What Happens After You Get an ARDC Grant?

Congratulations! ARDC has just approved your grant application! Now, what?

Confirmation & Contracting

First, we will ask you to confirm your contact information via email or to sign a grant contract. Once you’ve confirmed your contact info or signed the contract, we will mail a check to the address listed in your application. This may take a few weeks. For grants under $50,000, the check will come with a letter that outlines the terms and conditions of the grant. For grants over $50,000, the terms and conditions of the grant will be in the contract.


Next, you’ll have to report on your progress. Don’t worry, though, our reporting process is just a way for us to get to know you better and isn’t intended to be a test. Grant reports are due only once a year and at the end of your project. We will reach out to you to remind you when it’s time for a report.

Annual Reports

If your project will take longer than one year to complete, you will need to check in with us once a year. This can be as simple as an email letting us know how the work is going, or a 30-minute Zoom chat. Depending on the project, we may ask for a demo or other documentation.

Final Reports

When your project is finished you can submit a final report here. The online form includes a series of questions that will help us learn from your work and to hear your story. Your answers to the questions can be as long or short as you want.

Outside of these required reports, you can send us informal updates anytime! We love to see photos and hear about how your work is going. Anything sent to our staff will be shared with our volunteers, reviewers, and board.

If our reporting structure doesn’t work for you and you’d like to communicate with us in a different way, please let us know. Currently you can submit reports as: written information, uploaded files like PDFs, website links, photos, audio file links, or video links.

Be aware that failure to complete reports or to satisfactorily answer follow-up questions will result in your organization being ineligible to receive future grants. If you need assistance completing a report, please reach out to us.

Additional Information

In some cases, we may require more information. For example, if you are requesting additional funds or a new grant, we may request additional financial reports or a demo of work to-date. We may also request additional information if:

  • We think something in your report is missing or unclear,
  • We have a concern about how the project is going,
  • We have a question from our auditor, or
  • If learning more from you could benefit our work or the work of our other grantees.

We will do our best to communicate any expectations in advance.

Why do you ask for reports?

There are several reasons we ask for reports on your project:

  1. Your reports help us learn from your work and help us decide on what projects to fund in the future. Only you have the first-hand experience to tell us if your project succeeded and how much impact it made. What you share helps us advise others doing similar work and helps us decide where to invest funds in the long term. This is why we particularly like to hear about what did NOT work. A project isn’t a failure so long as you learned something.
  2. We want to make sure you have the time, money, information, and personnel you need to be successful. If you reach out to us to let us know you are struggling, we can possibly greenlight a change to your project or help you get the resources you need.
  3. We have a responsibility to be good stewards of our foundation’s endowment. Our funds are intended to help the amateur radio and digital communications communities and the public in general. All funding decisions are made by unpaid volunteers from those communities. The only way we can know if we’re granting the funds in a way that benefits all concerned is if we ask.
  4. We need to be transparent about how ARDC funds are spent, what kinds of projects work well, and what kinds of projects become learning experiences. We will use the information you share with us about your grant project to make our grants program as transparent as possible. You can see the 2021 annual report here.

What if my project plan or budget changes?

Reach out and let us know! We are usually happy to accommodate changes, but we like to know about things ahead of time whenever possible. You should let us know if you need to extend your project deadline, you’re changing a key team leader, or if you wish to change in a significant way how you’ll be using the grant money.

Small Budget Changes

If you want to make a small change to your budget, like swapping a piece of equipment for something similar, you don’t need to ask us about it. Just tell us about what you learned and how you decided to make these changes in your final report.

Significant Budget Changes

If you want to make a bigger change to your project, like a change over $5,000 or 5% of your total project cost, let us know in advance.

If you want to make a significant budget change, we may have you write up answers to some questions so that we can evaluate your request. In extremely rare circumstances, if the funds are being used in a way that doesn’t align with the original intent of the project or if there is a major flaw in your proposed change, we may say no or ask that you return the grant funds to us.

Letting the world know

In addition to getting started on your project once you’ve been awarded a grant, you may want to publicize your grant and the work you’re doing. For text describing ARDC and an image of our logo that you can use in your promotional materials, please refer to our media kit.

Often, we publish press releases about the grants we give out. Before we publish a press release about your project, we will ask for your permission. Similarly, we may want to publish a blog post about your project on the ARDC website. We may also ask if you would be willing to give a presentation to ARDC volunteers or the public at a hamfest or conference.

In any case, our intent is to learn more about your work and pass that information on to others that could benefit from it. You are not required to say yes to any of these requests.

Talk to us

After a grant is awarded, you can reach out to our Grants Manager, Chelsea, at any time with questions, concerns, and updates at giving@ardc.net. You can send us anonymous feedback on our grant application process here, and you can provide feedback on all other areas of our work here.