Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

+ Does Maddox offer capacity building grants?

Maddox works with the Center for Nonprofit Management to offer capacity building services (strategic planning, development plan, program evaluation…).  Services are offered on a sliding fee scale.  You can call CNM directly or ask a Maddox staff member to connectcenter nonprofit management logo you.

CNM will work with you to identify the best approach and a skilled consultant (you can ask for more than one consultant to interview for the right organizational match).   CNM will then write a proposal to Maddox to access our match funding.



+ Does Maddox make operating grants?

Maddox uses the term Core Mission Support (CMS) to instead of Operating Grants.  Nonprofit partners are invited to submit a CMS application if the organization has met the following criteria:

  • has total mission match with Maddox
  • received Maddox funding for at least three years
  • has a strong outcomes track record
  • does not have a deficit.

If you think your organization would like to submit a CMS application instead of a program application, please contact the Maddox staff to talk further.  If your organization is to be considered for CMS, we will need to send you an alternative link to reach the CMS application.  CMS applications focus on organizational strategic goals and not just programmatic outcomes.

+ Is the application available in other languages?

If you or your organization require the application translated, please contact Maddox staff.

+ Does Maddox make out-of-cycle grants?

Maddox makes a few grants out-of-cycle each year from its Opportunity Fund.  Opportunity Fund grants allow the foundation to be more nimble and responsive to emerging needs.  Grants out of the Opportunity Fund might be used to support:

  • Local funder collaborations or for public-private partnerships
  • Local nonprofit collaborations
  • Leverage opportunities when matching funds are available
  • One-time emergency funding of current nonprofit partners
  • Unique consultations to faciliate significant shifts
  • Incubation and innovation grants for new initiatives or concepts

Please contact Maddox staff with any questions.

+ When will funds be available?

Grants will be announced in May. Funds are generally available on July 1.

All grantees should:

  1. Update Grant Outcomes (if the request was not funded in full)
  2. Submit  budget revisions  (if the request was not funded in full)
  3. Sign Grant Contract describing the purpose and conditions of the grant.

The updates, revisions and contract are due by July 15. Funds will not be disbursed until this information is received and accepted by the Maddox Fund.

All previous grantees must also return a final reports before funds will be disbursed.

+ How can I learn more about the Maddox Fund’s giving patterns?

The Maddox Fund seeks to be transparent regarding our giving patterns.   The Grant Directory on the website allows visitors to search and sort for past nonprofit partners, as well as grant amounts.

On the Transparency page, visitors have access to our 990-PFs and audits.

+ Will the Maddox Fund support administrative overhead/indirect cost?

The Maddox Fund will support administrative overhead (i.e., executive director salary, accounting, tax preparation, etc.) limited to no more than 15% of the total of the direct program expense.  The budget form includes a formula for calculating the limit of 15%.

Total Direct Program Expense X .15% = Allowable Indirect Cost Maddox will approve.

If an organization’s indirect cost is less than 15%, the formula can be adjusted to reflect the lower percentage.

If an organization’s indirect cost is more than 15%, the maximum that can be allocated to the Maddox Fund is 15% of the total direct program expense in the “Request to Maddox  Fund” column in the budget.

+ Will the fund make multi-year grants?

The Maddox Fund will primarily fund one-year grants, but it will consider multi-year awards on a case-by-case basis.  The grants made by the MaddoxFund are not, as a rule, intended to be a permanent source of funding.

During the term of a multi-year grant, the grantee will be asked to provide annual reports (program and financial).

+ How much money does the Maddox Fund have to grant this year?

The Maddox Fund anticipates granting $2-2.5 million dollars each year. Because of limited funds, many requests will not be funded.

+ Why does Maddox have a Whistleblower hotline?

The Maddox  Fund seeks to maintain the highest ethical standards. The hotline, operated by a third-party consultant, allows nonprofit partners and community stakeholders to alert the Maddox Fund of any ethical violations or concerns.  A chain of command is followed to ensure persons named in the complaint are not included in the notification or investigation process.

+ What exclusions does Maddox have (will not fund)?

Within our three areas of interest, the Maddox Fund will not consider:

  • Organizations incorporated for less than 1 year
  • 501(c)(3) organizations that are government or government affiliates, supporting organizations or private foundations
  • Endowments
  • Debt reduction
  • Depreciation
  • Capital campaigns
  • Organizations not operating programs within the 41 counties of Middle Tennessee
  • Direct to scholarships to individuals
  • Organizations primarily engaged in lobbying or electoral politics
  • Congregations or religious organizations for projects that primarily benefit their own members or for evangelical purposes. Exceptions are made for programs that:

1) receive broad community support,

2) keep separate financial statements,

3) primarily benefit persons outside their congregational members,

4)  do not proselytize.


+ How can I keep up-to-date on the work of the Maddox Fund?

Announcements about applications deadlines, grants and nonprofit partner activities will come out on Facebook and Twitter.  Please follow us to remain current on the Maddox  Fund.

