Community Innovation Grant Guidelines

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Kim Jones


Community Innovation Grant Program

The Community Foundation of West Georgia is creating a new grant program designed to inspire and support problem solving. Selected grantees will receive up to $25,000 (renewable for up to three years) to implement their project ideas, creating models of innovation for the entire community.

Please review the following grant guidelines to determine if your organization is eligible to compete for funds.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Community Foundation of West Georgia considers grant applications from organizations that:

  • Are determined as charitable under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, public entities or other charitable, educational or cultural organizations.
  • Must provide programs and services to the West Georgia area, including one or more of the following three counties: Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties.

What criteria should applications emphasize?

  • Does the organization have a pattern of innovative solutions?
  • Does the organization have a pattern of using inclusive, collaborative and resourceful processes?
  • Does the organizational leadership value and encourage innovation?
  • Is the organization stable and strong in terms of governance and finance?

Other Questions:

How much funding is available?

The Community Innovation Program has $100,000 (total) to award this year.

How much can I apply for?

Awards will be up to $25,000 and can be renewable for 2 additional years.

Can my organization apply for both Community Impact and Community Innovation Grants?

Yes, you can apply to both programs but not for the same project.

What happens if all of the money is not awarded?

Any money not awarded through the Community Innovation program will be awarded through the Community Impact program.

Do I have to select one focus area or geographic area?

No, your idea may cover multiple charitable areas or more than one geographic areas. However, all projects must benefit the residents of Carroll, Haralson or Heard Counties.

Is there a separate application?

Yes, there is a separate application for the Innovation program. Click HERE to apply.

What are the minimum and maximum awards?

The minimum grant to be awarded is $5,000 and the largest will be $25,000. You can apply for a $5,000 grant as a demonstration grant and subsequently apply next year for a larger innovation grant.

How and when do I apply?

Applications will be open beginning April 1 and will close August 3. All applications are online, No late applications will be accepted.

What is the selection process?

A separate team will evaluate the Innovation grant requests. The team will conduct site visits, review grant materials, etc. Because this is a new grant program, the selection team will work to have their recommendations ready for CFWG board review by early October. Applicants will be notified by the end of October.

How will my grants be evaluated?

The Foundation hopes to have an evaluation piece in place prior to grant funds being awarded. Selected grantees will be notified once the details are finalized.

The Community Foundation looks for proposals which:

  • Demonstrate organizational expertise in delivering quality services.
  • Have capacity to mobilize resources including financial support, in-kind support and volunteers to sustain programs.
  •  Established sound management and administration.
  • Provide evidence of careful planning to address community needs and access community resources.
  •  Offer creative solutions without duplicating other efforts.
  • Document efforts to achieve broad-based financial and volunteer support.
  • When evaluating requests, the Foundation also considers the balance of geography, needs and resources in the community.

Are new organizations and operating support eligible?

No, the Community Foundation will not consider the funding of new organizations for start-up and operating support. An organization must have been in existence for a minimum of two years.

What activities are not eligible for funding?

  • Annual fundraising campaigns or fundraising events
  • Operating deficits or debt reduction
  • Endowments
  • Charities operated by service clubs
  • Organizations that in turn make grants to others
  • Activities that are normally the responsibility of government
  • Lobbying activities or organizations that participate in such activities
  • Memorials
  • Projects of a religious nature or that require participation in a religious activity as a condition for receiving services
  • Grants to individuals
  • For profit organizations
  • Scholarships
  • Start-ups

What are the reporting requirements?

The Community Foundation will work with grantees on first year reporting throughout the grant year. Grantees selected for subsequent year funding will not be required to re-apply each year.