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Grant Guidelines
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  • Nonprofit organizations that serve Western North Carolina that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be sponsored by a WCMA member and have at least one member of the WCMA is actively engaged. This includes serving on the board or a committee and volunteering time.
  • The organization must be based in or have significant operations in Western North Carolina and serve individuals residing in the area. National organizations are only eligible for a grant if they have a regional or local office serving Western North Carolina, the entire grant will be used to support needs of WNC residents, and the entire grant will be executed by the local office with no funds going to the national headquarters.
  • Any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, national origin, physical ability, or any other characteristic protected by law will not be considered.

Funding restrictions: Applications for the following requests are discouraged and are unlikely to be funded:

  • Capital improvements (brick and mortar)
  • Individual scholarships
  • Endowments
  • Sectarian purposes
  • Deficit funding
  • Private schools
  • Private clubs
  • Sports teams
  • Salaries and other administrative expenses (except those used to implement the specific project funded by WCMA)
  • Re-granting organizations (an organization that is not executing the specific program but using the grant money to fund another nonprofit)
  • The grant request may not exceed 75% of the project's budget or 50% of the organization's annual budget

Focus Areas: Funding priority will be given to projects that clearly relate to one of the following four focus areas:

  • Human Services: Programs that offer food, clothing, shelter or basic needs to underserved individuals. 
  • Healthcare: Programs that provide healthcare services to those in need. 
  • Education: Programs that enhance the educational success and advancement of deserving students.
  • Natural and Cultural Resources: Support the region's rich cultural resources, with an emphasis on education in the arts and environment. 

Grant Objectives: For all grantees, project objectives should demonstrate:

  • An identified need that will be met by the grant,
  • A significant impact on the community with an emphasis on the number of participants served in Western North Carolina,
  • Evidence that there is community support for the project,
  • Specifically stated objectives,
  • Financial sustainability of the grantee organization,
  • Adequate resources to implement the project, and
  • Oversight of the organization by a Board of Directors or other entity.

Additional Information:

  • A single organization may submit multiple grant requests for separate projects or package them as a single request but the total grant amount awarded per organization cannot exceed the WCMA grant maximum limit. For this purpose, an organization will be defined by its Employer Identification Number (EIN), i.e. all entities with the same EIN will be treated as a single organization.
  • Grant requests should not exceed $20,000 per organization.
  • Based on the amount of money we have in our general fund each year, the WCMA may not be able to fund all applicants. 

 Grant applications for next year will be available in the fall of 2020.