Below are answers to some our most frequently asked questions about our Community Grants. If you have additional questions or need further assistances, we are happy to talk with you more.

Eligibility Requirements
Q. Who is eligible to apply?

Answer: 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.

Q. Can an organization apply for continued funding?

A: If an organization has received funding for two consecutive years, they must take one year off before applying again.

Q. Are new organizations eligible to apply?

A: 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.

Q. What is the range of grants?

A: We do not set a minimum amount for grant awards. We ask that requests not exceed $15,000.00. We will only accept one grant application per 501(c)(3) per Community Grants Program cycle.

Q. What does the community Foundation Fund?

A: Our funds go to a wide range of concerns, including:

Recognizing the positive impact arts, cultural and historical organizations have on a community, we welcome innovative and high-quality applications in this area.

Education/Youth Enrichment
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.

Application Process
Q: How does an organization apply for a grant?

Answer: Click the application link, create a user account, record your login username and password for future logins. You do not have to do an entire application in one setting

Q: What criteria should applications emphasize?

A: 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.

Address 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.

Your Site Visit
Q: Why does the Community Foundation have site visits as part of the granting process?

Answer: A compelling grant application is not enough to secure funding through our competitive Community Grants Program. Although an application can certainly tell part of the story of your program, it can’t compare to the impact of a personal site visit. The site visit may be the opportunity to secure your organization's chance to receive funding, so prepare for this visit with that thought in mind!

Q: What is the actual purpose of the site visit?

A: To gather subjective as well as objective information
To see, feel and understand the impact of your mission
To provide a comparison with other organizations your panel will be reviewing
To verify the accuracy of your grant proposal
To meet the people who make the programs come to life

Q: What should I expect during my site visit?

A: On average, you will have one hour to showcase your organization and the program you have applied for. Plan in advance how to make the most of that time.

Two to eight panel members will be present at your visit.

Be prepared to answer questions about items in your grant proposal.

If you are a state-wide agency and can’t participate in a panel site visit, be prepared to have a phone or Skype interview with members of the panel.

Q: Who from our organization can attend the site visit?

A: You are welcome to have any staff, volunteers, clients, or board members present that will assist in your presentation. We suggest you have no more than five people present. Please make sure you have someone present who can address your grant request as well as your proposed outcomes as well as questions that may arise about your budget.

Q: What part does the panel play in making the grant decisions?

A: We rely on community volunteer panels to conduct site visits, provide us with an evaluation of their visit and finally rank the agencies they’ve visited in order of most deserving of funding. These reports then determine our funding decisions.

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