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How to apply to The Washington Post Helping Hand

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The LOI and Application Process

Determine if your nonprofit qualifies

This program is open to human services organizations in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Organizations must be a registered 501(c)(3) and provide direct support to their clients. Areas of concentration may include:

- Food security

- Temporary and transitional housing

- Support of low-income families and individuals

- Reading, writing, and STEM education for low-income individuals

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Phase

Organizations may submit a Letter of Inquiry by July 23, 2021 to The LOI package must be typed and preferably with all documents in one PDF. The LOI package should include:

- Organization name

- Organization address

- Contact name, phone number and e-mail

- Geographical area served

- History of organization and overview of notable accomplishments and awards

- A brief description of each of the organization’s programs included program goals, numbers served, and history of program

- IRS 501(c)(3) – most recent federal tax-exempt determination letter

Please note: LOIs received after July 23, 2021 will not considered.

LOI Review

All qualifying LOIs received by July 23, 2021 will be submitted to a review period by the Helping Hand selection committee. Organizations will be notified whether or not they are invited to submit a full application on August 6, 2021.

Application Phase

Application is by invitation only. Organizations selected during the LOI review period to submit an application will be notified by July 30, 2021 and given the application at that time. Full applications are due on August 13, 2021 and will not be accepted after that point.

Site visits

From August 23-September 8, the selection committee will conduct a site visit at each organization that has submitted an application.

Final Selection of Beneficiaries

Three organizations will be selected to be beneficiaries of Helping Hand for a three-year period. We will notify these organizations on September 15 and announce to the public on September 22.

The Washington Post newsroom

High-impact, in-depth narratives are the key to the success of Helping Hand. Helping Hand beneficiaries will be covered in The Washington Post annually for each partner’s three-year term. From mid-October through mid-November, beneficiaries will be asked to work with Post local columnist John Kelly to help cultivate these stories. Details and specificity are paramount to this process. Subjects may be interviewed and photographed for stories.

Starting the week of November 15 through the week of January 7, stories will appear in The Washington Post and online. Readers will be able to directly donate to the organizations mentioned in the stories.

For questions, please e-mail