Frequently Asked Questions

Mission & Focus

What is PHF’s Mission?

To support the charitable health needs of the community through enhanced philanthropy and community collaboration.

Do you have any health initiatives you are working on?

PHF is currently focusing its attention on three health initiatives: mental and behavioral health, food insecurities, and poverty. Please stay tuned for community engagement forums and granting opportunities related to each one.

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Serving Communities

What communities do you serve?

PHF serves the people and communities of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties.

Whom does PHF serve? For whom do you work? Who owns PHF?

In short, YOU! We are a public charitable foundation that is here to support and be responsive to the needs of the people and various charitable organizations in the four counties. The assets of PHF belong to the community, which we invest with a long-term approach for the continual benefit of the region.

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Contacting Us

Where are you located? What are your office hours?

We are located at 400 Quincy Street in downtown Hancock, Michigan on the 5th floor. Our office is open from 9-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

What is the best way to contact PHF?

Please call or e-mail us. You can reach us at 906.523.5920 or

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Getting Involved

How do I become involved with PHF?

PHF has many volunteers who serve as governing board members and non-governing committee members. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the office for an application or you may download a Board of Director/Committee Member application from our website.

What types of committees does PHF offer?

PHF is currently comprised of four working committees plus a Board of Directors. Each director either chairs or participates on one or more of the following committees: Executive, Finance & Investment, Grants Management Committee, and Communication/Donor Relations.

I have ideas about initiatives that may be of interest to PHF. What should I do?

PHF desires to be responsive to the health needs of the community. If there are initiatives that we should consider investigating or being a part of, please contact us. Ultimately, PHF's success is based on meeting your needs.

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I am interested in becoming a donor and/or donating to a specific PHF initiative. With whom should I speak?

PHF always welcomes conversations with interested parties. Please contact us and we can schedule a meeting with you to discuss where your interests align with ours. You can reach us at 906.523.5920 or

Will PHF continue to raise money?

PHF continually raises money, as there is much need in the communities we serve. Through ongoing fund development efforts and strong relationships with our donors and recipient organizations, we continue to raise and invest money in our four-county service area.

How can I contribute to PHF?

You may make an online donation through our contribute page, or you may mail a donation to the office.

400 Quincy Street
P.O. Box 299
Hancock, MI 49930

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How does PHF determine how much to grant each year?

PHF's Investment Policy Statement (IPS) identifies a yearly 4% draw down of operating capital from the overall value of our corpus, which is averaged over 16 quarters of financial performance. A portion of this draw down covers PHF operational expenses while the majority of it goes directly into our granting and programming budget. The yearly withdrawal amount varies from year to year based on market performance.

How often do you grant monies?

PHF has structured its granting and sponsorship processes to be responsive to community need. Therefore, we offer grants and sponsorships on an on-going basis. As we continue to identify community need and areas that require capital investment, PHF will also release targeted Requests for Proposals (RFP). If you have specific questions about our granting and sponsorship processes, please contact the office, (906) 523-5920 or, or visit our Grant Request and Sponsorship Request pages.

Who is eligible to apply?

Charitable non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) IRS determination, municipalities, and educational institutions are eligible to apply. PHF cannot provide funding to individuals. If you are unsure whether your organization is eligible, please contact us at 906.523.5920 or

What is the difference between a sponsorship and a grant request?

PHF offers sponsorships to organizations hosting a one-time or short-duration community event. Sponsorships have a maximum request amount of $200. PHF awards grants to organizations that are implementing or expanding projects that meet a community need. Grants can be for any amount. Please visit our Grant Request and Sponsorship Request pages for more information.

What are you looking for in sponsorship requests and grant proposals?

PHF is looking for well-rounded, sustainable events and projects that demonstrate collaboration among organizations and funders, which enhance the lives of residents and the communities in which they reside. We are also looking for programs that connect to and advance our mission.

How do I know if my sponsorship request or grant project is appropriate for funding?

If you have questions, are unsure, or simply have difficulty making a determination about your project, please contact us at 906.523.5920 We will work with you to discuss your program and determine if submitting an application is appropriate. We also strongly encourage interested grant applicants to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI), which is an abbreviated grant proposal. An LOI submission creates a dialogue between the two parties so that meaningful input can be provided to the applicant and helps PHF assess if a project is suitable for formal grant consideration.

