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2020 Capacity Building Grants

Grants to Louisville Area, Kentucky Nonprofits
to Improve Organizational Capacity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation of Louisville (CFL) - Fund For Louisville

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $20,000 to Louisville Area, Kentucky nonprofit organizations to support capacity building projects in eligible locations. A letter of intent is required prior to submitting a full application. In the current funding cycle, the Foundation is particularly interested in supporting leadership development.

Organizations should demonstrate current and significant work in one or more of the 11 target zip codes, located primarily in the western and south central parts of the community: 40202, 40203, 40208, 40210, 40211, 40212, 40213, 40214, 40215, 40219, 40118.

Capacity building projects strengthen the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of nonprofits and can include but are not limited to:
- Leadership development
- Staff training
- Improvements to governance structure
- Creation of organization-wide approach to evaluation
- Improvements to financial- or data-management systems
- Creation of strategic, communication, or fundraising plans
- Technology upgrades and training
- Planning required for merger or collaboration
- Succession planning
- Creating or strengthening volunteer and/or alumni programs

Successful capacity building projects:
- Address issues that affect the organization as a whole, not a single program
- Come at a strategic moment for the organization, such as a leadership transition, a period of rapid growth or expansion, or significant change.
- Are not intended to be a short term fix.

Allowable Expenses:
Capacity building grants may pay for the costs associated with professional development and staff training (conference/training fees, travel, lodging, food, etc.), costs of consulting services, hardware, software, website upgrades, and reasonable costs for staff time directly in support of the capacity building project’s objectives.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 135712

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

Funding is available for 19-22 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Grants may be requested for any amount, up to $20,000.
- Grant request must make up 50%+ of the total capacity building project budget.

Term of Contract:

Grants will be made Dec. 2019 and may be expended from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are organizations that:
- Are nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing, or charitable projects that are fiscally sponsored by 501(c)(3) public charities in good standing.
- Requests a capacity building investment that will strengthen the organization’s efficiency, effectiveness, or sustainability.

Please note: Organizations that received a 2019 Fund for Louisville capacity building grant are not eligible for a 2020 grant. However, prior recipients of Fund for Louisville capacity building grants may apply.

Not Considered Capacity Building (for purposes of the Fund for Louisville Grant Program):
- Creating a new staff position
- Pay an existing staff person to do work described in her/his job description unrelated to the capacity building project
- A computer lab for clients’ use
- Creating a new program
- Operating or program funds
- A media campaign (for example, printing fliers, buying advertisements on radio/television, social media, etc.)
- Expanding programming from one site to additional sites
- A contract/temporary/permanent position to raise funds for one year

Grants may not be used to pay debt or expenses incurred prior to the grant award date. Grants may not fund a staff person solely to complete duties described in her/his job description. For example, the grant may not be used to pay an individual to fundraise for the organization (however, the grant may be used to create a fundraising strategy).

Pre-proposal Conference:

Date and Time:
Thu, July 18, 2019
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

If your nonprofit organization is newly formed, if you are new to grant writing, or if your organization is new to the Community Foundation of Louisville, you are invited to join CFL staff and your nonprofit colleagues for a workshop to help your organization plan for and prepare to submit a Letter of Intent.

Participation in this grant information session is completely optional and will not affect the grant selection process. All materials shared at these sessions are also posted on the Fund for Louisville webpage.

To Register for the Grants Workshop:

Pre-Application Information:

- July 8, 2019: Letter of Intent Opens
- July 18, 2019: Optional Information Session
- August 9, 2019: Letter of Intent forms are due at midnight
- August 21, 2019: Selected organizations will be invited to complete full application
- September 20, 2019: Full applications due
- December 12, 2019: Applicants notified of grant selection
- January 1, 2019: Grant year begins
- December 31, 2019: Great year ends

Organizations must be registered in the online system before applying.

To Register in the Online System:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Liz Alkire
Director of Grants & Evaluation

Community Foundation of Louisville
325 W. Main Street, Suite 1110
Waterfront Plaza, West Tower
Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: 502.585.4649
Fax: 502.855.6173

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Kentucky: The following zip codes in the Louisville Area: 40202, 40203, 40208, 40210, 40211, 40212, 40213, 40214, 40215, 40219, and 40118