Giving circle guidelines

NCCF supports several giving circles across the state of North Carolina. Primarily focused on women’s giving, NCCF’s giving circles support charitable organizations serving women, children and families. These programs leverage local community networks and the power of collective giving.

Through several regional women’s giving groups and our statewide women’s fund, NCCF partners with women from across North Carolina to help marshal their philanthropic interests and resources in focused, purposeful and strategic ways.

Grant decisions are recommended by the giving circle’s members. We’re committed to the local knowledge and expertise that our members bring to responding to the needs of the community through their grantmaking.

The information on eligibility and restrictions below applies to all community grantmaking from our giving circles. 


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.
  • Faith-based organizations 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 county(ies) of the giving circle will be considered. If an organization serves multiple giving circle regions, that organization may complete a separate application for each of those giving circles.
  • 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
  • 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 giving circle to which they are applying. Giving circles 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 giving circles, either chronologically or in alphabetical order below. Please note that all cycles end at NOON on the closing date.

Giving circle 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.

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.

To apply, select the giving circle below in a community that your 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