How do I apply?

All applicants must utilize one of PHF's applications, which you may download from our Grant Request or Sponsorship Request pages. We will not consider requests that do not utilize one of these applications.

Can an organization make more than one request?

Yes, PHF considers each request on its own merits.

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Letter of Inquiry

What is a letter of inquiry?

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) is an abbreviated grant proposal that an interested applicant may submit to PHF before submitting a grant application. Oftentimes, potential applicants ask PHF for input on ideas or projects, which have limited information or material development. The LOI submission creates a dialogue between the two parties, prior to formal application submission, so meaningful input can be provided to the applicant and to determine if the project is suitable for formal grant consideration. PHF reviews all LOI submissions to determine if a project matches our funding interests.

Do I have to submit an LOI?

No, an LOI is not required, but PHF strongly encourages all interested applicants to submit one. LOIs encourage understanding, collaboration, and project development between PHF and potential grant applicants.

How long should the LOI be?

The I should be no more than 2 pages. Please see PHF’s LOI form for topics that you should address in your letter.

I submitted an LOI, when will I here from PHF?

PHF will follow-up with all organizations regarding their inquiry within two weeks of submission.

PHF invited me to apply after reviewing my LOI.  Now what?

Please visit our Grant Request page. An invitation to apply does not guarantee funding or a final application.

I was not encouraged to apply after submitting an LOI.  Why?

PHF will respond specifically to each LOI submission and address any deficiencies in the proposal outlined within the LOI.

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Completing A Grant Or Sponsorship Application

What does "organization type" mean?

PHF offers support to charitable non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) IRS determination, educational institutions, and government entities. If you are unsure whether your organization is eligible, please contact us at 906.523.5920 or PHF cannot provide funding to individuals.

What is the difference between a "Project Contact" and the "Person Authorized to Submit Application"?

The project contact is the individual who is responsible for running the grant project and completing PHF follow-up reports. The person authorized to submit the application, typically the executive director or chairperson, is the individual who has authority within the organization to approve submitting the application and executing the grant agreement.

What do I need to consider in terms of my project's start and end dates?

These dates should be your best estimates as to the time it will take to implement, run, and conclude your project and should account for any possible program delays.

In addition to your organization's deadlines, the start/end dates should reflect consideration of the following PHF deadlines:

  • Sponsorship requests are due at least 30 days before the event's start date;

  • Grant requests under $5,000 are due at least four weeks in advance of the project start date and should be received by PHF before the last day of the month; and

  • Grant requests over $5,000 are due at least two months, if not more, in advance of the project start date and should be received by PHF before the last day of the month.

Grantees typically have one year to utilize PHF grant funding from the date funding is received.

PHF does its best to review all applications in a timely fashion and to be responsive to both PHF and applicant deadlines. You can anticipate that your application will be PHF staff and Grants Management Committee reviewed within 30 days. However, we cannot guarantee we will have an application decision by then. The review/decision process can take longer based on the size and scope of a project and whether a presentation is required. The earlier an organization submits their application, the better.

How much should I request?

Only you and your organization will know the appropriate amount to request based on the program's budget as well as the organization's overall budget. PHF has capped sponsorship requests at $500. There is no cap for grant requests.

For applicants seeking a multi-year request, the "Amount Requested" should reflect the overall total. Applicants should identify a yearly breakdown of this amount in the proposal narrative and on the proposal budget.

What do you mean by "Date Funding is Needed"?

This is when your organization needs PHF funding by in order to implement a project. The date should be responsive to the project start date as well as PHF's application deadlines. Please see above regarding project start/end dates for more application deadline details.

What is the difference between "Additional Sources of Funding" and a "Matching Request"?

PHF wants to know if additional funding is available for your project from other sources, who these sources are, an estimate of how much is available, and when you expect to receive funding. For a matching request, we need to know if your PHF application is required to obtain or match another grant opportunity and what those requirements are. You may attach additional pages to your application if more space is required to answer these questions.

Why do you want to know how many people the project/event will serve?

PHF wants to know how many people your organization's project/event will serve in order for us to track programming impact on the community. We realize it is sometimes difficult to know how many people will participate. Therefore, we recommend using your best estimate. In your follow-up report to PHF, you will have the opportunity to indicate more specifically how many people your program impacted.

My project serves more than one county. What county should I select?

