This FAQ sheet contains answers to the questions that persons working with Non-Profit Organizations ask most often about the application process at Modest Needs.

If you're considering applying for a Non-Profit grant from Modest Needs and have questions, you'll probably find the answer here.

1. What types of organizations are eligible to apply for Non-Profit Grants from Modest Needs?

Your organization is eligible to apply for a Non-Profit Grant from Modest Needs:

  • Your organization is incorporated in one of the 50 US states or a United States territory;

  • Your organization is physically located and operates primarily in either the United States (organizations that are based or operate primarily outside of the United States and Canada should explore a partnership with;

  • Your organization has a 501 c 3 (tax-exempt) designation from the Internal Revenue Service;

  • Your organization completed a Form 990 / 990EZ (or the Canadian equivalent of this report) for your organization's most recently completed fiscal year (if your org filed a Form 990N, your org is not eligible to apply for a non-profit grant from Modest Needs at this time);

  • Your organization's gross receipts in its most recent reporting period were at least $50,000 but not more than $500,000.00;

  • Your organization is duly registered with the Secretary of State to solicit funds in at least the state in which you are physically located; and

  • Your organization is not an educational institution (Teachers and other persons affiliated with educational institutions should visit to request a grant with a school- or classroom-related project.)

2. Is my organization required to pay a fee of some kind to register with or apply for a grant from Modest Needs?

Absolutely Not. All of Modest Needs' services are provided at no cost to our applicants, thanks to the generous support of our donors.

3. What kind of assistance can Modest Needs offer to my organization?

You can read more about our Self Sufficiency Grants here. The grants we offer at Modest Needs come with no strings attached and do not ever have to be repaid.

4. What is the amount of the maximum grant my organization can request from Modest Needs?

Currently, the amount of the maximum grant that a Non-Profit Organization can request from Modest Needs is $2,500.00.

However, when applying for a Modest Needs grant, you should keep in mind that the less you request from Modest Needs, the greater the chances that Modest Needs will be able to fund your organization's grant request.

5. Is there any limit to the number of applications for assistance my organization can place with Modest Needs?

Yes. Presently, Modest Needs allows Non-Profit Organizations to place up to five separate grant requests at a time.

There is currently no limit to the number of times that a Non-Profit Organization can receive a grant from Modest Needs. However, we reserve the right to suspend or revoke the registration of any organization that we believe is becoming dependent on our Non-Profit Grant to fund the organization's day-to-day operations.

6. How do I apply for assistance from Modest Needs on behalf of my organization?

The first step in applying for a Non-Profit Grant from Modest Needs Foundation is to register your organization with us.

You can complete our Non-Profit Organization registration form in ten minutes or less, but before completing the form, you should have the supporting documentation that we request from all Non-Profit Organizations scanned and ready for upload to our secure server.

You can see a complete list of the documentation that we request from non-profits upon registration by viewing our Non-Profit Registration Form

Please note that if your organization has not yet completed a tax year as a registered 501(c)3, you must wait to register until you have filed a Form 990 or Form 990EZ, even if you were not required to file. Unfortunately, we cannot accept internally produced financial statements for the prior or current year instead of a completed Form 990 or a Form 990EZ.

Once you've successfully registered your Non-Profit Organization with Modest Needs and your registration has been approved, you are free to submit as many grant applications as you like, subject to the limits described above. However, you may apply for assistance from Modest Needs only by completing our online grant application.

7. How many different Non-Profit registrations can my organization create at Modest Needs?

Your organization may have only ONE active non-profit registration with Modest Needs. If you attempt to create a second registration for an organization that is already registered with us, our system will detect the duplicate and disallow the new registration.

In the event that you forget your login information, you should NOT attempt to create a new registration for your organization. Instead, from our login form, please submit a request to have your password emailed to your address on file.

If you need additional help to retrieve your organization's login information, you are welcome to contact us directly, and we'll be happy to help you.

8. Who at my organization actually is eligible to register on behalf of the organization to apply for a grant from Modest Needs?

