Q: What is the timeline for applying and being notified?
A: There are two rounds of grant-making each academic year, so students in both the fall and spring semesters can participate in the reading, ranking, and selection of proposals.
The fall deadline is October 1, with notification of awards in November or December.
The spring deadline is May 1, with notification in late June.
We expect to award a total of $40,000 in these two cycles.
Q: I have applied for a grant in the past and didn't receive funding. Can I apply again?
A: Yes. If you have applied and did not receive funding in the past, do not be discouraged. Remember that the applicant pool and the students who review your application are different in every cycle. Proposals that may not have been funded in one round may be funded in a different round with a different set of reviewers.
Jackie Van Der Hout f10
Urban Watersheds in the SF Bay Area: Education, Restoration and Environmental Justice
Q: What size grants are available?
A: There are two types of grants available:
Since we have a limited amount of money to award in grants, the alumni and student committees consider partial funding in some cases. You will be required to explain in the application how partial funding may affect your proposed project, as well as a minimum amount of funding necessary to proceed with your project. While $10,000 is the maximum grant amount, it is very rare to be awarded a grant of that size. The average award amount for Garden Hill Fund Grants during the 2017 and 2018 grant cycles was just over $5,000.
Q: If I am awarded a grant, what will be expected of me?
A: You will be sent a request for a short final report within a year of receiving your grant and you must return that report with updates within a month. This report will be used to update the profiles of funded and completed projects, posted on our Recipients page.
Recipients of Garden Hill Grants ($2,000-$10,000) may also be asked to choose one additional way to share their experience with the Mountain School community. This could include:
Q: What is the history of the Garden Hill Fund?
A: In a survey of Mountain School graduates in 2012, the idea of creating a mechanism that would allow the school’s graduates to support each other's good work in the world was widely endorsed. 82% of respondents said they would consider contributing to such a fund, and 53% said they would consider applying to it! The only caution expressed repeatedly was that the new fund should not decrease donations to the Mountain School’s Annual Fund. In 2013, ten graduates, ranging from Spring ’85 to Spring ’97, made generous gifts of $5,000 each in order to launch the new Fund, which the Alumni Committee decided to name after the Mountain School’s iconic landmark and symbol of growth, community, and aspiration: Garden Hill. The first grants were awarded in the fall of 2013 and have been awarded on a twice-yearly basis since then. Current students and alumni have been involved in the selection process since the beginning.
Q: Who will decide which projects receive funding?
A: The Alumni Committee does the initial review, evaluating proposals based on the criteria, and passing on a selection to students in the current Humanities class. The students develop their own methods of evaluation of proposals using the same criteria, and determine which projects receive funding and how much.
Keep in mind that each grant cycle will have a different group of students evaluating the proposals, and so a proposal that didn’t get funded in one cycle may interest students in the next. Remember too that your proposals are being evaluated by two very different audiences – one a committee of the Alumni Committee whose members come from all over the country with very different careers, backgrounds, and experience with grants, and the other a group of students in the midst of their semester.
When writing your proposals try to keep this unique evaluation process and audiences in mind. For example, with one round the Alumni Committee liked seeing multiple sources of funding as an example of the viability of projects, but that particular group of students preferred proposals with the Garden Hill Fund as the primary grant, believing that showed the grant had bigger impact. Each round will be made up of a different group of students, and so their priorities will change each time.
Q: How do I donate to the Garden Hill Fund?
A: The Garden Hill Fund has been made possible by the generous gifts of graduates. If you are interested in learning more about donating to the Fund, please contact Annie Janeway, Director of Alumni Relations.
Q: How do I prepare a budget?
Your budget shows that you've figured out how to make your proposal work. If you write about specific personnel (including you), equipment, travel, or any other direct expenses, those should be reflected in your budget. If you have multiple sources of funding, including your own money, indicate which funding would cover which expense. We ask that you include the minimum grant amount you would need to be able to do your project, so be sure to mention a budget for that lesser amount as well. Essentially, the budget is another form of narrative in your proposal.
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Please email Annie Janeway, Director of Alumni Relations.