Community Grants

The Winston-Salem Foundation exists to make philanthropy and its benefits available to all.  Our ability to achieve this mission depends upon our commitment to generosity, inclusion, integrity, and excellence.  We value:

  • The strengths and assets of community residents
  • Asset-based approaches to address community challenges and develop opportunities
  • Lasting bonds of trust and cooperation that increase social capital
  • The contributions of individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives

General Information

The Foundation makes grants to charitable organizations serving the greater Forsyth County area of North Carolina through its Community Grantmaking process.  Final grant decisions rest with our volunteer governing board, The Winston-Salem Foundation Committee.

We fund in areas including, but not limited to arts and culture, education, health, human services, community development, domestic animals, and building social capital.  The Foundation makes grants for a wide range of charitable purposes, generally in three categories:

Capacity-building grants: The Foundation regularly makes grants to organizations to embark on projects that help to strengthen the organization's ability to fulfill its mission.  Capacity-building grants have included, but have not been limited to, requests for new positions, planning work, and work with consultants.

Programmatic grants: The Foundation regularly makes grants to support the development of new program services and to assist with the expansion of existing programs.  The Foundation does not typically support existing programmatic costs.

Capital campaign grants: The Foundation occasionally makes grants to capital campaigns in support of local organizations and facilities when they serve a wide cross-section of community members.  Any campaign with a local fundraising goal of $500,000 or more must be on the Campaign Coordinating Committee Calendar. The Foundation's average grant size to a capital campaign is $75,000.

The Foundation does not award Community Grants to support the following:

We make occasional grants for equipment and special events, although these are a low priority.

The Foundation's funding priorities may vary based on current initiatives, economic conditions, and grantmaking funds available.

How to Apply

The first step in the Community Grants application process is to submit to the Foundation a preliminary application.  

The Foundation will accept Preliminary Applications the first business day of odd-numbered months; the Foundation will contact you within 15 days as to whether your preliminary application qualifies you to submit a full grant application. If your preliminary application is accepted, you will receive a grant application to complete.  Following submission of a full grant application, Foundation staff will visit with you to learn more about the organization as well as your project in preparation for the grant decision by the Foundation Committee.  The entire process takes three months.

Community Grants schedule for 2015/2016

Preliminary Application Deadline Grant Application
Grant Decision
January 2, 2015 February 2, 2015 March 31, 2015
March 2, 2015 April 1, 2015 May 29, 2015
May 1, 2015 June 1, 2015 July 31, 2015
July 1, 2015 August 3, 2015 September 30, 2015
September 1, 2015 October 1, 2015 November 30, 2015
November 2, 2015 December 1, 2015 January 2016

Small Grants

If you are applying for a grant of $1,000 or less, you may submit this form the first business day of any month.  You will receive a decision within 30 days. 

If you have an idea that you would like to discuss with the Foundation, please contact the Foundation's Grantmaking staff.

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