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Community Grants Program - Express Grants and Unrestricted Grants

Grants to New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont Nonprofits,
Schools, and Agencies to Benefit Eligible Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

08/02/18 5:00 PM ET - for Express Grants; Unrestricted Grant applications are due 08/02/18 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies to enhance quality of life within the funding source’s service area. Applicants serving multiple states must contact program staff prior to applying. Eligible regions include Capital, Manchester, Lakes, Nashua, Monadnock, Piscataqua, Upper Valley, and North Country.

Through competitive grant programs, the Foundation funds programs and operations of qualified nonprofits working in the areas of health and well-being, civic engagement, education, economic development, environmental protection and arts and culture.

Community Grant Programs:

Express Grants:

This competitive grants program awards project support (for a set of activities conducted during a specified period of time and with clear deliverables that further the organization’s mission or build organization capacity) of $5,000 or less to eligible organizations.

The Foundation seeks proposals demonstrating the following:
-Clear community need for the project
-Timeliness: Why is this a strategic time to invest in the project?
-A clear and realistic plan describing what will be accomplished
-A description of the expected impact of your work

Unrestricted Grants:

This competitive grants program awards unrestricted grants to support an organization’s general operations (rather than a particular project or capacity-building effort). This program was formerly called “Operating Grants.”

The Foundation looks for proposals with the following traits:
-Programs: Does the organization operate quality programs that improve the community?
-Strategies: Has the organization developed specific and realistic short- and long-term strategies for addressing identified organizational needs?
-Impact: Did the organization demonstrate how an unrestricted grant could have a measurable impact on organizational and programmatic capacity and effectiveness?
-Capacity: Does the organization have the capacity to manage this grant?

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164809

Estimated Size of Grant:

Express Grants: Up to $5,000

Unrestricted Grants: If an organization does not have a board-approved strategic plan or an audit or financial review, they may apply for up to $30,000 over three years ($10,000/yr). Organizations that do have board-approved strategic plans and a completed audit or financial review are eligible to apply for up to $60,000 over three years ($20,000/yr).

Term of Contract:

Most grants have a one-year timeline that begins with the date on the award letter. Multiyear grants have a two- or three-year timeline.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) charitable are eligible to apply. Previous grantees must have filed progress, interim or final grant reports on their most recent grants in order to be eligible to apply for new grant support.

Through the Community Grants program, the Foundation does not make Unrestricted Grants to:
-Municipal, County or State Government
-Public and Private Schools
-Religious Organizations, unless all services being funded are non-discriminatory,
non-sectarian and benefit the larger community.
-Colleges and Universities

Express Grants: Applicants must be recognized as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or be a school, municipality or other subdivision of government. Organizations that do not have public charity status may apply for grants if another public charity acts as a fiscal sponsor.

Express Grants do not fund:
-Operating expenses
-Religious programs (although-faith based organizations are welcome to apply for non-religious programs)
-Deficit reduction or expenses already incurred
-Capital campaigns or land acquisition
-Programs that are typically the responsibility of federal, state or municipal funding.
-Academic research
-Programs that re-grant funds to others
-Project proposals that have been declined by the Foundation more than once
-Grants to individuals
-Multiple grant proposals from the same organization for the Community Grants program (Unrestricted or Express grants) in the same calendar year.
-Substance use disorder prevention, treatment or recovery supports services.

Pre-Application Information:

Organizations that serve multiple states should contact program staff before applying.

The deadline for Express Grants is Friday, March 30, 2018, 5:00 PM Eastern Time This application will open in GrantSource Monday, February 19.

The process of applying for an Unrestricted grant begins with the submission of a concept paper. Concept papers are accepted starting Monday, June 25, 2018. The deadline to apply is Thursday, August 2, 2018, 5:00 PM ET.

More information about Express Grants may be found here:

More information about Unrestricted Grants may be found here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Wendy Cahill, Senior Community Grants Associate
603-225-6641 ext 21249

New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
37 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-4005

Grant Coverage Areas:

Grants are made to organizations serving New Hampshire and selected communities in Maine and Vermont within the Foundation’s eight regions: Capital, Lakes, Manchester, Monadnock, Nashua, North Country, Piscataqua and Upper Valley.

More information about the Foundation's regions may be found here:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maine;   New Hampshire;   Vermont