Please select all the counties served by your program. PHF serves Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties. All projects/events seeking funding must take place within one of these counties.

On the sponsorship application, what do you mean by "will PHF receive anything in exchange for its sponsorship"?

Some organizations provide sponsors with non-monetary gifts of appreciation such as free admittance to an event. You should use this space as an opportunity to describe any non-monetary benefit PHF may derive from sponsoring your event. Please note that PHF does not expect anything in return for its sponsorships other than recognition as a funder on printed event literature and in other forms of event publicity.

Why do I need to submit a proposal narrative with my grant application?

All grant applicants are required to submit a proposal narrative in order for PHF to better understand the project. The narrative is the most important component of the application. Responses to all questions are required and should be clear, concise, and well thought out. Please see the individual applications for specific narrative questions, as each grant application is different. A proposal narrative is not required for sponsorship requests.

If you need assistance with your proposal narrative or desire PHF to review a draft, please let us know. Please note that utilizing PHF consultation does not guarantee funding.

How long does my proposal narrative need to be?

While PHF does not have a narrative length requirement, the scope and size of a project will often influence the narrative's length. Typically, grant requests under $5,000 are 1-3 pages while larger requests are 3-10 pages. Please make sure your narrative addresses all the application questions.

Why does PHF require that I submit "Additional Information" with my grant application?

All applicants are required to submit their organization's most recent financial information, such as a balance sheet and income statement, and proof of their tax exemption status as designated by the IRS. Submission of these documents assists PHF in assessing an organization's financial situation and if it meets IRS giving regulations.

My request is over $10,000 and/or is a multi-year request, am I required to make a presentation to you?

Possibly! PHF will invite all multi-year request applicants to present their proposal to the Grants Management Committee (GMC) and/or the Board of Directors. The GMC may require a presentation for one-time requests over $10,000 if deemed necessary. We will work with your organization about scheduling a presentation.

What is required of a proposal presentation?

Applicants should view a proposal presentation as an opportunity to share more details about a grant project with the Grants Management Committee and/or Board of Directors. We allot applicants 20 minutes to present. A question-and-answer session follows. Applicants should utilize a presentation style they are most comfortable with. Past applicants have used PowerPoints while others have taken a more conversational approach.

PHF has invited my organization to make a proposal presentation. Does this mean we will receive funding?

A presentation request is not a guarantee of funding, but rather an opportunity for PHF to learn more about your project.

Why is a proposal budget necessary?

All applicants must fill out the proposal budget form in order for PHF to understand how an organization will allocate money for a project. The proposal budget should reflect revenue sources and expense items related to the grant project and not the organization's overall revenues and expenditures.

Should I indicate the amount my organization is requesting from PHF as a revenue source on the proposal budget?

Please do not identify PHF as a revenue source. We need to understand what your organization's revenue sources are for this project apart from what PHF could potentially offer in funding. You should only identify known revenue sources.

What are examples of "Other Revenue Sources"?

Other sources of revenue could be funding received from another grant to assist with your project, current fund balances allocated toward the project, or other collaborative funders.

Under "Revenue Sources" and "Expense Items" found on the proposal budget, should I be indicating what my organization's overall revenues and expenses are?

No, that is why PHF requests that you submit your organization's financial information (balance sheet and income statement). The proposal budget should reflect revenue sources and expense items related to the grant project and not your organization's overall revenues and expenditures.

What are "indirect costs"?

Indirect costs are expenses for activities that benefit more than one project that an organization manages and are necessary to keep an organization running such as rent and utilities. If you have other indirect costs that you have not previously identified, please list them in the indirect costs section.

Does PHF fund indirect costs?

PHF considers funding a program's indirect costs on a case-by-case basis. Generally, we take into consideration the size and scope of a project, how much of the budget is allocated toward indirect costs, and the financial position and operating history of the requesting organization in order to determine how much of a program's indirect costs we may consider funding.

Why do you require follow-up reports or event summaries?

PHF requires follow-up reports and event summaries in order to track grant compliance issues and evaluate a project or event's impact on the community. As a steward of the community's money, PHF needs to ensure that an awardee is utilizing funding appropriately and that a project or event is having a positive impact on the community. These reports play an important role in guiding PHF's strategic giving in the future.

Do I need to submit a report if I receive funding either as a grant or sponsorship recipient?

