Grant Application Guidelines

 The Community Foundation of West Alabama



Grant Application Guidelines



The Community Foundation of West Alabama was organized in 1999.  The purpose of the Foundation is to receive and expend funds for charitable uses for the benefit of the communities around the West Alabama area.  The Foundation is organized as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Alabama and is governed by a Board of Directors.


The Foundation makes every effort to assess the needs of the community and to prioritize those needs.  Once the Community Foundation of West Alabama receives an application, it will be reviewed initially to see that all required materials are included with the application.  Organizations will be notified of any missing elements.  Any application without an attached copy of a tax determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service showing the name of the organization, tax identification number, and the type of tax-exemption, will not be considered for funding.


The Grant Review Committee will make a more detailed review of the application.  That review is designed to give agencies the time to share interesting stories about their project, show pictures that could not be included in the application, and to verbally explain to us why they think their organization should be funded by the Community Foundation of West Alabama.  A member of the committee will set up a site visit with the agency to meet with key staff and observe the agency’s activities.  The Grant Review Committee will then make recommendations to the Board of Directors.  The Board makes the final decision on all grants to be made from the foundation.




  • Grants may be made for the following charitable purposes:


  • Arts and Humanities
  • Children and Youth
  • Education
  • Elder Care
  • Environment
  • Health & Medicine
  • Recreation
  • Social Welfare


  • No grants are made to or for:


  • Individuals
  • Religious Organizations for religious purposes
  • Dinners, Balls or other Ticketed Events
  • Political Purposes
  • Lobbying Activities
  • Replacement of Government Grants or Funding
  • Endowments or Other Discretionary Pools


Ordinarily, we do not make grants for:

  • Operating expenses unless they are for the initial stages of a pilot project
  • Program expenses that occur on a regular basis (e.g. annual workshop series, regularly needed medical           equipment or patient care)
  • Regularly supported activities of fundraising organizations.




The Community Foundation of West Alabama has limited funds with which to make grants since the requests for qualified grants greatly exceed the grant funds available.  Applicants will not be funded on an ongoing annual basis unless the terms of the grant specifically provide for multi-year funding.  In order to make the greatest impact with the funds available, we prefer requests that address a critical community need.


  • Get at the root causes of a problem.
  • Do not duplicate existing services unless they serve a population not already being served.
  • Are pilot projects which, if successful, can be expanded to serve a wider population or be duplicated by other organizations.
  • Involve collaboration and cooperation with other organizations and agencies.
  • Include an effective mechanism for measuring the impact of The Community Foundation’s investment.


The requesting organization should:

  • Demonstrate the expertise and experience necessary to accomplish the project
  • Operate under sound financial principles
  • Have a future funding plan
  • Have a solid base of community and financial support to insure the future of the  organization and program


We prefer requests for partial funding of projects rather than full support.  Because we cannot provide ongoing support, plans for future funding are critical.  We believe that sound and realistic financial planning must underlie any request.



  • Organizations that have received grants are advised to wait a year before submitting another request.
  • Ordinarily, an organization receiving multi-year support may not apply for another grant until the final payment on the multi-year grant is made.
  • Applicants who are not successful in receiving funds should wait at least one year to reapply, and should not reapply at that time unless the terms of the request have changed from the original request.







  • A Cover Letter summarizing:
  • The purposes and anticipated benefits of the grant.
  • An abstract or summary of your project in one paragraph.
  • The dollar amount requested.
  • The timing of the grant payments.


  • Grant Application
  • The grant application form found on the following pages. Please answer each question to   the best of your ability.


  • Financial Information
  • A line item income and expense budget for the project – not the entire organization – including in-kind and cash support
  • A description of the funding contributed by your organization, and a detail of other funding sources
  • A list of other foundations, corporations or individuals that have been asked to fund this project with the amounts that were requested from each and a notation as to whether funds have been committed, declined or are pending.
  • Your organization’s current annual operating budget with explanation of the sources of funding for that budget.


  • Additional Information
  • One copy of your organization’s IRS Tax Determination letter
  • Annual Report for the latest year.




The Distribution Committee of the Board of Directors meets semi-annually in May and November to review grant applications and to make awards of grants.  All grant requests must be submitted by April 1 and October 1 of each year.  Any grant received after the application deadline may be held until the next meeting date.




Inquiries about the grant application process and completed grant applications may be mailed to:


Glenn Taylor, Executive Director

Community Foundation of West Alabama

PO. Box 3033

Tuscaloosa, AL  35403

(205) 366-0698


Grant applications may be physically delivered to:


Glenn Taylor, Executive Director

Community Foundation of West Alabama

700 Energy Center Blvd., #406

Northport, AL  35476