©2020 Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden
A grant from the Foundation can be made only to an organization that is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. One of the following three requirements must also be met:
- The organization is located in the State of Washington and was supported by Mr. and Mrs. Miller during their lifetimes.
- The organization is specifically mentioned in Mrs. Miller’s will.
- The grant being applied for will be used “to support the study, research, and acquisition of books and papers relating to the history of the Northwest.” In practice, “books and papers” has been interpreted by the board of the Foundation to include records created and/or maintained in various forms.
Questions regarding an organization’s eligibility should be addressed to the manager of the Foundation, Bill Zook, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 417-4638.
Applying for a Grant
Proposals need not be elaborate but should nevertheless be complete, containing each of the following:
- Evidence that the organization is currently tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- An indication that one or more of the three eligibility requirements above have been satisfied.
- A basic yet sufficiently detailed description (ideally 2-3 pages) of the project or activity to be funded (recognizing that the Foundation typically does not make grants for general operating purposes), including the amount of the grant being sought and any date by which funds are needed or desired.
- A budget that includes both costs and funding sources for the project or activity.
- The name and contact information for a person who can serve as a liaison to the Foundation in connection with the grant being sought.
- A list of the organization’s officers and governing board members.
- A copy of the organization’s annual report and of its most recent financial statement.
Proposals should be submitted electronically by email to email@example.com and also mailed in paper form to the Foundation at P.O. Box 33248, Seattle, Washington 98133. Deadlines are April 1st for proposals to be acted upon by the board of the Foundation at its spring meeting (typically held in May) and October 1st for proposals to be acted upon at the board’s fall meeting (typically held in November).
Action Taken on Proposals
Each proposal received will be acknowledged by the manager of the Foundation. In some cases, a site visit will be conducted before a proposal is acted upon by the Foundation’s board. In addition, one or more representatives of an organization that has submitted a proposal may be asked to make a presentation during the meeting of the board at which the proposal is considered.
The board of the Foundation may decide to grant all, some, or none of the amount sought in the proposal. Generally, the Foundation does not make multi-year grants. Rather, grants will be made for a one-year period and may be renewed by action of the board.
Action taken on a proposal will be communicated to the organization by letter within 30 days of the meeting of the board at which the proposal was considered. If a grant is approved, details regarding payment of the grant will be addressed in the letter, although usually a check for the full amount approved will accompany the letter. Each organization receiving a grant will be required to submit to the Foundation within a year of receipt a brief written report regarding use of the grant.
Priority funding is provided on an ongoing basis to entities that the Millers played a central role in creating:
- The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden (and its Great Plant Picks program, as well as the Miller Lecture)
- The University of Washington’s Elisabeth C. Miller Library
- The Miller Seed Vault and the related Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation program operated by the University of Washington’s Botanic Gardens
The Foundation has also made significant grants to several other University of Washington units – especially the School of Law, the Library System, and the College of Arts and Sciences – as well as to a pair of affiliated entities: the Burke Museum and the University Press. Almost 50 additional organizations with a wide variety of missions have received support from the Foundation during the last quarter century or so.