We make grants to 501(c)(3) organizations and other tax-exempt agencies that benefit the public. Anything that would qualify with the IRS as a charitable project – spanning the fields of arts and culture, education, environment and animal protection, health and human services, and civic projects – could be considered eligible for a grant. Each grant program has its own criteria.
For more information and examples of ineligible grants, please review the Grant Guidelines and Policies.
All of our grant applications are submitted online. Some of our smaller grant applications will be embedded on the grant's web page, while our larger grants will require you to create an account where you will be able to stop, save, and return to your application at any time. This will also keep historical information that can be helpful when applying for future grants at the foundation.
Each of our grants have their own deadline, so be sure to look on the appropriate page for that information. To ensure you receive notification when grant applications open, be sure to join our mailing list and choose "Nonprofit Organization".
The Grants Committee, comprised of members of our Board of Trustees, review and evaluate of all the applications we receive and may often conduct a Site visit with the organization to better understand their work and request. The Foundation’s staff supports the work of the committee but has no vote on grantmaking approvals. The full Board of Trustees review and approve the committee's award recommendations.
No. Having an Agency Fund or Endowment with the Foundation, regardless of its size, it has no bearing when it comes to receiving a grant. If your organization needs financial support to advance your mission, we encourage you to apply. You will be on even footing with all other applicants.
Applications are usually not turned down because they are “bad” applications. Occasionally, an application will fall outside the bounds of our guidelines and the Grant Committee will find itself unable to help. We also receive far more in grant requests than our budget allows; when a grant is not awarded, it is usually a case of competing with others in the same award cycle.
We recommend reviewing the Grant Guidelines and Policies carefully before investing the time and energy in making an application.
If you have any questions about a grant that was not awarded, contact our Director of Community Grants, Claire Oatey at claire@ cfncw.org.
Capital campaign requests are currently not eligible for Community Foundation grants due to the size of our grants (typically less than $15,000) and the time limit on funds to be spent within one year of award. However, for organizations that qualify for unrestricted core operating grants, funds are flexible and can be used towards capital projects completed within the grant period.
Yes, the foundation allows requests for general operating expenses, which may include salaries.
Legally, we can. However, the Trustees have decided to suspend multi-year grants at this time.
Yes, but not always. It is certainly a factor that the Committee considers, but efforts to get a good “bang for the buck” are measured qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
It’s not necessary. We work with and support nonprofits of all levels and try to develop applications that are commensurate with the funding. Our Grant Committee is more interested in the reality of the need and the quality of the plan for addressing it than in the elegance of the grant application language. It’s ok to use a grant writer, it’s just not necessary.
All of our competitive grants are restricted to agencies supporting Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties. This means that an agency located outside of our region may receive an award, but only for projects that specifically impact one or more of the three counties.
We do, however, manage individual funds for donors that make grants to organizations outside of the NCW region, but those grants are recommended by the donor and not part of our competitive Community Grants Program.