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People in Need Grants

Grant Guidelines

The Community Foundation offers People in Need Grants up to $20,000 for outstanding programs or projects that promise significant impact for economically-disadvantaged people in our mountain communities.  Grants are funded in part by the Janirve Legacy Fund and CFWNC affiliate funds and fundholders.

 Who May Apply

  • Organizations whose mission or programs focus on serving economically-disadvantaged people
  • Organizations that are financially sustainable
  • Tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and governmental entities are eligible to apply for these grants
  • Organizations must be located in or serving one or more of these WNC counties: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey
  • Organizations that have not received a People in Need grant the previous year

People in Need Priorities

  • Tackling a timely community need or opportunity not being addressed by other agencies
  • Replicating or expanding a model of a proven program or project
  • Increasing cooperation and coordination among program providers
  • Building the internal capacity of an organization to be more self-sufficient or efficient
  • Purchasing equipment that provides immediate and substantial impact

What We Do Not Fund

  • general operating expenses (except for costs directly related to the proposed project or program)
  • capital support for new buildings or major expansions
  • recreational programs and equipment such as playgrounds
  • private schools and clubs
  • festivals or one-time events such as exhibits, performances or fundraisers
  • scholarships
  • activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant decisions are made
  • sectarian religious purposes
  • partisan political purposes
  • endowment, deficit funding or debt retirement
  • state or national organizations, unless (1) funding is sought for a portion of the program or project that directly benefits WNC, and (2) local people assume leadership of the program or project

How to Apply for a People in Need Grant

  1. Review People in Need Guidelines. 
  2. Submit a People in Need Letter of Intent by 5 pm on August 6.  The Letter of Intent is an online process and is for projects beginning after December 1.   Begin the online process.  Organizations may submit only one funding proposal per grant cycle.
  3. Organizations will be contacted by mid-August if they are selected to submit a full application.  Applications are due by September 5 for a funding decision in mid-November. 

Additional Information

Contact Virginia Dollar by email, phone (828) 367-9907.