Grants & Scholarships

Community Grants Fund

The Community Foundation of West Chester/Liberty (CFWCL) was established in 1999 with a mission to encourage, support, and facilitate philanthropy and improve the quality of life in West Chester and Liberty Township. The Community Grants Fund provides grant support to 501c3 nonprofit organizations located or providing services to residents in West Chester or Liberty Township. Please read the grant request instructions thoroughly and contact the Foundation with any questions at (513) 874-5450.

Funding Priorities

The CFWCL prioritizes grant requests that align with the three areas of focus identified by our 2017 Community Needs Assessment – education, transportation, and workforce development. The Community Grants Fund operates in three cycles throughout the year. Each cycle will focus on a particular area.The CFWCL is seeking to fully-fund projects and programs up to $30,000.

Education (spring grant cycle)

  • Enhance educational opportunities for K-12 students in West Chester/Liberty
  • Focus on improving K-3 reading proficiency
  • Foster community engagement and school-community partnerships with Lakota Local Schools
  • Address the widening achievement gap among students based on factors like socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity

Transportation (summer grant cycle)

  • Increase community accessibility for residents who do not drive, or do not have access to a car.
  • Provide micro-solutions to transportation barriers faced by key groups of citizens – the elderly, low-income, high school students.
  • Focus on the development of biking and walking trails that connect different sections of the community.

Workforce Development (fall grant cycle)

  • Develop workforce training programs based on local business needs, focusing on areas such as technical and manufacturing skills, to fill the growing number of available jobs in the area
  • Provide solutions to barriers, particularly among the hourly wage earners, that prevent individuals from obtaining and holding a job including lack of transportation, childcare, and other personal obstacles.

Eligibility & Restrictions

Eligible parties must be a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and must be located in or provide services in West Chester or Liberty Township.  100% of services for the project or program for which you are applying must take place in West Chester or Liberty Township to be eligible for funding through the Community Grants Fund.

Reporting requirements from previous grant awards received from the CFWCL must by fulfilled prior to submitting another grant request.

Organizations may only receive support through the Community Grants Fund once in a calendar year. If your initial application does not receive funding, you may resubmit the request in a subsequent grant cycle.

Other Limitations:

  •          Ongoing operations, overhead, operational deficits or debt reduction
  •          Endowments or scholarships
  •          Annual appeals, membership drives, or fundraising campaigns
  •          Sponsorships for events
  •          Partisan political advocacy or for lobbying purposes
  •          Programs or projects that result in duplication of services
  •          Organizations or projects that use grant funds to make grants to other organizations
  •          Raffles, bingo or gambling-related activities
  •          Programs that result in the duplication of services (collaborative efforts are strongly encouraged)

 Grant Request Submission Deadlines

grant cycle

funding focus

pre-application phone call

pre-application summary

grant submission deadline

 

Spring

Education

Jan. 14 - Jan. 18, 2019

February 8, 2019

March 22, 2019

 

Summer

Transportation

April 8 - April 12, 2019

May 3, 2019

June 21, 2019

 

Fall

Workforce Development

July 15 - July 19, 2019

August 9, 2019

September 20, 2019

 

 How to Apply

Applicants must participate in a pre-application phone interview during the dates specified above. Please contact karen.gibbs@wclfoundation.org to schedule your call. You will be notified after the call if you should proceed in the application process.

A one-page program description, after the phone call, must be submitted.

If your organization is invited to participate in the full grant application, requests will be submitted through the SmarterSelect application portal found on the CFWCL website – www.wclfoundation.org

Please plan to upload electronic copies on all supporting documentation through the application portal.

We advise that you contact the CFWCL upon submission to verify that your application was received at (513)874-5450.

Paper or email grant requests will not be accepted.

Evaluation Process

Grant requests are reviewed by a committee of members of the CFWCL Board of Directors, CFWCL staff, and community volunteers, and voted on by the CFWCL Board of Directors. The evaluation process will include a site visit and/or phone interview. You will be notified in writing whether you have received a grant award by the notification date listed for the grant cycle in which you applied.