Overall Guidelines

The criteria that follow relate to each of the program areas listed above and offer guidance to prospective applicants. Proposed projects should:

  • Serve rural areas
  • Help people to help themselves
  • Be modest and direct in aim
  • Be narrow in function
  • Be based on experience
  • Demonstrate community financial, in-kind, or other support
  • Be essential, rather than merely desirable
  • Yield a direct and measurable, rather than a remote, benefit to people
  • Be conducted by competent, practical organizations and managers and demonstrate strong leadership capacity at both the organizational and program level

 

The Foundation will not consider proposals for support of projects to assist with any of the following:

  • Endowment funds
  • Emergencies
  • Community funds and charity drives
  • Conferences and workshops or their related travel
  • Documentaries
  • Efforts to influence elections directly or indirectly
  • Planning, research, experimental, or untested projects
  • Athletic or academic competitions, or related travel
  • Efforts to promulgate religious or political beliefs or agendas

 

Capital Improvements and Campaigns

In all program areas, the Foundation makes a limited number of grants for capital improvements, fixtures, and remodeling, retrofitting, and building new structures.  In projects involving the building of a new facility or other large-scale capital endeavors, we typically make these grants only during the closing phases when a substantial portion of the required funds are already in hand. 

Applicant Organization Type

No grants are made to individuals or to organizations that have not been recognized as federally tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service. All entities are required to submit proof of 501(c)3 tax-exempt status as part of their applications. An exception to this requirement is for tax-exempt governmental entities or agencies such as schools, fire departments, and libraries; these entities should submit a letter on official letterhead verifying their public status. 

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant awarded by the Foundation is $5,000. We rarely make grants of up to $50,000 for a single year or make multi-year grants. In many cases, especially in our largest grants, awards are payable only after the grantee has raised either a matching amount or has secured the remaining balance for the proposed project.