In order to register an organization with Modest Needs, you must be either an employee of that organization, or your name must appear on the Form 990 / 990EZ that your organization most recently submitted.

Unfortunately, persons who volunteer with your organization or persons unaffiliated with your organization in any official capacity may not register your organization with Modest Needs.

9. I have an active Non-Profit registration with Modest Needs. Can I use that registration to request help for myself / my household?

No. If you would like to apply for assistance from Modest Needs for yourself or your household, you'll first need to register with us as an individual applicant.

To create an applicant registration for your household, simply visit our registration page and complete the Individual Applicant registration form.

You will then be able to apply for help on behalf of yourself or your household using the login and password associated with your personal Modest Needs account.

10. How often does my organization's registration data need to be updated with Modest Needs?

In order for your organization's registration with Modest Needs to remain active, you must update your registration data annually.

Modest Needs will send an email to your organization's designated registrant reminding him or her to update your organization's information and instructions on how to do so approximately one month before your Non-Profit Organization's registration is set to expire.

11. What happens once I submit my organization's grant application to Modest Needs?

At Modest Needs, all grant applications undergo the four-step process described below:

  • Step 1: Application Processing: Once an application is submitted to Modest Needs and an applicant has provided us with the documentation that we've requested, our Client Advocacy Specialists perform 'due-diligence' on the application.

    Once we have the documentation necessary to support an application and are relatively certain that the applicant qualifies to apply for our help and has been honest with us about his or her situation, our Client Advocacy Specialists 'prequalify' the application, and it becomes visible on our website for donor review.

  • Step 2: Donor Review: Once we prequalify an application, it becomes visible on our website in an 'anonymous' format and is subject to donor review. During this phase of our application process, donors help to determine the order in which our prequalified applications will receiving funding by recommending to us which applications they would like to see funded most quickly.

    Donors make their voices heard by reading the applications they see on our website, contributing to Modest Needs and recommending that, if possible, we fund a particular application as quickly as possible with the funding we have on hand.

  • Step 3: Administrative Review: Once we've raised the 100% of the money to fund a particular application per the recommendations of our donors, the application undergoes a final administrative review.

    During Administrative Review, we check to ensure that an application has been properly processed, that we have all of the documentation necessary to issue a grant, and that the recommendations for funding associated with that application were submitted according to our Terms of Use.

  • Step 4: Funding and Payment: When an application clears administrative review, that application is instantly updated to funded status. From that point, as soon as the applicant has left a testimonial to say 'Thank you' to Modest Needs' donors for their support of this very important work, we pay the bill with which the applicant has requested assistance directly to the vendor named in that applicant's documentation packet.
12. How long does it take for a new application to enter donor review?

This depends on how quickly applicants provide us with the documentation we need to perform due-diligence on their applications.

Once we receive documentation from an applicant, it is our goal to process documentation within one business day on average, and within two or three business days at most. Applicants who send incomplete or inaccurate documentation may experience significant delays beyond these time-frames, but we send all current applicants daily status updates via email to let them know where their applications stand at every phase of the application process.

Additionally, applicants can check the statuses by logging into their accounts and reviewing the information posted to their Account Pages.

13. How long does it take for Modest Needs to fund a new application?

This depends on a large number of factors ranging from the size of the grant the applicant has requested to the time of year.

Historically, we've found that our best applications can be fully funded within 10 to 14 days from the time they enter donor review. But this is just an average. Some applications are funded almost instantly; some take as long as two months to receive funding; and still others ultimately expire before we can raise the money to fund them.

14. In order for Modest Needs' assistance to benefit my organization, we'll need help very quickly. Is there any way to 'speed up' the application review process?

The best way to 'speed up' the review of your application is to get all your documentation to Modest Needs as quickly as possible, and exactly as requested.

If you are prepared to provide us with the documentation we request from you within one business day, your application can be in donor review within one business day of our receiving your application.

