Sudden and Urgent Needs (SUN) Grant


Up to $2,000

Application Deadline


The Sudden and Urgent Needs (SUN) Fund Grant Cycle has been paused for the remainder of the fiscal year.

The Triangle Community Foundation offers SUN grants of up to $2,000 to assist nonprofit organizations in the Triangle experiencing an unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive crisis that significantly interferes with their ability to provide critical services or presents an imminent threat to the organization’s continued operations.


To be eligible for a SUN grant, an organization must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The organization must be located in one of the four counties served by the Triangle Community Foundation: Chatham, Durham, Orange or Wake.
  • The organization must meet a critical community need in the Foundation’s funding region.
  • The organization must be a tax-exempt nonprofit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, a religious congregation, or governmental agency.
  • The organization must meet the terms of the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy.
  • The organization must be able to demonstrate financial stability.
  • The organization must not have received a SUN grant within the same fiscal year (July-June).
  • The organization must demonstrate that their need is unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive, and significantly interferes with their ability to provide critical services or presents an imminent threat to the organization’s continued operations.

What We Fund

For the SUN grants, we will consider any eligible organization that meets a critical community need in our funding region. Successful applications will allow an organization to:

  • Obtain essential equipment, technology, or resources whose need could not have been anticipated, for which there is no other source of funding, and without which the work of the organization would be severely hampered. (Ex: to obtain equipment necessary due to new regulations or other requirements.)
  • Conduct emergency repairs of building structure or mechanical systems (heating/cooling, water service, etc.) whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with the provision of services. (Ex: to remediate mold after a flood or cover cleaning and repair costs after a disaster that are not covered by insurance.)
  • Otherwise address an emergency need that could not have been anticipated and for which there is no other source of funding

What We Do Not Fund

We will not fund proposals for projects that should have been anticipated and budgeted for and that are not time-sensitive.  Generally, SUN grants will not be awarded for:

  • Structural or technology failures due to deferred building maintenance or technology upgrade
  • Budget deficits or shortfalls
  • Deficit funding or debt retirement
  • Expenses that took place before the grant application was submitted
  • General operating expenses, ongoing program costs, or payroll expenses
  • Endowment funds, capital campaigns, or annual giving campaigns
  • Festivals or one-time events such as fundraisers
  • Support for travel, field trip, competition, or award ceremony expenses for schools or organizations
  • Scholarships or individuals
  • Sectarian religious or partisan political purposes


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until funds allocated annually to the SUN Program have been fully expended.

Prior to submitting an application, organizations are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposals with Foundation staff.  Agencies must submit applications within two weeks of their initial conversation with Foundation staff.

The Foundation will make every effort to expedite the grant approval process and to make funds available as quickly as possible. The Foundation will approve or deny all requests within ten business days of application submission, and funds will be available within 20 business days of approval.

Application and Reporting Procedures

  • Organizations should apply though our online grant portal, Foundant. Agencies must submit LOIs.  After TCF has received the LOI, if approved, organizations will login to the online grant portal and complete a brief application. During the application process organizations will be asked to provide the updated organizational budget as well as a simple project budget and/or quotes or bids that demonstrate the cost of the project.
  • Although site visits are not required to receive funding, in some instances the Foundation may request a site visit prior to approving a proposal.
  • Proposals will be either approved or denied within ten business days of application submission.
  • Funds will be available within 20 business days of application approval.
  • In lieu of a final report, grant recipients are required to participate in a brief phone interview with Foundation staff in which they will be asked to share how the funds were used, the impact of the funds on their ability to carry out critical services and/or continue operations, and their experience with the grant process.
  • Before submitting a letter of intent (LOI), organizations have the option to initiate discussions about their proposals with Foundation staff. To open this dialogue, organizations can reach out to the Shannon St. Johns Fellow, Joshua McLean, via email at or by phone at 919-328-4007.
Please reach out to us if you have questions PRIOR to the deadline!