Yes, all recipients of PHF funding are required to submit some type of report regardless if you received a sponsorship or grant. For sponsorship recipients, we require a brief event summary. Reporting requirements for grant recipients vary depending on the size of the grant. Typically, interim progress reports and a final report are required. Please see the individual applications for more detailed information regarding the reporting requirements. If PHF does not receive follow-up reports, we may deny subsequent requests for funds.

I submitted my RFP (request for proposal) application late. Will you still consider it?

We do not accept RFP applications submitted after the deadline, as it is unfair to those organizations who submitted their application materials on time and to the Grants Management Committee who reviews all RFP applications. PHF recommends consulting the submission deadlines found on the RFP Release to ensure your application is not late.

I submitted my grant application. When can I expect to hear from PHF?

PHF does its best to keep applicants informed as to the status of their request and to review all applications in a timely fashion. If an applicant follows our recommended deadlines, you can anticipate that PHF staff and the Grants Management Committee will review your proposal within 30 days. However, a reviewed application does not mean that PHF has made a decision. Various factors influence the decision timeline, which range from the size and scope of a project to a required presentation.

My application was awarded (or denied). Why?

Each application is staff reviewed, but also reviewed by the Grants Management Committee if over $2,500. PHF considers the following when deciding to award or deny an application: the evaluators' application scores, our current granting budget, and whether the application meets our giving priorities.

PHF has limited granting and sponsorship funds available, which means, unfortunately, that we deny many worthwhile grant proposals and sponsorship requests. In order to be a responsible steward of the community's money, PHF desires to support projects and events that have the greatest ability to result in meaningful impact and positive change for the community.

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Amending An Awarded Grant

I received a grant, but need to make changes to the project. What should I do?

PHF understands that grantees occasionally need to make changes to a project such as a budget or project timeline amendment. We require all grantees to submit a Grant Amendment Request form that seeks permission to change aspects of a grant.

I am filling out a Grant Amendment Request form. Are you looking for the original grant date, project start/end dates, or grant amount in the Grant Information section or should I be indicating my organization's desired amendments here?

The grant date, project start/end dates, and grant amount should be answered in relation to the original PHF grant as opposed to any amendment(s) you are requesting. You will address changes to these dates or amounts later in the Grant Amendment Request form.

What is the difference between a "Budget" and a "No-Cost Time Extension" amendment?

A budget amendment is any financial variance from your original agreed to PHF budget. For example, sometimes grantees have encountered unforeseen costs or have under/over budgeted certain expenses. Selecting a budget amendment would be appropriate for these types of situations.

A grantee should utilize a no-cost time extension when they need to extend their grant period due to various non-monetary reasons. The time extension may or may not affect a project's budget.

Sometimes an awardee requires both a budget and a no-cost time extension amendment. You should select all applicable boxes. If you are unsure as to what your designated amendment should be, please contact us at 906.523.5920 or

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Applying For A Scholarship

I am interested in applying for a PHF scholarship. What should I do?

PHF recommends that interested individuals contact the school where they are enrolled or will be enrolled at for information on how to apply. Please also consult our Educational Scholarship page for more information. PHF currently provides scholarships to area high school students as well as students attending Finlandia University, Gogebic Community College, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Michigan Technological University, and Northern Michigan University.

With what schools do you have scholarship agreements?

PHF currently has scholarship agreements with Finlandia University, Gogebic Community College, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Michigan Technological University, and Northern Michigan University. We also offer scholarships to area high schools, which do not require scholarship agreements.

Does PHF provide continuing education scholarships?

PHF is in the process of developing a scholarship program for local individuals who seek to begin or continue their education in a health-science field. Stay tuned for more information!

Do I submit my scholarship application to you?

High school and college scholarship seekers should submit their applications to their appropriate school representative. Please refer to the applications for submission instructions.

In what ways does PHF participate in scholarship recipient selection?

PHF only selects the recipients for its high school scholarships based off recommendations provided by the applicant's principal or school counselor. The Grants Management Committee (GMC) reviews and awards these name-redacted applications to protect students, as well as GMC members, from any bias.

PHF is not involved in the selection of its scholarships for post-secondary and graduate students. Each college/university makes its own award decisions based off their own internal selection processes and in accordance with PHF's scholarship agreements.

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To positively influence a healthier community through enhanced philanthropy and collaboration.