Grant FAQs

Do you have a question you don't see answered here? Or do you have a suggestion for a Frequently Asked Question we should add to this list? Email us at infor@fftc.org, or call us at 704.973.4500.

How much does the Foundation grant each year to nonprofit organizations? Where do you get that money?

I'm not a nonprofit organization; I'm just a person who needs some extra help. Can I apply for a grant?

I'm starting a small business – does the Foundation make grants or loans to help?

What is a 501(c)(3)? How can I get one?

What is your service area?

My organization isn't located in your service area - can I still apply for a grant?

How can I apply for a grant from one of the Foundation's Community Regional Affiliates?

Can I apply for a grant from any of your donors' funds?

What guidelines does Foundation For The Carolinas generally follow when awarding grants?

What does the Foundation NOT fund?

Can I fax or email my grant application?

What are my chances for receiving a grant?

If my application is declined, can you tell me why?

Does the Foundation offer grant writing classes?

How and when will I be notified if I receive a grant? Can I call to follow up?

How do I get my organization on the Foundation's list of Approved Organizations?

 

 

How much does the Foundation grant each year to nonprofit organizations? Where do you get that money?
In 2011, the Foundation awarded well over $100 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations across the continental United States. With the exception of the approximately 10 percent of grants made through the Foundation’s competitive grantmaking programs (geographic affiliates, supporting organizations, family and corporate funds, private foundations, and collective giving programs) and scholarship funds, the majority represents grant distributions made from charitable funds established and directed by our generous donors. Click here for information on competitive grant cycles.

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I'm not a nonprofit organization; I'm just a person who needs some extra help. Can I apply for a grant?
The Foundation is prohibited by law from making grants to individuals, except in the case of scholarships or corporate disaster relief and financial hardship programs. Grants are only made to qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, governmental, educational and religious organizations.

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I'm starting a small business – does the Foundation make grants or loans to help?
The Foundation is prohibited by law from making grants or loans to small businesses. All grants must be used for charitable purposes.

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What is a 501(c)(3)? How can I get one?
501(c)(3) refers to the specific section of the Internal Revenue Code that defines a nonprofit organization. For more information on the Code and obtaining a 501(c)(3) designation, contact the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits or the Internal Revenue Service.

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What is your service area?
Foundation For The Carolinas is a regional community foundation serving a 13-county region. Advisors of the Foundation’s more than 1,800 funds may recommend grant distributions to eligible organizations in the continental United States. Generally the Foundation’s competitive grantmaking programs award grants only in the Foundation’s 13-county service area:

North Carolina – Cabarrus County, Cleveland County, Iredell County, Lincoln County, Lexington Area, Mecklenburg County, Richmond County, Salisbury, Stanly County and Union County.

South Carolina – Cherokee County, Lancaster County, York County.

Click here to view competitive grant cycles that are open for requests.

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My organization isn't located in your service area - can I still apply for a grant?
Generally the Foundation’s competitive grant programs are geographically restricted to one or more counties in our service area and are not open to organizations outside the geographic region(s) outlined in the application requirements. We encourage you to visit the national community foundation locator Web site to determine the community foundation serving your area.

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How can I apply for a grant from one of the Foundation's Community Regional Affiliates?
If you are a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, governmental, educational or religious organization operating in the Foundation's 13-county service area, click here for an overview of the Foundation's competitive grantmaking programs, including eligibility and deadline information. Please note that additional requirements and funding priorities apply to the affiliate grant programs beyond geographic location.

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Can I apply for a grant from any of your donors' funds?
Grants from the Foundation's Charitable Gift Funds are recommended directly by our donors. Due to privacy concerns, the Foundation does not provide contact information or information about donors' interests or grant distribution histories.

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What guidelines does Foundation For The Carolinas generally follow when awarding grants?
The following Community Investment Guidelines more clearly reflect how the boards and committees make grant award decisions:

To decide how to invest the limited dollars for a grant program, the board or committee will look for effective programs and strategies that strive to support the funding priorities established by that board or committee. The success of a grant is predicted by reviewing the expected results of the proposal and identifying results driven approaches. Programs that are capable of attaining measureable results receive higher consideration. In that mode, grant requests are reviewed with the following questions in mind:

  • What results are we buying?
  • What are the chances we will get results?
  • Is this the best possible use of money?

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What does the Foundation NOT fund?
In order to receive a non-competitive grant from one of the Foundation’s charitable funds, the grant must be distributed to an eligible nonprofit organization, but additional restrictions typically do not apply. Regarding competitive grant programs, each program generally has specific exclusions for funding. These may include geographic restrictions, operating expenses, publications, conferences or travel expenses, among others.

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Can I fax or email my grant application?
Grant application submission instructions vary by program. Please adhere to the submission instructions for the particular program to which you are applying.

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What are my chances for receiving a grant?
In general, competition for grants is strong and there are limited dollars available. Each grantmaking program varies in funding priorities and competitiveness. Based on your organization’s match with the program’s funding priorities, service area, and the general volume of requests, your chances may vary.

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If my application is declined, can you tell me why?
Due to the volume of grant programs and applications processed by the Foundation staff each year, we are generally unable to provide feedback on individual applications

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Does the Foundation offer grantwriting classes?
No, but many nonprofit organizations offer grantseeking/grantwriting workshops from time to time. Visit the NC Center for Nonprofits and the UNC Charlotte/Duke University Nonprofit Management Program websites for more information.

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How and when will I be notified if I receive a grant? Can I call to follow up?
Generally, final decisions are announced approximately two months after the application deadline. You will receive written notification of the grant award decision. If additional information is needed during the screening and decision process, we will contact you.

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How do I get my organization on the Foundation's list of Approved Organizations?
Qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, governmental, educational and religious organizations in the continental United States are eligible to become part of the Foundation’s list of approved organizations. This database of organizations grows each time a donor requests that the Foundation make a distribution from a charitable fund to a new organization so generally your organization may be added only by recommendation by our donors or by being considered for a competitive grant.

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