Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Community Impact Grants

Grants to Dane County, Wisconsin Nonprofits, Agencies,
and Schools for Arts, Youth, Elderly, and the Environment

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Madison Community Foundation (MCF)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

10/01/18 4:30 PM Emailed and postmarked


Request a Grant Writer

Grants to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and schools for programs and projects that benefit Dane County residents. Letters of Intent are due on August 15, 2018. Proposals must focus on at least one of the following areas:

- Arts and Culture
- Capacity Building
- Community Development
- Environment
- Learning

Types of Community Impact Grants:

Program Grants support new programs or expansion of existing programs that have a track record of success.

Capital Grants support the construction, purchase and renovation of facilities, land acquisition, and occasionally the purchase of vehicles or equipment.

Endowment Challenge Grants build capacity and sustainability by helping nonprofits leverage additional funds and incorporate endowment fundraising as a regular part of their ongoing development program. Typically, endowment challenge grants are two-to-one matches but may vary by the size of the grant awarded.

Learn more about endowment challenge grants:

Grantmaking Criteria:

- Long-term impact on residents and/or physical environments in Dane County
- Meaningful, reasonable, and measurable outcomes
- Innovative approaches to address community issues
- Strengthen and enhance community assets
- Build the self-sufficiency of individuals and/or organizations
- Attract additional funding
- Utilize partnerships and/or collaborations

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 172332

Estimated Size of Grant:

The size of grant is determined on a case-by-case basis and depends on the scope of your project as well as the availability of funds.

Term of Contract:

One-year projects are generally recommended. On occasion, multi-year requests are funded. These should be discussed with MCF staff prior to applying.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant must:
- Be a nonprofit organization, exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a governmental body, including schools and municipalities

- Conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability or national origin

- Be a nonprofit located in Dane County (with the exception of endowment challenge grants)

What the Foundation does not fund:
- Individuals
- Endowments not held by the Madison Community Foundation
- Debt retirement
- Lobbying
- Annual campaigns
- Scholarships
- Religious organizations for religious purposes
- Short-term events such as conferences, festivals, fund raising functions and celebrations
- Substance abuse treatment
- Health care services, including mental health
- Capital grants to support ongoing maintenance
- Simultaneous requests from the same organization
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Sports and recreation, except in the case of those using the programming for academic purposes

Pre-Application Information:

When time allows, staff will offer feedback on draft proposals. Due to the volume of proposals received, one-page abstracts or letters of inquiry often receive responses. Applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects with