Community is created at the intersection of people and places. It’s the most tangible place where relationships are formed, challenges are felt, problems are solved. That’s why community-making is important.
The Foundation’s Community Grants program provides grants up to $10,000 for community-making efforts that make unique and important things happen at this intersection.
Previous Community Grants have supported community-building activities that range from creating performance spaces and urban farms, to hosting neighborhood meals and making historic places and nature preserves more accessible to surrounding neighbors and visitors. For 2023, we are looking for projects that:
- Build social networks, improve the quality of life, promote collaboration, and increase community engagement within a neighborhood city or town
- Develop and sustain strong relationships that persist over time and experience
- Enhance the role of shared public spaces as community anchors
- Help to identify goals, solve problems, or make group decisions
- Share traditions with community members
Proposals should support resident-led projects and demonstrate inclusivity as well as a local commitment to, and engagement among, members of the community. This program is supported by numerous funds established by generous donors to the Foundation through the years. Some of these funds have a particular geographic focus, or other field of interest, which we take into account in the grant decisions. Other considerations may include whether projects are led by and serve those who have been historically marginalized including Asian, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Indigenous, or multiracial community members.
We also encourage applicants to identify a contingency plan to ensure grant funds will be spent by June 30, 2024, in the event of unforeseen delays. Notifications are expected to be made by early June 2023.
Nonprofit organizations, public agencies like libraries, and volunteer-led groups such as neighborhood and resident associations are eligible to apply. Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) IRS designation will require a fiscal sponsor.
To be eligible, proposals must:
- Be doable – i.e., they will generate visible results within the next 12 – 18 months
- Have staying power – i.e., create a lasting impact
- Be openly accessible to the community
- Be relevant and meaningful to the specific community
- Leverage capital (financial, human, and social) from the community – as indicated by a cash match, committed volunteer time, donated space, or other in-kind contributions
While eligible projects may include either new initiatives or enhancements to ongoing and recurring initiatives, applicants should be mindful that Community Grants are intended to support one-time costs and expenses. Applicants will not be eligible for renewed support for the same project in future years. The program does not support:
- Capital campaigns
- Endowment funds
- For-profit entities
- Fundraising events
- Lobbying efforts
- Political groups
- Religious organizations for religious purposes
Applications must be submitted by 11:30 p.m. (EST) on March 15, 2023. Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST).