What is a grant?
For the purpose of Hancock County Community Foundation grants, a grant is a monetary award to a nonprofit organization for a specific project or purpose. Organizations interested in receiving a grant from Hancock County Community Foundation should read below to learn about eligibility and requirements for HCCF’s grants. Grants are generated from endowment funds administered by HCCF. To learn more about our many types of funds including Nonprofit Operating Funds, please click here.
How To Apply
The Community Foundation establishes an annual grantmaking program that is available on a competitive basis to qualified nonprofit organizations serving Hancock County. Each grant opportunity has its own criteria used to evaluate applications.
We welcome and encourage contact from organizations that are considering applying for a grant and are happy to clarify and respond to questions concerning policies, guidelines, or application procedures.
We require that organizations use the Community Foundation’s application forms. Current HCCF grant opportunities can be found here.
HCCF Grantee Eligibility and Award Criteria
Due diligence is the process of review and assessment of an organization to determine grant eligibility. Grants will not be awarded from any fund type until HCCF staff completes due diligence to assure the below grantee eligibility and award criteria are followed. Each grant opportunity may have additional eligibility requirements and award criteria.
- A public, tax-exempt origination defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.* Government agencies, municipalities, and churches are eligible under this requirement.
- 501(c)(3) status is in good standing with the IRS.**
- Must serve Hancock County
- Must be in good standing with HCCF, meaning evaluation reports on all previous grants have been filed.
*Exception – If you do not have a 501(c)(3) status, you may enter into an agreement with a qualified non-profit that will act as your fiscal sponsor.
**Nonprofit status confirmed through GuideStar Charity Check and completed by HCCF Staff.
Grant Award Criteria:
- The grant award supports a charitable purpose.
- The grant award does not benefit the fund advisor(s) or members of the HCCF Grant Committee and Board of Directors.
- The grant award does not fulfill a pledge.
- To use funds granted solely for the stated purpose.
- To repay any portion of the amount granted which is not used for the purpose of the grant or expended prior to the termination of the grant period.
- To return any unexpended funds if the grantee loses its exemption from federal income taxation as provided under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- To maintain program and financial records adequate to verify expenditures and activity related to the grant.
- Submit a completed grant evaluation as outlined and described in the grant agreement.
- To provide acknowledgement of Hancock County Community Foundation’s role in any publicity regarding the grant and to provide pictures of the project to HCCF.
Ineligible Organizations or Activities:
Applications for religious indoctrination or other religious activities, non-HCCF administered endowment building, deficit financing, fundraising, lobbying, electioneering, and activities of political nature will not be considered, nor will proposals for ads, sponsorships, and any proposals which discriminate as to race, gender, marital status, sexual preference, age, disability, creed or ethnicity.
Additionally, HCCF grants will not reimburse expenses committed for projects, programs, capital improvement, and/or equipment.
In selected cases, projects undertaken by organizations that normally fall outside the above guidelines may be able to receive funding. Examples include: religious organizations whose proposal impacts the broader community; or units of government whose proposal extends beyond the traditional governmental functions that impact the broader community. No grants will be made solely to individuals, but can be made for the benefit of certain individuals for such purposes as scholarships and special programs through educational institutions and other sponsoring recipient organizations.
What does HCCF look for in a Grantee?
The Hancock County Community Foundation looks for grantees that align with our vision for Hancock County in which each person has the opportunity to pursue dreams, enjoy daily life, and invest in meaningful causes.
HCCF’s grant initiatives and opportunities change each year. We invite you to contact our office to learn about specific requirements and opportunities.
Grant Writing Tips
We strongly advise that you seek the assistance of the Hancock County Community Foundation staff if you have any questions or difficulties with the grant application process. We are here to help you with your grant application. Each grant opportunity may have additional grant writing tips for you to consider.
- Include ALL required documentation with the Grant Proposal. Follow the instructions completely.
- Keep a copy of your application for future reference.
- Provide a reasonable, detailed budget of the project seeking funding. Grant committee members will recognize under-budgeted or padded requests.
- Do your homework on costs. Provide price lists or written estimates as attachments. Include competing estimates or bids if the work/project is to be contracted.
- Statistics are helpful to justify your proposals, but statistics specific to Hancock County will provide better justification for funding. How many Hancock County residents will be served by your program? What is the source and relevance of your statistics?
- Avoid jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. Ask someone who is not familiar with the project to read and critique your application. Will they be able to understand and clearly explain what your project is, the costs, the results of what you hope to achieve?