Get ready to apply for a grant

We offer the opportunity for your organization to apply for competitive Community Grants and Special Interest Grants plus two new categories in 2017 -- Dental Care and Access (in collaboration with with United Way of South Hampton Roads) and Planning Grants. 

Next grant deadline: October 1 for Special Interest grants.

4 principles guide our grantmaking

  1. Community Impact
  2. Collaboration and partnership
  3. Equity
  4. Innovation and Creativity

Community Grants focus on 6 areas

  1. Cultural vitality
  2. Economic stability
  3. Educational success
  4. Environmental stewardship
  5. Health and wellness
  6. Vibrant places

Individual categories are described in Community Grants

Special Interest Grants focus on 9 areas

These grants reflect the interests of charitable people whose funds provide grants for everything from horticulture education to mental health research and youth baseball and softball. Available now: Grants to help at-risk youth. May 18 was the deadline to apply. Learn more.

All individual grant categories are described in Special Interest Grants

Planning Grants New for 2017

These grants help coalitions of nonprofit organizations and other appropriate agencies explore and plan for the launch of a collaborative project to solve an identified community issue. 

Details and application procedures are described in Planning Grants

Get started: Follow our 10-step grant application process

  1. Read carefully the grant guideline sections.
    Community Grant options include seed funding, program support and facilities improvement funding. We also offer Special Interest Grants that reflect our fundholders' varied interests. (Note: Our new Planning Grants must start with a Letter of Intent)
  2. Make sure your organization meets our eligibility requirements.
  3. Plan to meet the right application deadlines.
    Different grants have different deadline dates so please take note of them since can't do anything if you apply late or in the wrong grant cycle. Leave enough time to thoroughly complete and review your application before submitting it. And, please remember that all applications must be submitted online and are due before 5 p.m. on deadline day.
  4. Talk with a program officer about your grant proposal.
    We gladly welcome nonprofit staff and board members every month on Drop-in Day and also by appointment. Before submitting an application be sure to talk with a program officer to receive helpful feedback and advice.
  5. Register for our online application system.
    All applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. on deadline day. When first accessing our online system, fill out the basics about your organization, including its Employment Identification Number (EIN) and CEO’s contact information. You need only register once to submit grant applications now and in the future. For help, check out our tutorial on registration [PDF]. We also have in-person training sessions scheduled during most months.
  6. Gather materials needed to apply.
    You will need to have handy the following materials to upload:
    • A detailed, itemized project budget that includes revenues and expenses.
    • A list of contributors to the project. This list should be by category (e.g. individual, government, corporate and foundation) or by giving level and the total amount of contributions and pledges raised.
    • A list of other pending grant requests for the project, the amount requested and an estimated decision date.
    • Board of directors list, including name, affiliation and address.
    • Most recent audited financial statements.
    • Current operating budget for your organization, including revenue and expenses.
  7. Work on your application over a period of time.
    A grant application should never be started the night before deadline day. Plan ahead and know that you can access and update your application any time. Save what you've done and return to it later to review and add to it. Check out our tutorial on how to complete an application [PDF]. We also have in-person training scheduled almost monthly.
  8. Submit your application.
    All grant applications are due at 5 p.m. on their deadline day. No late applications will be accepted. You cannot revise an application once it is submitted. You can review it on the system at any time, though.
  9. Know that we will stay stay in touch.
    • We'll send you an email letting you know we received your application. Please add to your safe sender list so your spam filter does not block us.
    • A program officer may contact you to set up a site visit.
    • After our board meeting, a program officer will call you to let you know our board's decision on your grant. (Meetings typically are about two months after you submit your application). You also will receive an official letter letting you know if your application was approved. And, if it was you will receive details on grant payments.
  10. If your grant is approved, prepare to report your progress.
    We will send you a grant agreement to be signed and returned. It will include information on submitting online progress reports.