Request for Proposals

At The Urban Child Institute, there are two grant cycles each year:

Board Reviews in April & October

July 1 Due Date for Letters of Intent
July Letters of Intent Review & Decision to Request Grant Proposals
August 1 Proposal Notification
September/October Three Board Members are assigned to each grant. The entire UCI Board will be invited to each meeting.
September 1 Due Date for Grant Proposals
October 25 Board Meeting
November 1 Notification


The process begins with submitting a Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent for the first Grant Review Process will be due July 1.

After evaluating Letters of Intent, Urban Child Institute (UCI) may invite the sender to fill out and submit a Grant Proposal. That Grant Proposal will be due on September 15. Not all organizations that submit a Letter of Intent will be asked to complete the full proposal. Organizations selected to complete a full proposal will be notified on August 1.

Please do not submit a Grant Proposal until you have been asked to do so by UCI.

Organizations who are selected for funding will be notified.

Grantees will be required to submit Progress Reports twice each year, on October 1 and April 1.

The instructions for completing a full proposal are given below. 

If you have any questions at all about the process or the Grant Proposal, please call Katy Spurlock at 901-385-4233.



The Urban Child Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the health of the Mid-South population, particularly children. We pursue this goal through providing grants for innovative initiatives focusing primarily on prevention and wellness, as well as associated educational and scientific research activities.

The Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit registered to operate as a 509(a)(3)—an organization that carries out its exempt purposes by supporting other exempt organizations. UCI was formed through its charter to specifically support three entities: Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Le Bonheur), the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and the University of Memphis (U of M). The charter also allows support of other 501(c)(3) organizations with missions that align with the goals of the Institute.



The Urban Child Institute is seeking proposals for funding consideration through its Evidence-Based Community Intervention Fund. The purpose of the fund is to increase the numbers of children and families in Memphis and Shelby County who benefit from an evidence-based intervention. Proposals must include a deliverable product or other tangible outcome to be considered for funding. In addition, a weighted preference will be given to those proposals that demonstrate an ability to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Replicable solutions throughout the community;
  • Actionable recommendations that can change public policy, law, regulation;
  • Detailed plan to collaborate and coordinate services with one or more of the three UCI-supported organizations (Le Bonheur, UTHSC and U of M);
  • Favorable national attention to UCI.



The application process for UCI grants is designed to gather clear and concise information to support the applicant's request. Applicants will receive notification of the status of their request at the completion of each stage of the application process.

UCI has a two-step grant request and review process. 

Letter of Intent:

The first step is submission of a two-page Letter of Intent. It should briefly outline the key elements of the project: 

  1. Project title 
  2. Need
  3. Population to be served
  4. Goals and objectives
  5. Methodology or scope of work
  6. Estimate of grant request amount

The Letter of Intent must be on the applicant agency's letterhead in 12-point font with one-inch margins, and signed by the agency’s director or other authorized person. Letters of Intent may be submitted as a hard copy or as a PDF to the designated UCI contact listed below.

Katy Spurlock, Project Officer
The Urban Child Institute
600 Jefferson Avenue
Memphis, TN 38105 

UCI will respond by email to Letters of Intent within 30 days with either an invitation to submit a full proposal or by declining the request. Instructions on submitting a full proposal are provided below. If the Letter of Intent is declined, no substantially similar request(s) made by the same agency will be considered for a period of 12 months. 


Full Proposal:

UCI will complete a staff review and forward the grant application to the Program/Grant Committee of UCI’s Board of Directors for prioritization before submission to the entire board. The Board of Directors must approve all grants to be funded. 


All proposals should be written in a 12-point font with 1-inch margins. Proposals must be submitted online via email to Katy Spurlock. Proposals will include an abstract of no more than 150 words, a not-to-exceed 5-page narrative, and a budget. The recommended format is as follows:

1.     Abstract (150 Words)

Identify the name of the project, the principal participants involved, plan for measuring results, the deliverables, the significance or impact of the work, and total funding request.

2.     Proposal Narrative (5 pages)

  1. Overview: Your organization’s background and mission

  2. Problem/Opportunity/Need: The need the project seeks to address

  3. Project Description: The goals, objectives, and work plan for the project

  4. Target Population: The target population and the anticipated impact on the targeted population

  5. Evaluation: Your organization’s strategy for evaluating the project

  6. Past Successes and Experiences: Previous efforts related to this project, and highlight how this project will build upon past work

  7. Collaboration: Project partners and describe how you will establish collaborative efforts

  8. Projected Timeline: Expected completion dates for key steps, events, and deliverables related to the project

  9. Credentials of the project personnel: The qualifications, experiences, and credentials of the major investigator(s) involved and why your organization is uniquely equipped to be successful

  10. Long-term plan for sustainability of the project: The plan for extending the project into the future beyond funding provided by UCI

3.     Budget: Budget summary with attached narrative and amounts requested and committed by other funders

4.     Audited Financial Statements: Most recent, or if not included, a reason for this omission

5.     Organization’s Current Annual Budget: The annual budget for project year(s) if significantly different

6.     Organization’s Current Board of Directors

7.     Proof of Non-Profit Status

8.     Additional relevant supplemental materials (not to exceed 10 pages)



Certain types of requests will not be considered by UCI.

These include:

  • appeals for annual operating expenses
  • grants to individuals
  • assistance for “crisis management”
  • travel grants
  • endowments
  • debt reduction
  • financial aid
  • capital projects
  • indirect costs
  • projects outside the Mid-South region