Frequently Asked Questions


Online Proposal Technical Support

Online Proposal Content Support




What is the maximum base grant award available for the Startup Grant Program? 

$250,000 if formally authorized as a charter school.

Have basic eligibility requirements for the Startup Grants changed?

No.  Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to dramatically raise student achievement, serve at least 50% or more low-income students, serve students in our target geographies, and receive a referral from a grant partner or Walton Family Foundation. 

Does Walton Family Foundation still offer Planning Grants?

Planning grants were discontinued in 2009 and are no longer available.

What types of schools qualify for Startup Grants?

Stand alone public charters and select Charter Management Organizations (CMOs).  If your school is affiliated with KIPP, Building Excellent Schools (BES), or the Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF) you should apply for funding though those organizations directly.

How does Walton Family Foundation define eligible startup schools?

- Schools waiting for authorization as a charter (up to 15 months before filing for a charter);
- Newly authorized charters (up to the end of their first year of operation);
- Schools opening a new, additional campus under an existing charter; or
- Existing schools that are expanding to serve new students with new programs and its own school leader on the same campus.

Are facilities now eligible expenditures for Startup Grants?

Yes, at the discretion of the grant partner or program officer.

Is a referral required to complete a Startup Grant proposal/application?

Yes. Please refer to the "Seek A Referral" page and find the state your school is located in for contact information regarding eligibility and application for funding. 

I don’t see my state or district listed under target districts. Am I still eligible to receive an endorsement from a WFF program officer?

No. To qualify for an endorsement from a WFF program officer or state association, a public charter school must be located in one of The Walton Family Foundation target districts. If your school is located in a state you do not see listed, your school would not be eligible to apply.

When can a school developer apply for a pre-authorization grant?

Applicants may receive up to $30,000 as early as 15 months before the school’s authorizer submission deadlines, however, a formal business plan and financials are just two of the required proposal attachments to qualify for an interview.

Are interviews required and when are they conducted?

Yes, an interview is required for receipt of Walton Family Foundation charter school funding.  Interviews are conducted by invitation only and coordinated through the grant partners or program officers.

What about a post-authorization grant?

The balance of $220,000 is available after providing proof of formal authorization (without an additional interview) if your school is already in receipt of a pre-authorization grant.  If this is the first time the developer is applying for funding of a new school and that school has already been authorized, an interview is required.

What document qualifies for "proof of authorization?"

If applying for a post-authorization or combo startup grant, the official signed document from your charter authorizer (state board, university, school district, etc.) stating you are a charter school under their jurisdiction, including the federal tax identification number qualifies as "proof of authorization." Minutes from authorizer board meetings cannot be accepted.

Does the Walton Family Foundation fund alternative charter schools?

The Walton Family Foundation can fund alternative charter schools.  However, those schools must meet our rigorous academic standards.

I currently have an existing school. Am I eligible for funding?

Grantees in certain geographies are eligible for additional funding. Contact your grant partner for more specific information.

Online Proposal Technical Support

Who do I contact if I am experiencing technical difficulties using the online proposal?

If you require technical assistance and your WFF Grant Partner is unable to assist, please contact WFF Technical Support Team:

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Time
phone: 479-464-1533

To submit your request via email, click here.

The WFF Technical Assistance team will respond to your concern within 24 hours. If it is after close of business on Friday or a holiday, you will be contacted during normal office hours during the next business day. 

Can I save the proposal and come back to complete it another time?

Yes, you can save and exit your proposal at any time.  Once you select “exit” an email will be sent to the contact email provided on the first page of the proposal.  The email will include the log in Key and Password to retrieve your proposal.

We are ready to submit the proposal and the submit button at the bottom of page 10 is inactive (or gray).

Make sure the check box at the bottom on page 10 is selected.  Once selected, the submit button will be activated.

We saved and exited the proposal, but did not receive an email confirmation with the password.

Check your junk email files to ensure that the email did not get mistakenly blocked.  If you are unable to retrieve your email with your Password, please contact your grant partner or WFF for assistance.

We lost our log in Key and Password.

Contact your grant partner or WFF for assistance.

The Key and Password from the confirmation email do not work.
Copy and paste the Key and Password from the email instead of entering it by hand as the capitalization is not always clear.

We are unable to expand the text boxes, how do we view the entire answer entry?

Please use the scroll feature next to the text box to review your entry for any long answer question.  If you would like to view the entire question, please select “Preview Full Application.”

How does the spell check function work?

The proposal is not designed to automatically spell check your answers.  Make sure to spell check your answers before adding material to the proposal and before you submit the proposal.

If our school is not affiliated with a grant partner, how do we complete the grant partner referral field on Page 1?

If your school was not referred to Walton by a grant partner, please select the no grant partner option provided in this list, for example, Wisconsin – No Grant Partner.  This field is mandatory, so please ensure it is complete and accurate before submitting the proposal.

I am working on two different applications. Why does it copy the information from one application to the other?

If you are working on an application for two different schools, you will need to disable the browser caching so it does not copy information from one proposal to the other.  To disable browser caching for Internet Explorer 9:

  • Click on 'Settings'
  • Click on 'Internet Options'
  • Look for 'Browsing History' and choose 'Settings'
  • Under 'Check for newer versions of stored pages' choose 'Every time I visit the web page'

Online Proposal Content Support

Our school is not affiliated with a WFF target geography, who is the contact if I have questions about the proposal?

Please contact Sarah Burns, Charter Startup Grant Administrator at for assistance on content related questions. If you experience technical difficulties, please contact WFF Technical Assistance at 479-464-1533.

Who should serve as the applicant in Section 1?

Pre-Authorization Startup Grant:  Since the school in this case is not authorized, the applicant for a pre-authorization startup grant is the 501(c)(3) organization starting the school.  A Charter Management Organization or nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status could act as a fiscal agent in this case. If the applicant does not have a 501(c)(3) designation, a credit report will be run to ensure they meet WFF credit standards.  If awarded a grant, all checks are then payable to the applicant’s school name, unless otherwise specified.

Post-Authorization or Combo Startup Grant: Since the school is formally authorized, the applicant is the school (in some cases the CMO) named in the authorization documentation.  Checks will be made payable to the school, unless otherwise specified. If the school name has changed from the name listed in the authorization documentation, please provide documentation from the authorizer that clarifies the name change.


When do I submit an expenditure report?

If your school has been awarded a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, you must submit an annual financial and narrative report. The due date is listed in your grant letter in section 5. Please use the reporting templates located on the "For Public Charter Startup Current Grantees" page.

Can I receive funding if an organization I am affiliated with has outstanding reports?

No. If you are affiliated with an organization or school that has received funding in the past but is not up to date on their reports, you will not be able to receive funding until that organization or school has submitted their reports and they been approved by a WFF program officer.