Twitter:  maddoxfundTN

Facebook: maddoxfund

Instagram:  maddoxfund

+ How can I connect with the Maddox Fund?

The Maddox Fund staff wants to be accessible to community members and looks forward to sharing Dan and Margaret’s story with you.

Phone–Appointments are not necessary for phone conversations.  Just pick up the phone and call us at 615-385-1006.  It is our staff’s job to be accessible to you.

Email–Feel free to email the Maddox staff; our intent is to make timely responses to all inquiries.  or

Site Visits–The Maddox staff will visit programs during  the pre and post-application deadline.  Maddox Board members will visit funded programs.

+ What is important to know about the application?

The application can be found here.

All applications must be submitted through the online system no later than January 15, 4:30 p.m. CST.

Documents and Attachments

All documents must be available to the Maddox Fund no later than  January 15 by 4:30 p.m. CST.

Current, up-to-date profiles are encouraged to apply.  If you are not on, please call the Maddox office to make alternative arrangements for documents.

Required Document:

  1. Budget (The required form is provided on the Maddox Fund website.  Please upload to the online grant system with the application.)

Additional documents and information must be available on the Web site:

  1. Up-to-date Board of Directors list
  2. IRS Form 990 (most recent submitted to the IRS)
  3. Audit with management letter (if the organization has an audit)
  4. IRS Determination letter
  5. If you do not have an audit, we would like you to attend an internal controls workshop and provide us a copy of your Fiscal Policy including internal controls.

+ What are outcomes and how do I write a strong outcome?

Outcomes are limited to 50 words each in the online application.  The Maddox Fund  requests a minimum of 1 outcome and a maximum of 5 outcomes.

Each outcome needs to be specific and measurable and should point toward program success.  Below are some examples of well written outcome statements.

Example One

  • 80% of 25 Pre-K Children (or 20 children) entering kindergarten who are at-risk for academic failure will have the early literacy skills needed to be successful in school as measured by Get Ready to Read.
  • 80% of 25 Pre-K Children (or 20 children) will recognize 18 or more uppercase alphabet letters as measured by Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings.
  • 85% of 25 Pre-K Children (or 21 children) will demonstrate improved rhyming and alliteration skills as measured by Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings.
  • 85% of 25 Pre-K Children (or 21 children) will show vocabulary growth as measured by Get it, Got it, Good.
  • 3 of 4 Pre-K teachers will improve classroom literacy and language environment and instruction as measured by Early Literacy and Language Classroom Observation tool.

Example Two

  • Recruit 100 new volunteers interested in wildlife habitat conservation, increasing our current volunteer pool by 50%.
  • Identify a minimum of 6 river cleanup sites and engage at least 75 volunteers in cleanup, increasing our current cleanup days by 50% and volunteer participation by 75%.
    Post educational signs at each cleanup site to encourage river users to dispose of trash and chemicals appropriately.
  • Monitor at least 3 of the river cleanup sites over the next year with at least 30 volunteers to measure the effectiveness of community education initiatives.  Effective community education will be measured by (give measurement tool here).
  • Evaluate how the conservation effort supports hunting and fishing (give measurement tool here).

Example Three

  • Organize 2 teen and youth events in each of our three geographic clusters serving a minimum of 32 teen and youth participants with enrichment activities.
  • 80% of parents/guardians will report improved satisfaction with services to teen and youth as measured by an anonymous survey.
  • 95% of 32 youth and teen participants (or 30 youth) will report improved social interactions following the enrichment activities as measured by a post-activity evaluation.
  • 80% of 32 youth (or 25 youth) will show growth as measured by The Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets that all young people need.

Example Four

  • 90% of students who participate for the duration of the summer and school year program will graduate from high school as measured by report cards and diplomas.
  • 85% of students who participate for the duration of the summer and school year program will attend college or another form of post-secondary education as measured by acceptance letters and staff follow-up.
  • 80%, or 80 of 100, students participating in our summer program will have 5 or fewer absences during the summer.
  • 60%, or 60 of 100, students participating in our school-year program will show at least an 80% score in each of the four core academic courses at school as measured by (give measurement tool here).
  • 85%, or 85 of 100, students will visit at least 2 colleges during the course of the school-year program.

The outcomes for the Dan and Margaret Maddox Fund should mirror the outcomes you collect for other reports and funders to minimize your administrative and program burden.

For more information on outcomes, visit the websites below:

+ What is

It’s not required to have a GivingMatters profile for your organization, but it can be helpful.

If you have one, make sure the following are up-to-date:

  • 990 for most recent fiscal year (if not complete, explain in the comments section)
  • Audit for most recent fiscal year (if an audit, review or compilation is available)
  • Board of Directors, attendance, financial support, etc.
  • Management with biographical information
  • IRS LetterGiving Matters logo

For assistance updating your profile, contactKathryn Bennett She can be reached  at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee by calling 615-321-4939 or via email at


+ Can I adjust my outcomes or financial allocation during the grant term?

It’s possible. You can formally request to revise your outcomes/reallocate funds by calling the Maddox staff to discuss a revision/reallocation at any point during the grant term. Please note that a revision/reallocation cannot occur after a grant term has ended.

