Q. Who has been awarded grants in the past and for what type of projects?
A. All past grant recipients are listed on The Nuckolls Fund website under that heading.
Q. Who decides the recipients of each award?
A. The Board of Directors of the fund.
Q. What process do they use to make their decisions?
A. Prior to the board meeting where the actual decision is made, each member receives a copy of all proposals. They review them, and become quite familiar with each proposal. Then, at a board meeting where generally all members are present, a lively discussion of the merits of each proposal takes place. If any serious questions are involved, phone calls may be made during the meeting to the appropriate persons to clear up the issues in question. A series of votes are taken until a clear recipient emerges in each category.
Q. How important are fancy graphics and covers for my presentation documents? Are they considered in the evaluation of a proposal?
A. No, plain text and simple graphics are sufficient. Clearly presented ideas and content are the best ways of establishing the intent of your project to the board.
Q. We are running late on completing our proposal in time for the deadline. Is the deadline date for proposals at all flexible?
A. No. Any late proposals will not be considered.
Q. I understand the need for the board to have several reports during the progress of any grant which is awarded. Can you tell me more about that process?
A. When a proposal is funded, a contract is made between the fund and the proposing organization which includes several required reports. The contract outlines what those reports should contain and when those reports are due. The entire Board of Directors reviews and approves or disapproves these interim and final reports. Grant payments are made after the board’s approval of those reports. The board requests the professional courtesy of complete and timely reports for their evaluation of the progress of the project.
Q. I have a specific question that is not covered in these FAQ’s. Is there a way that I can e-mail or talk to a real person?
A. Yes. The Nuckolls Fund is always willing to communicate with you. Since we are all volunteers, a response may not be immediate but do not hesitate to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 845-528-0351 or fax 845-528-0352.
Q. I knew Edison Price and would like to donate specifically to that part of the fund. Can I do that?
A. The Nuckolls Fund frequently receives memorial contributions. While we do not keep separate bank accounts for designated contributions, we do acknowledge them separately in our contributor lists and track them separately in financial reports. In the case of the Edison Price Fellowship, the amount of the yearly award is based upon the reserves given in his honor. You can be assured that your contribution will be used in his memory.
Q. How much of the fund is used for operating expenses and overhead?
A. The fund is operated as a non-profit organization with no paid staff but with a very dedicated volunteer work force. Less that 2% of the value of the endowment is spent each year for administration. Your donation will directly help lighting education now and in the future.
Q. Can you tell me something about the makeup of the board of the Nuckolls Fund?
A. Members of the board represent all aspects of the lighting profession. Virtually all board members are lighting professionals and hold memberships in IESNA, IALD and other professional organizations. Several members are LC professionals. Three of the board members are or were directly involved in lighting education at major U.S. universities. Several other board members have taught lighting classes as temporary or adjunct faculty members. Board members serve 3-year terms and are automatically reviewed at that juncture. All are active in decisions and give their time solely on a volunteer basis.
Q. Is my donation tax deductible?
A. Yes, please see the section on the fund’s website that discusses our tax-deductible status.
Q. My school now has a weak lighting program, with minimal lighting content. Should I apply for a grant under the “existing programs” category or the “new programs” category? We really know very little about lighting here but would like to develop our program further in this direction.
A. You should probably apply in the “new programs” category. This is a judgment call, but if your existing program is very weak you probably could not compete against applicants in the “existing programs” category.
Q. I am employed (paid) on the basis of the academic year only, and if I wish to work in the summer I have to find my own source of funds. A grant from the Nuckolls fund would help me a great deal. Do you have any comments?
A. To be honest, the board has never been very receptive of proposals that were viewed primarily as “summer employment” projects. If it is exceptionally clear that your work over the summer will make a course during the academic year viable, by all means make an application. The fellowship grant may be an appropriate opportunity for you.
Q. I am considering donating to The Nuckolls Fund, but wonder why I should contribute to it, rather than the IESNA Educational Fund or some other foundation. Don’t they compete for the same thing?
A. You can contact the IESNA headquarters at 212-248-5000 for details on their program. We hope that through The Nuckolls Fund website, our brochure or by contacting us directly, we can clarify our mission. A review of those materials should clarify the different goals of each program.
Q. Why does the fund restrict the amount of the grant usable for equipment, and also require matching funds, real or in kind for that portion of the money?
A. We wish to fund the establishment of course work, not hardware development. Although hardware is tangible and can be seen by faculty, students, and administrators alike, it is all too often used as a substitute for lighting education. If it is clear that certain specific hardware is necessary as part of your educational program and you can convince others of that (as evidenced by matching funds) we will certainly do our part to help. Most of our winning proposals have some portion of the funds allocated to equipment, so inclusion is not a negative factor. However, the tie between education and equipment must be clear.