The Fund for Chattanooga is the primary fund to which non-profit organizations may apply for grants. This fund is governed by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors from which a Program Committee is selected to govern the Foundation’s grant making process.

2017 Deadlines

CFGC has recently completed a strategic plan and will be revamping the grantmaking process.  Check back in August for updates and to access our new online application system.

Eligible Organizations

The Community Foundation welcomes applications from organizations that provide services in Hamilton County or primarily serve Hamilton County residents. The applicant must have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code. In addition, an organization must not be substantially involved in political or lobbying activities. The Foundation will consider applications from faith-based organizations for programs or projects that address non-sectarian needs or issues, serve a diverse group of people not restricted due to religious affiliation, and do not require devotion to a particular set of beliefs to receive services.

Criteria for Grantmaking

Criteria for Grantmaking
All organizations applying for Foundation funds must be able to demonstrate the following organizational characteristics:

  • Staff capacity
  • Sound fiscal policy and responsible financial management
  • An elected, engaged Board of Directors which fairly reflects the organization’s constituencies and has the ability and policymaking authority to complete the proposed project
  • Capacity to conduct program evaluation
  • Collaboration and cooperation with other organizations
  • Understanding of and ability to describe the relationship between the proposed project and other services, and service providers, within the community
  • A base of community and financial support

Priority will be given to requests that fall within a priority area and meet one or more of the following objectives:

  • Serve disadvantaged populations
  • Serve a broad segment of the Hamilton County community
  • Assist those whose needs are not adequately met by existing services
  • Provide opportunities for employment
  • Promote cooperation among organizations and are developed in consultation with other organizations and planning groups without duplicating services
  • Enhance or improve the ability of an organization to be effective and self-sufficient
  • Innovative or creative programmatic enterprises
  • Generate matching funds and in-kind donations from other sources
  • Enhance or improve the ability of an organization to sustain a project or program either though the generation of new funding sources, expansion of existing funding sources, or through collaboration or partnership with other organizations

The Community Foundation gives low priority to requests from or for:

  • Replacement of government funding
  • Organizations that have ready access to other sources of financial support
  • Public agencies for mandated services
  • Multi-year grants for projects
  • Duplication of services already provided by other organizations within the same geographic area
  • Federated fund drives

The Community Foundation does not fund:

  • General Operating support for organizations
  • Projects of religious nature which require devotion to a particular set of beliefs to receive services
  • Private schools, unless the school serves a unique population
  • Private non-operating Foundations
  • Organizations where person(s) are excluded from employment, volunteer participation, or agency services, because of age, gender, race, national origin, religious beliefs and background, physical abilities, disability, sexual orientation, economic circumstances, and any other characteristic protected by law. Exceptions may be made for religious organizations who can demonstrate bona fide occupational qualifications based on religious belief for employment and volunteer participation
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Needs assessments
  • Comprehensive program evaluations
  • Conference expenses, memberships, tickets to events, informational visits by experts or recognized speakers
  • State, regional or national organizations, except for local programs
  • Political candidates or organizations
  • Veteran or fraternal organizations
  • Advertising or telephone solicitations
  • Feasibility studies for capital campaigns
  • Fundraising expenses and activities or staff positions related to development or fundraising
  • 15 passenger vans