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Grants to North Carolina Nonprofits and Agencies to Improve the Quality of Life in Eligible Locations

Asheville Merchants Fund (AMF)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
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Geographic Focus
USA: North Carolina: Buncombe County

Important Dates
LOI Date: 03/03/23
Deadline: 05/05/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $50,000 to North Carolina nonprofit organizations and government entities to improve the quality of life in eligible locations. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for projects that offer innovative economic approaches and address jobs and workforce, social infrastructure, and youth success in school. Projects must promote economic benefits for Buncombe County residents.

Priority will be given to projects comprehensively addressing one or more of the following areas:

Innovative Economic Approaches

  • Community asset development: investing in emerging local economies, especially those related to home-grown businesses
  • Entrepreneurship: resources for entrepreneurs, including access to training, service providers, and capital to accelerate business success

Quality Jobs & Workforce

  • Living wage work: recruitment, retention, and expansion of businesses providing high-quality, well-paying jobs
  • Appropriate skills: training for jobs that are in demand and critical to community viability
  • Non-traditional training and employment services: flexible schedules, short-term certificate programs, and community-based (versus academic institutional) settings

Social Infrastructure

  • Programs contributing to family economic success, including financial education and asset development
  • Affordable housing: developing effective strategies and supporting  implementation
  • Services that increase employees’ ability to participate fully in the workforce, including health and wellness or dependent care

Youth Success in School

  • Middle and high school students: targeted academic (particularly in math, science, and technology) and non-academic activities related to job skill development
  • Family support: improving the home environment for learning

Factors considered in evaluating applications include:

  • Focus on a critical need that addresses a gap in existing services
  • Defined, measurable results that can be achieved within the grant period and make a long-term difference in the lives of the beneficiaries
  • Skilled leadership with the potential to carry out innovative, integrated efforts effectively in one or more of the focus areas.

For additional funding parameters, see the Full Grant Text RFP.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
AMF grants may be awarded to tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and governmental entities with a documented history of substantial work in Buncombe County that pre-dates the application.

Grants generally do not support: scholarships; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; endowment funds; deficit funding or debt retirement; capital support for new buildings or major expansions; festivals or one-time events such as exhibits, performances, or fundraisers; or activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant funds are awarded.

Pre-Application Information
- Online letters of intent are due March 3, 2023.
- Semi-finalists selected to complete a full application will be notified by mid-April 2023.
- Full applications from semi-finalists are due May 5, 2023.
- Site visits by the AMF Advisory Committee will occur in May and June 2023.
- Final funding decisions will be made and announced by mid-June 2023.

Grants are paid in two installments, with the second year of funding contingent upon reasonable progress toward expected results.

If you would like to discuss your proposal or have questions regarding eligibility, contact Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer.

For technical assistance with the online grant system, please contact Diane Crisp, Grants Manager.

Application information:

Number of Grants
Approximately four to six grants are awarded during each two-year funding cycle.

Estimated Size of Grant
The Fund provides grants of up to $50,000 over two years.

Term of Contract
Funding will be available for program expenses incurred during the grant period, which will begin July 1, 2023, and end no later than June 30, 2025.

Contact Information
LOI and application:

Tara Scholtz: or 828-367-9913.

Diane Crisp: or at 828-367-9904.

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
4 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: (828) 254-4960

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