Grants and Eligibility FAQ's

Grants and Eligibility

How do you make grants to nonprofits?

Nonprofits may apply to our competitive grantmaking programs. Visit our Online Grants Center to view the programs, including criteria, deadlines and information about applying.

The majority of FFTC’s grantmaking is recommended by advisors of the charitable funds established by generous donors. There is no application process for these grants. Rather, the fund advisor selects eligible IRS-approved nonprofit recipients and FFTC facilitates the grants.

I'm not a nonprofit organization. Can I apply for a grant?

Qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit, governmental, educational and religious organizations are eligible to apply for grants. If the organization does not meet these criteria, a grant can be applied for under a fiscal sponsorship.

FFTC is prohibited by law from making grants to individuals, except in the case of scholarships or corporate disaster relief and financial hardship programs.

FFTC is also prohibited from making grants or loans to small businesses. All grants must be used for charitable purposes.

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, contact the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits or the IRS.

How do I get my organization on FFTC's list of Eligible Organizations?

FFTC maintains a list of eligible 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofits, government agencies and religious organizations that may receive grants from FFTC-held funds. This list is regularly updated to add qualified organizations recommended by our donors.

Generally your organization may only be added by recommendation of an FFTC fundholder or by being considered for a competitive grant.

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

No, grants from FFTC's donor advised funds are recommended directly by our donors. FFTC does not provide contact information or information about donors' interests or grant distribution histories.

Areas we Serve

What is your service area?

FFTC’s competitive grantmaking programs generally award grants in FFTC’s 13-county service area:

North Carolina  Cabarrus County, Cleveland County, Davidson County, Iredell County, Lincoln County, Mecklenburg County, Richmond County, Rowan County, Stanly County and Union County.

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

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

Generally FFTC’s competitive grant programs are restricted to our 13-county service area. Search our Online Grants Center to determine eligibility, or visit the Council on Foundations to find the community foundation serving your area.

How can I apply for a grant from one of FFTC's Regional Affiliates?

Visit our Online Grants Center to view the programs, including criteria, deadlines and information about applying.

Guidelines and Application Process

What Guidelines Do You Follow When Awarding Grants?

To decide how to invest the limited dollars for a grant program, the board or committee will look for effective programs and strategies that support the program’s funding priorities.

What does FFTC NOT fund?

For competitive grants: Each program generally has specific exclusions for funding. These may include geographic restrictions, operating expenses, publications, conferences or travel expenses, among others. Visit our Online Grants Center to view FFTC’s various grantmaking programs.

For donor-recommended grants (non-competitive): must be distributed to an eligible nonprofit organization.

What are my chances of receiving a grant, and how will I be notified if I receive a grant?

Competition is strong and limited funding is available. Based on your organization’s match with the program’s funding priorities, service area and the general volume of requests, your chances may vary. Final decisions are typically announced two months after the application deadline. You will receive written notification of the grant award decision.

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

Due to the volume of grant programs and applications, we are unable to provide feedback on individual applications.

What are the grant cycle dates for 2024 Competitive Grants?

Click here for the complete guide to our 2024 grant cycle.

When is my application due?

All applications are due at 12 p.m. (noon) on the designated date.

Is there a sample application available to help prepare for the grant cycle?

Yes! Foundation For The Carolinas administers 22 public grant programs, each with their own priorities and requirements. Despite these slight differences in applications, they do have many questions in common and similar requirements. The sample application is meant as a guide to help you gather information you will need for your application. Remember that you must follow instructions for the specific program for which you are applying. Please note FFTC only accepts applications via our online portal.

Sample Application