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Community Engagement Manager
Carolyn Desrosiers


[email protected]

Bright Idea Fund Planning Grants

What We Fund

The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic makes nonprofit strategic planning both more challenging and important than ever before. In addition to figuring out how to position nonprofits to sustain during the crisis, there is also great urgency for our sector to take bold action regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion. Beginning in August 2020, the Foundation will offer Bright Idea Fund Planning grants to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of arts & culture, environment, basic needs & self-sufficiency, community development, and nonprofit effectiveness for any of the following:

  • Business continuity planning
  • Scenario planning
  • Planning and/or training to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion work within your organization

Our intention is to provide organizations with the resources needed to undergo a high-quality planning experience with the help of a paid facilitator or trainer. Rather than focusing on traditional strategic planning, we are encouraging nonprofits to focus on risk management, scenario planning, and improving policies and practices for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Range of grantmaking:

Consultant or facilitator expenses typically up to $5,000. Grants will not cover the full cost of any planning/training initiative and generally will cover no more than 80% of the full cost of the consultant/facilitator proposal.


Planning grants are awarded year-round with a rolling deadline. The application must be submitted at least 60 calendar days prior to the start of the planning/training process.

What We Don’t Fund

  • Routine strategic planning. The Community Foundation believes all organizations should undertake regular planning and build those costs into operating budgets.
  • General operating expenses that are not directly related to the project or initiative. (For general operating needs, please see Bridge grants.)
  • Salary support.
  • Feasibility studies or other major capital project or capital campaign planning.
  • Previously incurred expenses.
  • Full cost of the consultant/facilitator proposal.
  • Rent or facility expenses, food
  • Organizations working through fiscal sponsors.
  • Organizational planning for new nonprofit organizations. To apply: Register to access our online grant portal. Registration approval may take one to two business days to process, so keep this in mind to ensure your grant application is received 60 days prior.

The application is available in our online grant portal and under the “Grant Applicant” tab and search for “Bright Idea Fund Planning Grant” under “Available Grants.”

Questions? Want to discuss your proposal in advance? Schedule a virtual office appointmentEmail Community Engagement Manager Carolyn Desrosiers or call 920.702.7625.