Under those circumstances, it is possible for our donors to fund an application as quickly as the same day, though it usually takes a minimum of 7 to 10 days for an application of high interest to be fully funded.

If your organization needs help more quickly than that, Modest Needs is probably not the best funding resource for you.

15. I provided the documentation that Modest Needs requested, but no one has reviewed it. What's wrong?

Chances are you haven't yet marked your documentation 'ready for review.'

Once you've uploaded all of the documentation that Modest Needs has requested from you, you MUST click the button that says 'Mark my documentation ready for review.' Doing this signals your Client Advocacy Specialist that it's time to review your documentation.

If you do not click the button 'Mark my documents ready for review,' then your Client Advocacy Specialist will not be notified that your documents are ready, and your application will probably just 'sit there' until it expires. To avoid this, PLEASE be sure to mark your documents ready for review once you've uploaded all of the documentation to support your application.

16. Who should I contact with specific questions about my current grant application?

Your Client Advocacy Specialist is the only person at Modest Needs who is qualified to answer specific questions about your current application. You received the name of and contact information for your Client Advocacy Specialist in the 'acknowledgement' letter that came to you via email as soon as you submitted your new application, but if you've misplaced that email message, you can find your Client Advocacy Specialist's name and contact information using the chart below:

If you live in: Then your Client Advocacy Specialist is: Your CAS is in the office
(M-F, excluding holidays):
To contact your CAS via telephone, call: To contact your CAS via email, click the appropriate below:
AK, AZ, CA, DC, HI, ID, IL, IA, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and all Canadian Provinces, Alexandra Leff 9:00am to 3:30pm EST (212) 463-7042, ext 112 Email Ms. Leff
AL, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KS, LA, ME, MD, MS, NH, NJ, NY, ND, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, VT, WY, US Outlying Territories, and members of the Armed Forces Kate Danho 9:00am to 3:30pm EST (212) 463-7042, ext 113 Email Ms. Danho

One favor we ask: please do NOT call your Client Advocacy Specialist simply to check the status of your application. This information is already reported to you in the 'Application Status' section of your Modest Needs Account Page and in the daily status email that we send to you while your application is active with Modest Needs.

Calling your Client Advocacy Specialist simply to ask questions already answered the 'Application Status' section of your account slows the application review process for everyone.

17. I'm not receiving any kind of 'Daily Status Update' from Modest Needs. What's wrong?

Our daily status updates are probably being blocked by your SPAM filter. To fix this problem, simply add the domain '' to your safe-senders list.

If you're not sure how to add a domain to your safe-senders list, please contact your email provider for instructions on how to do so.

18. How long does my prequalified application for a Modest Needs grant remain active? Do pre-qualified applications ever expire?

Generally, prequalified applications for assistance from Non-Profit Organizations remain in donor review at Modest Needs for 90 days.

If, after 90 days, Modest Needs has not raised all of the funding necessary to complete your application, your application expires and becomes 'unfunded.' At that point, if your organization still would like to pursue its grant request, you're welcome to resubmit your application with updated documentation for further consideration.

19. I attempted to register my Non-Profit Organization with Modest Needs, but our organization's registration was not approved. Is there someone who can explain why we were not permitted to register our Non-Profit Organization with Modest Needs?

Yes. If we were unable to approve your Non-Profit Organization's registration request and you'd like to know specifically why we were unable to do so, you should contact Dr. Keith Taylor, Modest Needs' President. Dr. Taylor makes all final determinations on non-profit registrations. You may contact Dr. Taylor by sending mail to kptaylor

20. I've carefully read this FAQ and have a question about applying for assistance from Modest Needs that was not answered here. Can someone answer this question for me?

Certainly. All of Modest Needs' contact information, including our telephone number and physical address, can be found on the Modest Needs Contact Us page. Let us hear from you with your question, and we'll do our best to answer it as quickly as possible.

Please note that due to the volume of correspondence that we receive at Modest Needs, we cannot return calls or respond to email messages that ask questions answered on this FAQ or elsewhere on the Modest Needs website.