No. To facilitate greater equity in grantmaking, we absolutely do not require applicants to have any affiliation with a 501(c)(3) organization.
Once grants are awarded, if you or your group/organization is not affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization, we will sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement with you. This agreement will specify that we will be overseeing the distribution and use of your grant funds, in accordance with best practices and IRS requirements. We have a disbursement process that specifies how you request funds and what documentation you need to provide. Once we become your fiscal sponsor, you may be required to pay taxes on funds that are sent directly to you (see "Do I have to pay taxes on grant funds I receive?" for more information).
Grantees who are with a 501(c)(3) organization or who have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are not required to sign a fiscal sponsorship agreement and do not participate in our financial oversight process.