that require a specific structure, a good proposal still finds a way to address each of these issues.

Proposal Checklist
Sample Budget