This page is intended to be a helpful guide to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to the Community Foundation’s competitive grant application process.
- Who can apply for funding?
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation grants to 501 (c) (3) organizations located in or serving Southern Chautauqua County. Some grant funding is also made to municipalities, school districts (for public purposes) and religious organizations.
2. How do I apply for a grant?
To access the online application please login through the grant system portal here. If you are a new organization or new staff member who needs a login for your organization, please contact our office at #661-3390 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
3. When are the deadlines to submit a request?
The Community Foundation hosts three distinct grant processes throughout the year:
- General (bi-monthly): last Wednesday of (even) month by noon
- Community Service: March 1 and Sept 1
- Strategic Project: LOI due Dec 1 and June 1
*Religious organizations may apply through the General grant process. **Falconer Region and McLaughlin (Randolph) organizations may apply annually by March 1.
4. What can I apply for?
We have provided recommended guidelines within each grant process. All requests must be charitable in nature as defined by the I.R.S. and central to the mission of the organization. Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) are: “charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.”
“Generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erection or maintenance of public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.”( irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-purposes)
5. What can I not apply for?
Requests will not be considered for consumable items (food, t-shirts, backpacks, giveaway items or trophies), one time trips or events, purchases made or programs that have already occurred, political purposes, lobbying activities, endowments or annual fund campaigns.
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation reserves the right, at any time and in its sole discretion, to decline a grant request that could be viewed as having a specific political, partisan or religious agenda.
6. How much should I apply for?
There are specific ranges listed for each grant processes; within those ranges we award a wide range of dollar amounts. We strongly encourage organization to request the amount they need to successfully complete their proposed project/program.
7. How often can I apply?
The General grant process has a limit of two times a year. However, we do not set a limit on the number of times an organization can apply per year across all grant processes. Please use your discretion and submit requests only for high priority requests.
Funding available from the Community Foundation is meant to be flexible in nature to help meet emerging community needs. Recurring requests from an organization for the same project/program over more than two years need to be able to demonstrate a clear plan for future sustainability.
8. Who will review my request?
General: This process has a standing grant review committee. Each request will receive a follow up from one community volunteer. The full committee then reviews all submitted requests.
Community Service: Applicants will be contacted by the Foundation staff to schedule a time to present their request to a panel of community volunteers. The volunteers will consider multiple requests from several applicants at one time.
Strategic Project: LOI will be reviewed by the Foundation’s board of directors. Applicants will be contacted by staff and notified if they are invited to submit a full application. Once the full application has been received, staff will schedule each applicant to present to a panel of board members.
10. When will I be notified on a funding decision?
Typically, you will be notified on a funding decision in the following month.
- General (bi-monthly): proceeding month
- Community Service: mid-May/ mid-Nov
- Strategic Project: mid-February/ mid-August
10. Can you provide a list of other funding opportunities?
The Chautauqua Grants website is intended to be a resource for organizations navigating the grant application process across local funders; you can find a full listing of local funders here.
Additionally, we have created a new resource page highlighting other regional funding opportunities here.
Staff are available if you have questions or need technical assistance throughout any point of the grant application process. #716-661-3390