The Community Foundation of Merced County considers several types of competitive grant requests. They share a common focus on the quality of life in Merced County.
Pilot or Demonstration Project
Intended to promote creativity, such a project is based on the concept of setting up, testing and evaluating a model approach to dealing with challenges found in the community. A proposal must include a carefully developed evaluation plan, as well as the means by which to disseminate the results and lessons learned.
New or Expanded Program
Proposed programs should be based on challenges or needs within Merced County. Proposals should describe solutions and such means to accomplish them. Foundation representatives will look for evidence of participation by those for whom the proposed program is intended to benefit.
Proposals of this type must concentrate on strengthening an applicant organization’s ability to achieve its mission or purposes. This might involve upgrading board or staff skills, including those used to develop strategic planning, human and financial resource development, and increasing organizational movement toward financial independence. Such a proposal should include evidence of the applicant’s work to build capacity prior to approaching the Foundation for funding.
To be eligible for funding consideration, an applicant must be:
The Foundation provides funding in these primary interest areas:
- A non-profit organization with tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, and not classified as a private foundation. Such an organization must be primarily serving Merced County residents, or;
- A public sector entity or unit of government primarily serving Merced County residents, and;
- Non discriminatory in the hiring of staff or provision of services on the basis of race, national origin, gender, marital status, age, religious beliefs, or disability.
If an informal association, community group or collaborative seeks funding, it must do so through an eligible lead organization with which it has a working relationship and/or memo of understanding; that is, a “fiscal sponsor.”
Unless so designated by a donor in the instrument of gift to the Foundation, and approved by the Board, the Foundation will generally not consider grants for the following:
- Annual fund-raising campaigns
- Existing financial obligations or replenishing resources to pay such debt
- Private foundations
- Political purposes
- Sectarian purposes