FAQ for International charities

Frequently Asked Questions for International charities

  1. We received a grant from Tides in the past. Can we renew our funding?
  2. We received a grant from a fund at Tides in the past and would like to cultivate a relationship with the fund advisor. Can we do this?
  3. Can we meet with Tides staff to talk about our work?
  4. Our grant award letter states that our grant was on the recommendation of a specific or anonymous donor advised fund.
  5. Can we find out the name of the individual donor to credit them in our materials or send them a thank you letter and other mailings?
  6. We received a grant restricted to a specific project from Tides Foundation that requires a progress and/or final report. What are the reporting requirements?
  7. To whom should we submit grant reports?
  8. We have recently received a grant from Tides but we were not required to sign a grant agreement, as we have in the past. Is this a mistake?
  9. We received a payment but not an award letter.
  10. We received a grant award letter but, have not received our check or wire. How do we receive payment?
  11. We received a grant for a specific purpose. We are not able to use all of the funds for this purpose. Do we need to return the funds or can we request that the grant be reallocated?
  12. Our grant award letter does not mention a grant period. How long is it?
  13. We issue benefits to our donors that may be based on their level of giving. Who should receive these benefits?
  14. Our grant award letter states that our organization is a supporting organization but, we are not. How can we remedy this?
  15. What is Tides' indirect cost policy (also known as administrative expense or overhead cost)?

If you cannot find the answer to your question,
please email our grants team at grants@tides.org.


  1. We received a grant from Tides in the past. Can we renew our funding?
    Because Tides primarily holds donor advised funds, renewed funding is based on the recommendation of our fund advisors. Unless specifically requested, please do not send renewal solicitations, newsletters, or other correspondence that you might typically share with an individual donor. The only follow-up information that we need is a grant report, if the report was a required part of your grant.

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  2. We received a grant from a fund at Tides in the past and would like to cultivate a relationship with the fund advisor. Can we do this?
    It is at the discretion of our fund advisors whether or not to contact grantee organizations. We do not share contact information with grantees unless requested to do so by the fund advisor.

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  3. Can we meet with Tides staff to talk about our work?
    While we would love to meet you and hear about your work, we are simply unable to honor such requests due to staff time and resource constraints.

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  4. Our grant award letter states that our grant was on the recommendation of a specific or anonymous donor advised fund.
    If the grant award letter does not specify who made the grant recommendation, then that person has asked us to use an anonymous credit. Donors sometimes come to Tides because they wish to remain anonymous and we honor that request.

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  5. Can we find out the name of the individual donor to credit them in our materials or send them a thank you letter and other mailings?
    Your grant award letter specifies the credit that should be used publicly.

    If you would like to send a thank you note or otherwise recognize this grant, please forward materials to Tides’ national office in San Francisco, either to the attention of the fund listed or referencing your grant award ID. These materials are forwarded to the donor at their request.

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  6. We received a grant restricted to a specific project from Tides that requires a progress and/or final report. What are the reporting requirements?
    If your organization received a grant award letter from Tides but, did not receive a Mandatory Report Form, please click here for reporting requirements.

    If your organization is not registered with the United States IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity, your organization likely has received an Expenditure Responsibility grant. If that is the case, your organization must use Tides Foundation’s Mandatory Report Form to detail funds received or spent during a fiscal year period. This is your organization’s accounting period which often follows the calendar year. The form asks for confirmation of basic grant information, a statement of compliance with the grant award letter, and fiscal information.

    If you do not spend all of the funds granted during the first fiscal year, your organization is required to complete an additional mandatory report form for every fiscal year until all of the funds are spent. Your organization has three months after your fiscal year end date to complete the form and return it to Tides Foundation.

    If your organization has spent all the funds, you must provide a financial statement detailing your use of the Expenditure Responsibility grant monies only. A narrative report must also accompany the final expense report.

    Please note: Tides will not issue any new grants or disbursements to organizations with outstanding overdue mandatory reports until the report is received.

    You may additionally be required to submit narrative progress or final reports which may be 2 – 3 pages detailing the activities undertaken as a result of your grant.

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  7. To whom should we submit grant reports?
    Please email mandatory reports for Expenditure Responsibility grants to ERgrantreports@tides.org using your grant ID number as the subject line.

    If you do not have access to email, please mail one copy of your report, Attn: Grants Administration, to Tides' National office in San Francisco at P.O. Box 29903, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA.

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  8. We have recently received a grant from Tides but we were not required to sign a grant agreement, as we have in the past. Is this a mistake?
    Tides has streamlined its international processes and as of June 30, 2009, we only request that grantees sign the terms and conditions page of the pre-grant inquiry paperwork. By accepting payment, your organization agrees to the terms and conditions that are re-stated in the grant award letter. If you have any questions about the terms and conditions of your grant, please contact us as soon as possible.

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  9. We received a payment but not an award letter.
    Tides sends wire payments and grant award letters on the same date. Because Tides sends most grant award letters via regular mail, there may be a delay depending upon where your organization is located. If you received a check, Tides normally sends checks and grant award letters together. We are happy to troubleshoot any issues but ask that you first check with your finance department to ensure the check was not separated from the accompanying correspondence. If you received a check without an award letter, please contact our national office in San Francisco and request to be connected to someone in the Grants Department.

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  10. We received a grant award letter but have not received our check or wire. How do we receive payment?
    If you have received a grant award letter, your organization should have also received a check or wire. We are happy to troubleshoot any issues but we ask that you first check with your finance department and/or your local bank (if the funds were wired). Please contact our national office in San Francisco and request to be connected to someone in the Grants Department if there appears to be an error.

    If your organization has a fiscal sponsor, the payment has been sent directly to them. We copy grantees on the award letter in these situations as a way to notify you that a grant has been made.

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  11. We received a grant for a specific purpose. We are not able to use all of the funds for this purpose. Do we need to return the funds or can we request that the grant be reallocated?
    By accepting payment of the grant, you agreed to the following condition of the grant: Any portion of the grant not used for the stated purpose must be repaid to Tides by your organization. Any change of purpose must be requested and approved in advance, in writing. Reallocations or changes to a grant’s purpose may be considered but are not guaranteed to be approved.

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  12. Our grant award letter does not mention a grant period. How long is it?
    If you received an Expenditure Responsibility grant, there is a time period in which the funds must be spent. The grant period is listed on your grant award letter and will either be 12 or 24 months, unless otherwise specified.

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  13. We issue benefits to our donors that may be based on their level of giving. Who should receive these benefits?
    As consistent with regulations guiding Donor Advised Funds, our donors have agreed not to receive goods or services in exchange for donations that they recommend for funding. They are not eligible to receive memberships, event tickets or tables, special notification for discounts on event tickets or tables, or any gifts that are more than an incidental benefit.

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  14. Our grant award letter states that our organization is a supporting organization, but we are not. How can we remedy this?
    Our letter contains standard language requesting that Tides be notified if your organization becomes or ceases to be a supporting organization. It is not intended to inform you that Tides views your organization as a supporting organization. A condition of your grant is that you are responsible for notifying Tides of any changes in staffing, programming or structure that may affect the work that Tides is funding.

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  15. What is Tides' indirect cost policy (also known as administrative expense or overhead cost)?
    Tides uses a guideline of 10% of the total amount of grant/gifts that go to universities and that may be used for indirect costs for sponsored projects/programs. For other nonprofits, higher percentages for indirect costs may be warranted. This should be addressed specifically within the budget provided during the RFP process.

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