Community grantmaking

What you need to know before applying for a community grant from NCCF

NCCF’s community grantmaking program supports the work of charitable organizations serving the communities within our statewide network of affiliate foundations.

Our network of local affiliates is organized by region. View a map of our affiliate network here. Each region is led by a regional director who supports the affiliate boards of advisors’ community leadership, including facilitation of the community grantmaking program.

Grant decisions are made by the affiliate's board members. We’re committed to the local knowledge and expertise that our advisory board members bring to responding to the needs of the community through their grantmaking.

The community grantmaking program funds a broad range of purposes to meet local needs that include education, human services, basic needs, arts, historical preservation, health, recreation, youth development, environment and animal welfare.

The information on eligibility and restrictions below applies to all community grantmaking from our network of local affiliate foundations.


An organization must meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Organizations must be qualified as tax-exempt public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be classified as a unit of local government (including public schools). An exception is made to include fire and rescue departments.
  • If your organization operates as a 501 (c)(3) public charity via a fiscal agent, your application's supporting documentation must include a letter from the fiscal agent organization that verifies the relationship and includes when the relationship was established.
  • Religious entities, including churches, congregations and other houses of worship, and/or faith-based organizations whose core functions/operations promote a specific religious doctrine or are restricted to members of a particular faith may apply for funding to support social outreach and charitable service programs to benefit the community-at-large, but they may not apply for general operating support. See restrictions below.
  • Only those organizations that serve the counties within our affiliate network will be considered. If an organization serves multiple counties within our network, that organization may complete a separate application for each of those affiliates.
  • Organizations must offer programs and services without discrimination based on age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief. 

Grants are not awarded for:

  • Annual fund or capital campaigns
  • Political purposes or lobbying
  • Programs and/or activities that are restricted to members of a faith community or promote a specific religious doctrine
  • Loans
  • Reimbursements (This program does not support reimbursement of costs incurred prior to the deadline for submission of your application. Your request may only include costs that will occur in the future, after the submission deadline of the application.)
  • Individuals
  • Re-granting by the applicant organization

Applications for specific programs and projects or for general operating support are accepted, unless otherwise specified.


Prior to completing an application, it is important for interested applicants to learn about the grantmaking of the community program to which they are applying. Affiliate boards may also seek applications for certain target areas, capacity building, organizations with operating budgets within a specified range, or for other permissions and restrictions. The amounts of grant awards also vary widely across programs.


View the dates of all NCCF affiliate foundation cycles, either chronologically or in alphabetical order below. Please note that all cycles end at NOON on the closing date.

Affiliate grantmaking decisions are made on varying timelines. Contact the NCCF regional director for the affiliate to which you are applying to find out specific information on when decisions will be made.

Preview the application

Preview a sample of the application here. Please note that this sample may be updated if changes to the application occur.

Ready to apply?

Any organization that is eligible to apply and has a grant request that would meet these criteria is invited to apply. A digital signature at the end of the applications confirms that applicant has read and understand the information in these guidelines and attached. Failure to adhere to any of these guidelines may result in the application being excluded from consideration. 

Publicity tools

NCCF offers publicity tools for grant recipients to raise community awareness. We recommend every grantee take advantage of this valuable opportunity to tell the story of their work. Learn more about our publicity tools.

To apply, select the county below that your nonprofit organization serves.

Please note that Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the preferred browsers for the online application system.

Christopher Fipps
Grants Program Manager
(919) 256-6923