Check that your request complies with all grant policies before proceeding with an application.
The Community Foundation has fulfilled its mission since 1986 by putting the expressed interests of our donors first. The vast majority of grantmaking through the Foundation is driven by donors wishing to support a broad spectrum of charitable interests and passions, including both sides of controversial issues. Regardless of the interest or issue, grants that meet due diligence requirements are approved by the Foundation in fulfillment of our commitment to honor and respect donors’ desires and to Helping Donors Share.
A much smaller portion of grantmaking comes from unrestricted or field of interest funds, gifts from an equally broad spectrum of donors who trust in the Foundation’s understanding of current needs and opportunities in the community. Since our inception, it has been the Foundation’s philosophy to be an exceptional steward of these gifts and, as such, has been as inclusive as possible in consideration of this grantmaking. With this philosophy in mind, the following grant policies have been established and approved by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
To be eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation, organizations must have been determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational and religious organizations described in § 501(c)(3) of the tax code, as well as government agencies. Organizations that are not public charities may apply through a fiscal sponsor. All Community Foundation competitive grant programs using discretionary funds are subject to these guidelines:
The Foundation seeks to promote respect for all people. The Foundation will not knowingly support organizations whose programs or services are not open to all without discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, pregnancy, veteran status, military obligation, marital status, and any other personal characteristics protected by law. We recognize that organizations may identify special needs in the community and target programs or services to a specific population based on those needs, however the programs must be open to all people in those targeted populations to be eligible for grant consideration.
Organizations eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational and religious organizations described in § 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3) of the tax code, and private operating foundations. The Foundation will not normally make grants to private non-operating foundations. Grants may also be made to units of government (this includes Native American tribal governments) for public purposes. Organizations that are not public charities may apply through a fiscal sponsor. Organizations must serve residents of the Foundation’s service area including Outagamie, Calumet, Shawano, Waupaca and/or northern Winnebago counties. Additional eligibility requirements may apply to units of government and schools; see below.
The Foundation will consider funding for units of government when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue. A grant from the Foundation may help draw attention to a new issue, leverage additional funding, offer more flexible funds than are typically available in a governmental budget, or provide seed money until program funding can be included in the governmental budget. The Foundation will not typically issue grants for the general operating support of a government program.
The Foundation will consider funding for public, charter and private/parochial Pre-K-12 schools and post-secondary educational institutions, when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue, particularly when the issue addresses the needs of a substantial or underserved portion of the community. Requests will only be considered if they are unique and community-oriented, or for pilot programs with potential to be sustainable and replicable. The Foundation typically will not issue grants for the general operating support of a school system, school or school program.
The Foundation will consider funding for programs, services or initiatives that address unmet human needs through non-sectarian organizations or collective efforts of faith-based organizations that draw support from the community at large to meet a demonstrated community need, and that refrain from promoting a specific journey of faith. Requests will be considered from individual faith-based organizations or organizations with a specific journey of faith as an aspect of its mission only if the program, services or initiatives do not promote that specific journey of faith or include activities such as religious worship, instruction or proselytization. In making its determination for eligibility, the Foundation will consider not only the mission of the applicant but the participant experience and the intended outcome(s) for the program, service or activity, for the target participants and/or audience.
The Foundation will consider whether any potential grant might be controversial, divisive in the community or have potential to alienate donors. When requests of this nature are received, the Foundation will determine if the controversial stance is important enough, if its impact will be profound enough, and/or if it will do enough community good to justify the Foundation staking its credibility and reputation on it. Each request will be considered with great care on a case-by-case basis.
The Foundation takes seriously its role of stewardship and cares deeply about the impact of awarded funds. All requested interim, progress or final reports will be diligently reviewed by staff, shared with committee members and used in numerous ways to publicize our fulfillment of mission, to raise awareness around critical community needs, to improve our understanding of charitable organizations and their outcomes, and/or to set future grantmaking direction. As such, organizations with past-due or incomplete grant reports will be ineligible to apply for additional funding from the Foundation until the requested report(s) is received and accepted.
The Foundation reserves the right to redirect, at its sole discretion, any submitted application for grant funding. The Foundation also reserves the right to decline a request if it does not meet eligibility requirements or grant guidelines, or for some other reasons as determined by the Foundation. All decisions to decline a grant are made at the sole discretion of the Foundation and may not be appealed.
In general, the Foundation will not consider grant requests solely related to real estate, bricks and mortar, or other capital expenditures that are not directly related to program delivery, service to clients, or organizational capacity building, given the substantial funding normally associated with such initiatives and the Foundation’s relatively limited resources for unrestricted grantmaking. The Foundation will, however, consider grant requests for capital projects or capital programs, if such initiatives are expected to significantly enhance the quality of life in our service region, and are clearly aligned with the Foundation’s mission, focus areas and priorities. The Foundation will apply established guidelines in assessing capital grant requests on a case-by-case basis, but reserves the right to consider any criteria that it believes is prudent. Grant requests for capital projects or programs may also be considered for funding from Field of Interest funds, unless specifically disallowed by the Foundation, in its sole discretion, or not authorized pursuant to the terms of a specific fund agreement.
Grant applications for small capital items that are directly related to program delivery or service to clients, such as a refrigerator for a food pantry, signage for a nature trail, or new technology will also be considered. Examples of requests that do not fall within consideration as small capital items include: office furniture; health and safety equipment including automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), smoke detectors, or security systems; and playground equipment.
The Foundation’s grant programs will not support annual fund drives, fund-raising events or endowment-building campaigns.
The Foundation will not consider requests to support community-based research for the advancement of medicine. However, requests will be considered for programs that provide for the medical, dental and mental health needs of residents of the Fox Valley region.
The Foundation will consider funding requests only for programs or services that have not yet occurred. Organizations must submit requests with sufficient lead time being mindful of the timing of grant decisions.
The Foundation encourages organizations to develop realistic plans for long-term sustainability that do not depend upon recurring support from Foundation competitive grant programs. The Foundation’s competitive grant programs should not be considered a source of ongoing funding for any project or program.
The Foundation recognizes that there are certain circumstances, such as efforts to build organizational capacity, the length of time required to stabilize operations and implement plans for financial sustainability requires support beyond a one-time grant. Therefore, the Foundation will consider multi-year requests within specific grant programs; and will identify any exception within each program’s guidelines.
The Foundation acknowledges that certain recurring events, presentations, performances or educational activities require organizers to build a base of community support before becoming self-sustaining. On occasion, the Foundation may even partner with the community to provide these kinds of activities in fulfillment of its mission and strategic plan. As a result, the Foundation will consider recurring requests for community or charitable educational activities within specific grant programs; refer to each program’s guidelines for these exceptions.
The Foundation recognizes that an organization may request funding several times, each with a request for a different program. If the program is truly new and different each time, the Foundation will consider these requests unique and not a form of repeat funding, so long as the guidelines of the specific program are followed.
The Foundation will not consider requests solely to defray travel or lodging expenses for either individuals or groups. This includes travel to attend conferences, training or competitions, as well as trips for bands, sports teams, classes or similar groups.
Grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and its affiliated foundations are awarded to support a wide range of projects, including grassroots community efforts.
Generally, organizations eligible to receive grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and its affiliated foundations are those determined by the IRS to be public charities. This encompasses most charitable, scientific, social service, educational, and religious organizations described in § 501(c)(3) of the tax code, as well as government agencies. However, we are aware that some worthwhile organizations may not have this status.
Therefore, organizations that are not public charities may apply if they have an established relationship with a fiscal sponsor that is a qualifying charitable organization under the following circumstances: