Grants & Scholarships

Community Grants Fund

*** Beginning with the October 2021 deadline, Community Grants Fund opportunities will expand to include organizations and programs serving communities throughout northern Cincinnati. The July deadline will follow existing eligibility guidelines.***

group of people with check

The Community Grants Fund provides support to 501c3 nonprofit organizations located in or providing services to West Chester or Liberty Township. Please read the grant request instructions thoroughly and contact the Foundation with any questions at (513) 874-5450.

2021 Grant Deadlines
Spring Grant Cycle - March 5, 2021
Summer Grant Cycle - July 30, 2021  August 11, 2021
Fall Grant Cycle - October 1, 2021

 

How to Apply
Interested organizations should contact karen.gibbs@wclfoundation.org for instructions on how to apply. All grant requests will be submitted online through the SmarterSelect application portal; please plan to upload electronic copies of all supporting documentation.

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

 

Funding Priorities
The Community Foundation prioritizes grant requests that align with the three areas of focus identified by our 2017 Community Needs Assessment – education, transportation, and workforce development. There are three proposal deadlines throughout the year, listed below.  Applicants may submit for any of the 3 deadlines based on funding needs. For repeat applicants, this is a change from past years when each cycle had a specific focus on one of the three areas of need.

EDUCATION

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
  •          Sponsorship for events
  •          Partisan political advocacy or for lobbying purposes
  •          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)

 

Evaluation Process
Grant requests are reviewed by a committee of Foundation board members, staff, and community volunteers, and voted on by the Community Foundation Board of Directors.
The evaluation process may include a site visit and/or phone interview.