Inspired by Mission – Succeeding Through Action
Long supported by the generosity of the Masters Tournament – as well as other organizations and individuals throughout our region – the Community Grants program provides dependable funding for necessary and outstanding philanthropic work by local non-profits. These grants are distributed through a competitive process designed to help nonprofit organizations meet their mission.
Through a careful review process, our staff, community volunteer panels, and board work together to award grants based on identified community issues and the relative merit of the proposals received. This program provides funding for nonprofit projects and programs serving residents in Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie and Burke counties in Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield county in South Carolina.
Since the program’s inception, more than $10 million in grants have been awarded to countless nonprofits throughout our community.
The Community Grants application opens each summer, usually in July, and the application is open until mid to late August. The team at the Foundation provides multiple opportunities just before the application opens to learn about the process, any changes to the process from prior years, and helpful tips to improve the strength of a nonprofit’s application. There is even an opportunity to submit an application early and get feedback from our staff prior to submitting the final version. After the deadline, the staff and community volunteers use the early fall to review applications and conduct in-person site visits. Final decisions are approved by the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation in late November and we hold a press conference announcing the grant award recipients the first Friday in December. It is truly our favorite day of the year.
We consider grant applications from organizations that:
- Are determined as charitable under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, public entities or other charitable, educational or cultural organizations.
- Provide programs and services to the following counties in Georgia: Richmond, Columbia, McDuffie, Burke and in South Carolina: Aiken and Edgefield.
Recognizing the positive impact arts, cultural and historical organizations have on a community, we welcome innovative and high-quality applications in this area.
We welcome applications from organizations that provide enrichment and educational opportunities to disadvantaged children, youth and adults. Examples include: job skill training and/or placement, after school or summer programs, leadership, tutoring, GED and literacy programs.
Some examples of programs in this funding area include: environmental research or management, animal services, programs that support sustainable community and backyard gardens, medical clinics, drug rehabilitation programs, medical programs for persons with disabilities, and mental illness.
People in Need
This category is generally, but not exclusively for human service programs that work with people in need. Examples include feeding, housing, financial assistance, programs serving the homelessness, and programs for recently incarcerated individuals.
We do not set a minimum amount for grant awards. We ask that requests not exceed $15,000. We will only accept one grant application per 501(c)(3) per Community Grants Program cycle.
We do not fund applications in support of the following:
- Grants for individuals
- Capital campaigns
- Deficit financing and debt retirement
- Political organizations or campaigns
- Lobbying legislators or influencing elections
- Programs that require participation in religious services and/or education as a condition of receiving services
- Special fundraising events/celebration functions
- Marketing endeavors and personal research, unless the marketing is directly connected to the program in your grant application
- Core operating expenses for public and private elementary and secondary schools and public and private colleges and universities
- Projects that are typically the funding responsibility of federal, state or local governments
- Scholarship programs; however, exceptions are made for summer camp or afterschool program scholarships
- Programs that have already taken place or will be completed in the current calendar year
We will consider funding new organizations for start-up or operating support. However, because we are interested in funding work that continues to address community needs long after the grant funds are depleted, these requests are reviewed carefully on a case-by-case basis and must make a convincing case that:
- The condition the proposal addresses is significant and can be measured
- The applicant has the organizational ability to address the problem, can document an unmet need, is aware of other organizations that are working in the same area and is the best organization to do this work
- The organization and its program are likely to achieve the outcomes described in the proposal
- The organization has plans in place to ensure that its programs will continue to operate once grants funds are expended
- Have a program/project that will positively impact persons and/or the community.
- Develop competencies and skills enabling individuals to live fuller, more productive lives
- Addresses a significant need affecting the region's population or special populations
- Have the ability to leverage resources through other funding, in-kind donations, volunteers and partnerships
- Demonstrate their capacity to provide the necessary services using good administrative and financial management
When evaluating requests, we also consider the balance of geography and the needs within our six-county service area.
Click the application link, create a user account, record your login user name and password for future logins. You do not have to do an entire application in one setting.
Grant recipients must complete final reports that reflect on their progress toward the outcomes targeted in the grant proposal. Through these reports, both Foundation staff and your organization are able to gather valuable feedback and knowledge that can inform future work.
- Submit a six-month report by July 15.
- Submit a final year end report by January 15 of the following year.
- Summer programs can submit just the year end report by August 30, 2021.
If you spent all of your money AND completed all your outcomes when the six month report is due, you may skip that report and submit a final report instead. We understand that COVID-19 may have impacted your ability to complete your outcomes as originally submitted. If you have questions about how to talk about outcomes please contact Rebecca Wallace.