Grants FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions.  If you don’t see a question that addresses what you want to know please e-mail us.

1) How many grants are awarded each year?

The Community Foundation has 3 Open Grant Cycles per year. The number of grants awarded varies, but is dependent upon available funding for that cycle and the number of grant applicants. A list of grants by year can be found in the Fund for Chattanooga Grants section of the website.

2) What is the average range of grants made through the Open Grants Process?

Grants made through the Open Grants Process range from $2,000 to $20,000.

3) Who decides on what grant awards are made?

The Fund for Chattanooga is governed by the Community Foundation's Board of Directors. From the Board, a Program Committee is selected to govern the Foundation's grant making process. The Program Staff does not vote on grant awards, but serves as a communication link between the Program Committee and nonprofit organizations. The goal of the Program Staff is to provide as much information and detail about the nonprofit as possible to the Program Committee so the Committee can make a well-informed decision.

4) Are the grant application deadlines flexible?

No extensions will be given for application deadlines, which can be found well in advance on the website.

5) What kind of follow-up is required after a grant is awarded?

Interim and Final Reports are required on most grant awards. The dates of the reports will be determined by Program Staff and contained within the grant contract. Reporting guidelines can be found on the website, and failure to complete reports may affect future funding requests.

6) What happens if all of the money awarded through the grant is not used?

If all of the grant money is not spent it is generally refunded to the Community Foundation. However, if the organization can use the money to address a need related to the grant, they can request the funds be spent to address that need. This request is reviewed by the Program Staff and, if necessary, the Program Committee.

7) Can organizations with outstanding grants from the Community Foundation apply for additional grants?

Each calendar year an organization can submit one application per funding area. However, all of an organization's outstanding grants will be taken into consideration when making future funding decisions.

8) If an organization submits an application in the 3rd cycle at the end of one year, can they submit another application in the 1st cycle of the next year?

An organization can submit one application per funding area per year.  Applications are considered on a calendar year, and each organization receives a clean slate at the beginning of every new year.

9) Is grant funding available to religious organizations?

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 
10) Is grant funding available to private schools?

The Foundation will only consider applications from private schools that serve a unique population.

11) Can local chapters of state, regional, or national organizations apply?

Local chapters can apply for grant funding to be used in Hamilton County, but funding will not be provided for projects outside of Hamilton County.

12) Does the Community Foundation fund general operating support?

The Foundation only provides funding for both new and expansion programs and the support required to sustain those programs for a period of time. Funding is also provided for existing programs which are not ready for expansion. However, low priority is given to these requests.

13) Can an organization resubmit an application if it is not funded?

An organization can resubmit an application that was declined during the next year. When resubmitting an application it is important to communicate with the Program Staff and determine why the application was not originally funded. Resubmitted applications are most likely to get funded if all of the Program Committee's concerns and issues are addressed in the new application.