Our Impact: Responsive Grantmaking



Application Deadline


NOTE: With staffing transitions and strategic planning underway, we have decided to pause the public calls for proposals for three grant programs we had previously planned to launch on February 6, 2024, of which Responsive Grantmaking was one. We do not feel we can currently run these grant processes in the thoughtful, participatory, equitable way we value and that you deserve. We are not clear on the revised timeline yet, but anticipate this is a months-long pause, not a weeks-long pause. We will keep you updated as our plans become clearer.


The Foundation knows that community needs aren’t limited to times when grant cycles have open applications, and that there are many more nonprofits doing important work than we can fund through our impact area grants.

The Responsive Grantmaking program is available to nonprofits that are not current impact area grantees but whose work is responsive to the goals of one or more of the Foundation’s impact areas. Applications will be accepted twice per year, in the fall and spring. Organizations may receive a Responsive Grantmaking grant once every two years; in the interim, we encourage organizations to apply to the impact area program(s) for which they are a match.

Organizations MUST demonstrate a clear connection between their program and overall goals for the related impact area(s).

Capacity Building – organizations working to make their internal processes, procedures, plans, and people more efficient with a focus on financial health, leadership development, and racial equity.

  • Projects proposed for this program should focus on program design/evaluation, strategic planning, fundraising or financial management, or diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Cultural Arts – increase culturally representative arts programming and/or increase the arts in public and community spaces

Education & Youth – organizations serving youth ages 5-24, with a focus on youth leadership

Sustainable Communities support economically and environmentally resilient communities

  • Economic Resilience – Increase the number of unemployed or underemployed individuals who can access family-sustaining jobs, and remove barriers to family-sustaining employment
  • Environmental Resilience – Increase awareness of and education around conservation and/or climate issues; increase climate resiliency, particularly of low-income communities


Grants will be $10,000, allocated for a specific project that falls within one or more of the Foundation’s impact areas (Capacity Building, Cultural Arts, Education & Youth, and Sustainable Communities).

Applications will be accepted twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring.


  • Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations based in and serving one or more Triangle Counties (Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham); Projects with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply.
  • Organizations that meet all of the following criteria:
    • Serve a population or need addressed by one of the Foundation’s impact areas.
    • Are not currently receiving a grant through one or more impact area programs.
    • Can clearly demonstrate a connection to the goals of at least one of the Foundation’s impact areas.
    • Organizations must adhere to the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy.
    • Organizations may receive funding once every 2 years.
  • Have budgets under $2 million.

Please note, only organizations that can demonstrate a history of doing work related to the goals of the Foundation’s impact areas will be considered for funding. At this time we are not prioritizing organizations that are new to programming related to our impact areas; however, we welcome proposals for new or innovative ways to serve an organization’s existing client base.

Evaluation Criteria

Foundation staff work with volunteer advisory committee members to review proposals and reach grantmaking decisions. For Responsive Grantmaking, we are committed to having at least half of our advisory committee be composed of current impact area grantee nonprofit staff. In reviewing grant proposals, the Foundation will use the following evaluation criteria:

  • Alignment with one or more impact area program goals
  • Potential impact of project
  • Project can be completed with secured/expected funding (including requested grant)
  • Engagement/involvement of priority populations
  • Organizational financial health

Please reach out to us if you have questions PRIOR to the deadline!