Community Foundation of Jackson County - JCCF, Inc. Community Grants Program Guidelines
For all questions about grants, contact:
Misty D. Hamon, Executive Director
Application Deadlines: March 15 & September 15
Applications must be postmarked by the deadline date.
The Community Foundation of Jackson County – JCCF, Inc. is a county wide community foundation serving Jackson County, WV. The Foundation’s Jackson County Community Grant Program is a competitive application process.
Eligibility for Grant Funding
To be eligible for a Foundation grant, an applicant must be a private, non-profit organization tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or a public institution, such as a public school or government agency. Requests from individuals are not accepted. The applicant must be located in Jackson County, WV or the program to be funded must serve residents of Jackson County. Grant requests will be considered based on the applicant’s service area and on grant funds available. Grants typically range from $1,000 – $10,000 (see exceptions discussed below).
Funding Priorities for Community Action Grants
Community Action Grants (CAG) are made in the fields of: Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Human Services, Recreation, Youth and Family Services, Animal Welfare and Community and Economic Development. The Foundation focuses on: Capital and Equipment Projects, Program Development, Capacity Building, and Operating Support. Eligibility criteria differ based on the type of support requested, so please review the following descriptions carefully.
Funding Priorities for Capital & Equipment Projects, Program Development, & Capacity Building Grants
Capital and Equipment Grants – support the renovation or construction of facilities, purchase of major equipment, major repairs to facilities;
Program Development Grants – support the development of new services or programs designed to respond to unmet community needs and the expansion of existing programs to serve new audiences;
Capacity Building Grants – support projects that provide an organization with technical assistance and/or training to be able to more effectively meet their mission and/or provide services.
Priority is given to projects that:
- have significant impact on the people and communities served by the applicant organization;
- reach new audiences, expand existing programs or services, or respond to emerging needs;
- strengthen the organization’s capacity to deliver its services and meet community needs;
- are well-planned and can reasonably be achieved;
- have a matching grant opportunity or seek a matching grant to leverage more funding;
- have limited access to other sources of support;
- serve the Jackson County community.
Organizations submitting requests through the Community Action Grant Program for projects serving residents of the Ripley area of Jackson County also will be considered for support from the Bob and Helen Lester Community Fund. To be eligible for support from the Lester Fund, the applicant must be located in or the program to be funded must serve resident of the Ripley area, which for purposes of grant eligibility is defined as the City of Ripley and the area within a five mile driving distance for postings of the City of Ripley limits. If the applicant’s program serves all Jackson County and/or multiple counties in the region, the applicant must identify (in the appropriate space provided in the grant application) what percentage of the program will serve the City of Ripley as defined above. No separate application form is required for consideration for support from the Lester Fund; applicants use the Foundation’s Community Grant Program application.
Generally, Community Grants will not be made for: annual campaigns; endowments; sectarian religious purposes; political purposes or lobbying activities; retiring existing obligations, debts or liabilities; student travel or student participation in meetings, seminars or study exchange programs. Labor and wages are also not eligible for Foundation grant funds.
Public school projects must be a Board of Education approved project and the application/financials must be signed off on by the school Principal.
Playground equipment grants are limited to $1,000 unless grant applicant seeks prior board approval.
Funding Priorities for Operating Support Grants - only for organizations with 501(c)(3) status.
Funding for operating support is considered. Priority is given to projects designed to: Increase financial stability; and Help a strong organization increase its capacity.
For all operating support requests, the applicant must:
- Be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (operating support is not available to governmental entities, schools (public or private), or entities that do not have 501(c)(3) status).
- Provide essential community services or offer programs that meet basic human needs;
- Have been in continuous operation for at least five years and have a proven track record;
- Have an overall sound financial history (at least prior to the present need);
- Be able to demonstrate strong management;
Applicants seeking operating support to increase financial stability, must:
- Document increased demand for services, unexpected reduction in sources of ongoing operating support, or a specific current financial challenge for which a plan is in place to mitigate;
- Show evidence that it has gone through an internal process of cost-reduction and/or realistic revenue-enhancement analysis focused on core service preservation prior to the request.
- Demonstrate that it has completed an organizational assessment and developed a realistic plan for financial stabilization.
- Show how the operating support grant will increase financial stability and/or help the organization make significant progress toward addressing its financial challenge.
Applicants seeking operating support to increase organizational capacity, must:
- Present a realistic plan for organizational growth, outlining how operating support is critical to the growth plan (to expand services, offer new programs, reach new audiences, etc.).
- Include a plan for the organization to have adequate funding at the completion of the grant.
Organizations may request renewal of an operating support grant for up to three years (total) of support. However, grants will be considered one year at a time and renewal is not automatic. The organization must submit a renewal application annually, outlining clear progress made toward goals. During the period in which an organization receives operating support, the organization is not eligible to request grants from the Foundation for other purposes. After an organization receives operating support for a three-year period, it may not request additional operating support for at least one year. The Foundation expects to award only a limited number of operating support grants each grant cycle.
The Foundation uses a competitive application process. The application form is available by calling 304-372-4500 or emailing our office at firstname.lastname@example.org . Applications must be postmarked by the deadline date or delivered to the Foundation’s drop box located in the City National Bank building lobby at 108 North Church Street, Ripley, WV 25271. With your application, you must submit several attachments. Required attachments are:
- List of officers and board members including their titles and contact information;
- Financial report for most recently completed fiscal year, showing income and expenses (preferably audited);
- For 501(c)(3) organizations, copy of most recent 990 tax return or 990-N postcard and a copy of your IRS 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt designation letter (not required for government agencies and public schools);
- Current annual organization operating budget, showing income and expenses.
- Actual estimates/invoices
- Budget Attachment Page (excel worksheet).
Important Information for Grant Seekers
- Organizations may submit only one application per grant cycle. An exception may be for organizations that have more than one physical site, with each site having its own board or governance structure. Such organizations must contact the Foundation before submitting more than one application to discuss eligibility. Another exception may be if the Foundation has application suggestions for reapplication in the next cycle.
- The total amount of funds requested generally may not exceed $10,000. Requests for more than $10,000 may be considered for projects that are highly collaborative or for projects that will have a significant impact on the community at large. As noted above, applicants must contact the Foundation prior to submitting a request in excess of $10,000.
- Organizations receiving a Community Grant in any grant cycle from the Foundation are not eligible for funding in the immediate next cycle unless approved by the foundation board for reapplication.
- When the Foundation declines to support an application, the applicant may call the Foundation to discuss their proposal and to inquire about reapplying. After an application is declined once, the organization may re-submit the application one more time; if an application has been declined twice, then the organization may not submit another request for funding of the same project. The applicant must sit out for 12 months before reapplication if denied 3 times.
Grant applications must be postmarked by March 15 or September 15. Late applications are not accepted. Grants are not considered at other times except for special Foundation projects: for example – like the Charity Challenge Matching Program. Applications must be mailed to the Foundation by the deadline date to: JCCF, Inc.,108 North Church Street, Ripley, WV 25271 or dropped in the drop box located in the lobby of the City National Bank building at the same street location.
Review & Notification Process and Timing
Once received, your application is reviewed by Foundation staff, then the Grant Committees, and then presented to the Foundation board. The Foundation may contact you to clarify your proposal or request a personal meeting to discuss your application. We appreciate your prompt response to any inquiries. Final decisions on all grants are made by the Board of Directors. For the Spring deadline, applicants are notified about the status of their proposal in May. For the Fall deadline, applicants are notified by late October.