+ What happens if I don’t make all my outcomes?

It is not unusual for conditions to change making outcomes difficult to realize.  It is best if you call the Maddox office as soon as you know about the change or challenge so we can make an alternative plan together.  If you have come to the end of the grant term and outcomes  are not met, please use the report to explain why, what you have learned and any adjustments you need to make in your pending application.

+ What should I do if my agency receives negative publicity?

Please call us if you anticipate receiving negative publicity or unexpectedly receive negative publicity. We would prefer to hear the news from you rather than the media.

+ The July report deadline is in the middle of our summer program, can we change the deadline for my report?

Yes.  We frequently make changes for summer programs.  Generally, we will change the deadline to August 15 unless there is a compelling reason for additional time.

+ What should I do if the staff at our organization changes?

Any internal changes (staff, measurement tools) or external changes (public policy, partner) should be communicated to Maddox as soon as possible. Any thing that impacts your program or organization is of interest to us.  Please call early, don’t wait for the reporting deadline.


+ Will the Maddox Fund support programs focused on parents and children together?

The Fund’s focus is on children and youth.  Any proposal including parents and family (i.e., parent involvement in a child’s education, parent education, etc.) would need to demonstrate a direct benefit to children and youth and the stated outcomes would need to be child-centered.  These proposals would likely  be less competitive.

The Maddox Fund will not support family emergency assistance, including programs which provide rent and utility assistance, food and clothing.

+ What type of education programs is Maddox interested in?

  • Academic support and preparation programs, including tutoring services
  • Programs that can demonstrate direct impact on academic success
  • Summer or after-school academic enrichment
  • Math and reading programs
  • Literacy programs
  • Positive decision-making programs
  • Social-emotional learning that is not clinical counseling
  • Programs may be provided in a formal school setting or in a setting external to school.

+ What is the Maddox Fund’s definition of “education”?

In general, the Maddox Fund is looking for programs that promote academic advancement and social emotional learning in Kindergarten  through traditional college age students (5-25).

+ What type of education programs is Maddox less interested in?

  • Programs for adults
  • Parent education programs
  • Early Childhood Programs
  • Low-intensity programs with infrequent or short-duration participant contact
  • GED/HiSET programs
  • Arts or music education programs
  • Programs focused on infants and toddlers
  • Pre-K programs
  • Counseling programs
  • Post-secondary studies (i.e., graduate school, professional school)
  • Independent Charter Schools without a CMO
  • Independent Charter Schools without proven academic outcomes
  •  College assistance for adults
  • Education programs that are general in nature (i.e., homebuyer’s education, health education, financial literacy, continuing education, animal population control education, arts education, etc.)
  • School volunteer programs or PTSO organizations

The Fund will not support:

  • Scholarships to specific institutions not previously supported by Dan and Margaret Maddox
  • General scholarship programs
  • Graduate school scholarship programs
  • Infant and Toddler programs


+ What type of marginalized youth programs is Maddox interested in?

  • After-school programs
  • Positive decision-making programs
  • Youth development programs
  • Mentoring programs
  • Youth fellowship and internship programs
  • Leadership and civic engagement programs

+ What is the Maddox Fund’s definition of “youth”?

The Maddox Fund’s grants will focus on ages 6 through traditional college age (ages 4-24).

+ What is the Maddox Fund’s definition of marginalized?

The Maddox  Fund supports organizations serving marginalized youth–youth from goups that had been historically oppressed or experienced systemic racism.

The fund also focuses on youth with financial barriers.  If applying under this category, please include in the program description the definition of economic need used by your organization as well as how program eligibility is determined (i.e., TANF, Food Stamps, etc.) and documented.

Grantees should document income eligibility for programs supported by the Maddox Fund.

+ What type of marginalized youth programs is Maddox less interested in?

  • Health, dental and treatment programs for youth
  • Drug treatment programs
  • Counseling /Therapeutic Programs
  • Pregnancy programs
  • Camps and Conferences
  • Infant and toddler programs
  • Pre-K programs
  • Arts Programs
  • Museums and historic preservation
  • Low-intensity programs with infrequent or short-duration participant contact.

The Fund will not support:

  • Emergency assistance, including family housing, utilities, food or medical assistance.


+ What is the Maddox Fund’s definition of “conservation”?

The Maddox Fund’s interest in wildlife conservation is rooted in Dan and Margaret’s love of the outdoors and passion for hunting and fishing.  We support programs that protect wildlife habitat, as well as youth hunting and fishing programs.

+ What type of conservation programs is Maddox less interested in?

  • General environmental education
  • Urban greenspace and parks
  • Recycling programs
  • Projects that do not impact game and fish habitat

+ What type of conservation programs is Maddox interested in?

  • Activities that get marginalized youth into the outdoors with wildlife
  • Hunting and fishing programs
  • Game and fish habitat conservation efforts
  • Conservation and wildlife habitat public policy advocacy

For any other questions, please feel free to contact us.