Story County Community Foundation
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Grant Application Guidelines and Overview

Through its grantmaking, the Story County Community Foundation (SCCF) is committed to allocating resources to significantly improve or affect the lives of people living in Story County communities.  Applicants should speak to the Community Betterment Objectives outlined below. 

Community Betterment Objectives:

Grant proposals that address one or more of the following objectives are accepted:

  • Address community needs in the areas of art/culture/humanities, education, health, human services, environment or community/public/society benefit.

  • Strengthen the nonprofit sector by supporting nonprofit organizations, promoting philanthropy, and encouraging civic involvement.

  • Encourage residents of Story County communities to be inclusive, welcoming, and understanding of diverse cultures.

  • Support strong, stable families and provide solid beginnings for children and youth.

  • Serve as a catalyst in collaborative efforts for the betterment of communities in Story County.

  • Serve as seed money for a new program or project.

  • Address other identified community needs with identified solutions.


Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, nonprofit, public charities under section 501(c)(3) or as a "unit of government" under Section 170(c)(1)--agencies that conduct activities to benefit the public at large. These include public schools, state universities, public libraries and volunteer fire departments. If your agency does not have the IRS status, it may be possible for another agency to serve as a fiscal sponsor. 

Nonprofit organizations that have a current extension on a previously funded grant or that haven't submitted a final report for a previously funded grant are not eligible to submit an application for any of our grants.

The Foundation generally will not consider funding requests for:

  • Annual or capital fund-raising campaigns (not to be confused with capital building projects, which are accepted).  A capital fundraising campaign is a time-limited effort by a nonprofit organization to raise significant dollars for a specific project.  This includes funds for telephone solicitation, fundraising events, or professional fundraiser fees.

  • Endowments - a fund made up of gifts and bequests that are subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for an organization.

  • Staff salaries, office rental, utilities, and office supplies

  • Individuals - only non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status, governmental agencies with charitable projects or the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsors for an agency are eligible.

  • Grants or scholarships to individuals, including subsidies to agencies to cover individual activities or participation fees.

  • Programs covering a budget deficit or easing budget deficiencies.

  • Programs requiring participation in a religious activity or promotion of religious ideology.

  • Projects not serving residents of Story County; Projects may be multi-county but the SCCF funded portion must benefit Story County residents.

  • Festivals and one-time special events or annual events.

  • Political causes and activities, candidates or legislative lobbying efforts.

  • Private foundations.

Final reports:

Final grant reports be submitted to the Story County Community Foundation when the project is completed or by August 31st following the annual awards reception. Final reports should detail how this project helped the community or population served.   If possible, detail more than numbers of participants, but also the outcomes for the community or population.   Typically, outcomes represent an achievement or a change in behavior, skills, knowledge, attitude, and status or life condition of participants.  Include impact stories, pictures and testimonials.  SCCF may use this information in its promotional materials and/or on our website.  

Capital based projects vs. Capital campaign projects:

Capital expenditure is defined as a long-term expense rather than an annual expense.  It may be real estate, bricks and mortar (including new construction, facilities, remodeling, painting, improvements, equipment and acquiring an existing structure) and permanent fixtures added either to a structure or to real estate.  Capital projects are encouraged. Mark the appropriate box on the application. This is not the same as a capital fundraising campaign, a time-limited effort to raise significant dollars for a specific project, which generally would not be considered for funding. 

Fiscal Sponsor:  

An organization that receives the money on behalf of the grant applicant and is responsible for disbursing the money for the project and maintaining appropriate documentation. This entity must be a 501(c)(3) or a 170(c)(1) unit of government in order to serve in this capacity.  In searching for a fiscal sponsor, seek out an organization that benefits in some way from being associated with your project or has interest in your project or organization.  A fiscal sponsorship agreement must accompany the grant application if a fiscal sponsor is being used.


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