Community Grant Guidelines

Our primary area of service is Gaston County and grants are made only to organizations and programs operating in Gaston County or primarily for the benefit of Gaston County citizens. We attempt to concentrate on projects or programs with potential positive results for citizens of the county, or a community within the county -- not just the sponsoring organization.

Organizations attempting to duplicate services of other organizations, rather than partnering with existing organization programs will be subject to further review by the Grants Committee.

Our Grants Committee and Board give strongest positive consideration to requests that demonstrate “grass roots” community support with a plan for utilizing resources and talents of both the sponsoring organization’s members, and the population, which would be helped by the requested grant. In other words, we believe Community Foundation grants will have more impact where they are used to supplement and support full use of the human assets and other resources already available.

A key consideration is the applicant’s track record of success and realistic potential for measurable positive results from the requested grant. For new organizations, demonstrated quality leadership and careful planning / budgeting will be essential. The Foundation does not operate charitable programs, but makes every effort to support other organizations with the leadership commitment and realistic preparation to reach their goals.

The Foundation looks for a plan of sustainability in the organization and does not typically fund grants solely requesting operational expenses.

Our grants go only to tax-exempt public agencies or charitable organizations with 501(c)(3) status. We require verification of a potential grantee’s tax-exempt status and the organization’s policy of non-discrimination.

The Foundation does not consider grants to private schools, churches or other religious organizations unless the Foundation Board feels the applicant can demonstrate a clear and substantial benefit to the community as a whole as opposed to the applying organization.

The Foundation has historically declined grants for capital projects for the benefit of individual public schools. Grant requests made by the Gaston County School System for programs delivered in the public schools are best presented for consideration as collaboration among more than one school which benefits multiple schools. Grants to 501(c)3 organizations for programs which are delivered broadly to local schools are evaluated on a case-by-case basis as to their merits and community impact.

The Foundation does not generally consider multi-year grants.

Organizations are able to submit only one application per cycle.

The above summary information does not cover all factors used in the Foundation grant making process. Each year, we make final decisions from many good proposals with limited available resources. We wish you well in your efforts to serve our community! If you have questions, please contact Grants Officer Nina Greene, or 704-864-0927.