"DDCSP Mini Grants" Winter 2021, the pilot

Are you interested in applying to DDCSP Alumni Network's first ever Mini Grant Program? Here's the one stop spot for all the most asked questions. 


Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • To be considered alumni you must have completed both summers of any DDCSP.
  • You can choose to collaborate with orgs and other stakeholders, but the intended applicants for this grant are DDCSP Alum only.

  • ITIN or Social Security Numbers are needed for filling w-9 forms. If you need support in applying for an ITIN number, please let us know at ddcspgrants@elpnet.org and we will work to connect you with organizations that support ITIN applications and renewals. In the past we have connected alumni with staff at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation to support alum in obtaining ITIN numbers or renewing ITIN.

Are there any reporting or documenting expectations for the grant? 

Upon selection, all mini-grant recipients will be required to (1) report back with a member of the Alumni Council regarding the progress of the project and receipts of spending and (2) present project outcomes to the Alumni Network (can be in the form of a newsletter, social media post, blog, video, town hall, etc.). (3) complete an expense form

When do the projects need to be completed by?

The projects can be ongoing but the grant money must be spent by April 2022.

So… then what if I’m not selected?

Folks who have submitted interest forms will be reached out to as future opportunities come up. We are always looking for ways to engage as many scholars as possible, and we’re so excited you are interested in investing in this network. This is not the end all be all, and if you have a specific idea for a DDCSP event or collaboration, please reach out to Sydney@elpnet.org.



Where do I apply?

Cycle 2 of mini grants opens in Fall 2022.

What's the application like?

The application consists of a few questions about your project team, a budget form, and a short project description. 

Why no names in application?

DDCSP alumni participate in the network to drastically varying degrees and some folks feel more connected than others to peers in their own program and in other programs. We want all folks to feel included in the conversations and community rather than excluded. By keeping voting anonymous, we hope to create a process that feels fun for everyone and as little like a popularity contest as possible.

How will the grant recipients be selected?

Voting was open to all DDCSP alumni  and took place from January 10 to January 27. These votes will be used as recommendations to the Alumni Council who will collectively make the final decisions and notify grant recipients by January 28, 2022. The Alumni Council will be using a rubric to select recipients that includes:

  • Background, Impact, and Significance - Does it align with the small project fund mission? Does the applicant explain the purpose and goals of the project well? Is this project beneficial for the community they are serving?

  • Approach and Timeline - Does the applicant provide a clear and realistic timeline of events (both for funding expenses and project advancement)? Is the project realistic (is it something that can be done within the timeframe provided by the mini-grant, spending of funds completed April 2022)?

  • Budget and Justification - Does the applicant provide clear and valid reasoning for budget expenses? Are their expenses necessary/appropriate for their project?

  • Accountability and Growth - Does the applicant display a strong sense of accountability? Does the applicant demonstrate how the project will help them grow/accomplish their goals?

  • Alumni Council Votes - What degree of interest does the DDCSP Alumni Network have in this project?

What’s the expectation of impact? Does that mean I have to do something big? What does engagement with Doris Duke Network look like?

You do not need to try to find a way to impact 600+ DDCSP Alumni. Impact/engagement can look like involving 2-3 other people locally/regionally. It can also look like having a virtual element of sharing the experience of the event or the impacts on a live stream.

Could this mini grant be used for graduate research project?

Yes! Make sure to include in your application how this work will overlay/be shared with the network. Remember that Alum are voting on projects too!

Does the Alumni Council provide outreach support?

Yes, we can provide support on social media, emails, webinars and other methods! Let us know!

Can I apply for more than one grant? Can I apply for grants at different funding levels?

No, applicants can only apply to one of the three grant options during this selection period. 

If we asked for a certain amount, is that final? Like for example could the Alumni Council decide they like a project but decide to fund it at a lower amount?

You are applying for funding in a particular category (500-1000, 1001-3000, 3001-5000). However, you may be awarded an amount that is smaller or larger than what you requested. This might happen for a number of reasons depending on the breakdown of applications or scalability of your project.  Please make your budget out to the full amount you believe is needed.

Ugh, I got other things going on and can’t apply right now. Will you be offering this opportunity again?

Yes! The next application cycle is planned for Fall 2022.

I have an idea for a project but it can’t be done before April 2022. Can I still apply?

While the project does not have to be completed by April, the funds must be spent by that date and a shareout to the community on the project will be needed by April as well. 



I have a great idea for a meetup project! Can I apply for a mini grant?

While a hope for these funds are DDCSP Alumni collaboration, these funds do not need to be used for solely reunion type events. If you would like to host a regional meetup (in person or virtual), please reach out to Sydney@elpnet.org. Funding is available for these kinds of activities, but not through these mini grants.

Can I work on the project with a team?

Yes! Though you are welcome to do a project individually, we encourage teamwork/collaboration. Not all members of the project need to be a DDCSP alumni.

When do the projects need to be completed by?
  • The projects can be ongoing but the grant money must be spent by the end of April 2022. This might look like prepaying for bus tickets, speakers, community garden rentals, etc.
  • If your project may be impacted by changing Covid regulations, please keep in mind what might be potential alternatives. Live stream? Asynchronous participation? Etc.
What can I spend this grant money on?

Money can be spent on things like:

  • Shipping costs
  • Transportation
  • Equipment, Equipment rentals
  • Materials for whatever you’re making/creating
What about labor costs? Can we pay ourselves? Can we pay others?
  • You can pay yourself and pay contractors, speakers as well others!  If you choose to pay yourself and others, please research what might be the tax implications in filing your tax returns. Please reach out to a free tax prep provider in your area for assistance. 
  • This website gives a basic overview of things people should take into account when charging for their services: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/business-services-charge-how-mu…
What can I not spend this grant money on?

Money cannot be spent on things like:

  • Alcohol
  • Political lobbying 
How will funds be processed?
  • Grantees will receive a grant agreement form as well as a W9 (ITIN or Social Security Number needed).
  • After completing the grant agreement and W9, you will receive a check by mail.
  • By the end of the 2022 or early 2023, you’ll receive a 1099 form from ELP, so make sure to save receipts! Work with a free tax prep provider if needed.
What are the complications or tax implications of these funds?

We highly recommend working with a tax provider if you are choosing to pay yourself. Please make sure to save receipts.

If we work with an organization, who will the funds be distributed to initially?

Funds will only be distributed to DDCSP Alumni not non-profit organizations. If you choose to pay a business, non-profit, or contractor for services, you may redistribute the funds to them directly.


More details can be found here and please contact ddcspgrants@elpnet.org with any questions you may have.