I did not apply for a grant, but I received a check from The Community Foundation. What does that mean?

Most grants made by The Community Foundation come from our donor-advised funds. These grants are made at the recommendation of a donor. The fund donor directs us to make a grant of a specific amount to a specific nonprofit organization. The Community Foundation issues the check, sometimes with a letter stating the donor’s name and outlining any requirements and/or contingencies. If you would like to express your gratitude to the donor for the gift, please consult the letter accompanying the check. Please keep in mind that out of respect our donors’ privacy The Community Foundation does not release any additional information about our donors beyond that letter.

How do I apply for a grant from The Community Foundation?

The Community Foundation has several competitive strategic initiative and donor-advised funds that welcome proposals and letters of intent from local nonprofit organizations. As a trusted steward of local charitable assets on behalf of hundreds of donors in the region, The Community Foundation operates dozens of individual grant rounds at various times throughout the year. As such, we currently hold 3 regular grant cycles annually for our open competitive grantmaking programs in the summer, winter, and fall.

All available open and competitive grant opportunities are posted on our website and sent out via email. To sign up to receive updates and information about these opportunities, please click here.

I just received a grant check from The Community Foundation on behalf of a donor. How can I thank that donor?

It is our policy to keep donor information private unless donors have granted us permission to share their personal information. We are able to forward your acknowledgment of the gift to our donor. You can send those acknowledgements, excluding any tax language, to Kathy Matthews, Grants Manager (kmatthews@thecommunityfoundation.org). She will forward your message to the donor in question.

Does my organization have to be located in Greater Washington to receive a competitive grant?

Generally, the Community Foundation‘s competitive grants are made to nonprofits located in and/or directly serving residents of the following geographic regions:

  • DC: District of Columbia

  • MD: Montgomery County + Prince George’s County

  • VA: Arlington County, City of Alexandria, County of Fairfax, Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Loudoun County, and Prince William County (Neighbors in Need Fund only)

Does The Community Foundation award grants to individuals?

No. The Community Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

My organization does not have tax-exempt status. Can I still apply?

The Community Foundation funds nonprofit organizations having evidence of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and not classified as a private foundation. We also accept letters of inquiry/proposals from organizations operating under a nonprofit fiscal sponsor. All grantees must be able to provide a copy of an official IRS Determination letter or proof of fiscal sponsorship upon request.

What happens after I submit a proposal or Letter of Intent?

The Community Foundation utilizes a standard due diligence process to assess the qualifications of each proposal for funding. The due diligence process can take between 3 – 6 months; however, consult the guidelines for the specific funding opportunity to which you are applying for detailed timelines and notification dates. The basic steps in the due diligence process can include:

  • Review grant proposals, budget and supplemental documents;

  • Conduct interviews with organization and project leadership via a site visit (in person or via phone);

  • Conduct additional follow-up research as needed;

  • Present funding recommendations to the donor advisor or Collaborative Board for decisions;

  • Grant recommendations ratified by the Foundation’s board of directors; and

  • Applicants notified of decisions.

Note: Not all applicant organizations will proceed through the full review process if significant deficiencies are identified.

Does The Community Foundation award multiyear grants?

The funding time period is dictated by each fund. However, there are several funds at The Community Foundation that do offer multiyear funding. More information about funding opportunities can be found on our grant opportunities page.