Community Grants: Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for funding?
Organizations that are recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, School, Government Agency, Church or Religious Organization, or that have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and serve Benton County may submit funding requests. Funding is not provided for organizations that discriminate by race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, or national origin, political campaigns or candidates, lobby activities, religious organizations for inherently religious purposes, or private individuals.
What grants are available to apply for?
You may apply for a Competitive Grant during our grant cycle (January 1 – April 8).
BCF Competitive Grants focus on local funding opportunities that are tailored to support the long term success of children, youth and families throughout Benton County. All competitive grant requests must be for a project which supports the growth, development, and success of children, youth and or families in Benton County. Applicants must select one of the following priorities on the grant application:
- Basic Needs - e.g., school supplies, emergency food
- Arts and Culture - e.g., art programs, musical opportunities for youth
- Capacity Building and Capital Projects - e.g., supplies for programs, case management, infrastructure
- Science, Technology and the Environment - e.g., nature or technology-focused summer camps or after school programs
- Investing in Youth - e.g., enrichment activities, parent education, mentorship, early literacy, scholarships
- Elizabeth Starker Cameron Memorial Fund - One $5,400 grant for a project that promotes voting and citizenship responsibilities.
What if I don’t know which priority area to select?
You can see examples of past projects funded in each priority area here. When determining what priority area to select consider what the primary outcome of the project. Refer to your mission what does it say about your priorities.
Is there a cap on Competitive Grant requests?
Yes, the cap for 2019 is $10,000. There are two grant funding levels: grant requests of $5,000 or less and grant requests $5,001-$10,000. However, we only have $79,400 available in our awards pool. The average grant award in 2018 was $3,447 and the award range is usually $3,000 to $7,000.
How do we submit a BCF Grant Application?
BCF applications are available here. Applications may be downloaded and must be typed and returned to our offices no later than 5:00pm on April 8, 2019. All BCF applications may be submitted either by email, to the Grants Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org), mailed, or hand-delivered to the BCF office: 660 NW Harrison Blvd. Corvallis, OR 97330.
May we submit more than one application to the BCF Grant Cycle?
Yes, as long as projects are distinctly different.
Do you share our grant application with BCF donors?
Yes, we may share the applications with our Donor Advised Funds. Please be sure to briefly describe the nature and purpose of your grant request in 100 words or less. Grant applications may be shared with interested donors throughout the year.
How will we know that you’ve received our grant application?
The Grants Manager will contact you once we have received your application.
How long does the grant process take?
Each grant request is carefully reviewed and evaluated. The process can take up to 7 weeks.
Who decides if our grant request will be funded or not?
Your application is first reviewed by the Grants Manager to ensure all the necessary information is included. Grants are reviewed by members of our community and forwarded by the BCF Grants Committee to the BCF Board for final approval.
What are the evaluation criteria?
The three main categories are Impact on Community, Project Feasibility, and Sustainability/Organizational Capacity. Please see the BCF Competitive Grant Cycle Review Process on the website.
Do you fund staffing?
We will consider requests for operational support (Capacity Building) and encourage you to have a clear plan outlined for sustainability of your organization’s operations – especially when it comes to continuing salaries after BCF funding ends.
How will we know the outcome of our grant application?
After final approval by the BCF Board you will be notified of your grant status by the Grants Manager. If awarded a grant you will be sent a grant acceptance agreement which will give you all the necessary information on your grant award.
May we contact BCF before submitting our application?
The Grants Manager is happy to have an informal conversation with you about your project or application.
What type of reporting is required if we receive a grant?
Within thirty (30) days of the grant termination date, or earlier provided the funds have been expended, you will be required to submit a written report to BCF describing the impact of your project. Impact Report forms will be available on the BCF website or by contacting the Grants Manager.