Tips to Improve Your Concept Paper

As the Callahan Foundation’s grant cycle opens for concept paper submissions, keep these four basics in mind when crafting your application.


Twice yearly, the Callahan Foundation accepts concept paper submissions for spring and fall grant cycles.

Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations with a focus on higher education, the arts and social services are encouraged to apply. Funding is offered to eligible nonprofits that demonstrate superior leadership and create value for those in need.

As you craft your concept paper, remember to review the full requirements, and consider these four tips for a successful application:

  1. Clearly state the focus. Your concept paper is the initial gatekeeper and key to the grant application process. Write with clarity: make sure the message and intent is highly focused and the language is straightforward.
  2. Elaborate on the community you serve. Who does your organization serve, and how? Describe the population and how they benefit from your nonprofit’s services in detail. Conveying a thorough understanding of how your organization impacts communities enhances your application.
  3. Define the link. How does your organization or program fit the criteria required? Discuss how and why your nonprofit aligns with the ethos of the Callahan Foundation.
  4. Don’t forget the details. Make sure that you carefully read the application requirements. Adhere to the correct file formatting and content requirements laid out in the grant application guidelines. Remember to include contact information and a business mailing address!

After each cycle’s concept paper submission deadline, a select number of concept papers will be invited via email to submit full proposals.

Submissions for initial concept papers can be uploaded here.