What Happens After You Get an ARDC Grant?

Congratulations! ARDC has just approved your grant application! Now, what? Below is a compilation of what you can expect.

What You Can Expect From ARDC:

Confirmation & Contracting

First, we will ask you to sign a grant contract and provide us with information to send you the grant funds. Once the contract is signed, we will issue funds via ACH payment or wire transfer. This may take several weeks. You can preview the contract terms and conditions here.


By joining our Groups.io community and then our grantees subgroup, you can talk directly with other grantees. It is a great resource to get advice on how to resolve roadblocks in your projects, tips for where to find equipment, or offer your unique expertise in fields like project management or volunteer coordination to individuals and clubs who are in need of assistance.

Grantee Gatherings

Several of our grantees reached out to us to ask if there was a way to contact one another and discuss their projects. In response to this, ARDC now hosts biannual “Grantee Gatherings.” We have focused topics of conversation facilitated by ARDC staff, where grantees can come together to share their knowledge and experiences with one another. These meetings are completely optional and do not influence ARDC funding decisions regarding your project.

What We Can Expect From You:


Grant reports are due 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 scheduling 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. Your answers to the questions can be as long or short as you need to fully explain your outcomes.

We prefer to see photos, videos, demos, or walk throughs when possible. We may share your results on our website or in our newsletter if you provide us with visual material. Photo and video helps us to promote and explain your work to the broader public. Please note that media including persons under the age of 18 will require a signed copy of ARDC’s Photo Release Form prior to publication.

We understand that challenges will occur during the course of a project – if some aspect of your work did not produce the results you wanted, sharing what you learned from it is extremely valuable for us to be able to understand your work and help other grantees. We do not consider encountering and learning from challenges or dead ends to be a project failure.

Outside of these required reports, you can send us informal updates anytime! We love to hear about how your work is going. Anything sent to our staff may be shared with our volunteers, reviewers, and board. In some special cases, additional information may be required (see below).

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.

Final reports are used to make decisions about future funding. 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 Requests

In some cases, we may require more information about your project progress. 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 may be able to approve 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 2023 annual report here.

Project Changes

If your project plan or budget changes, reach out and let us know! We are usually happy to accommodate changes, but significant changes require approval ahead of time when 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, we expect you to 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.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

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.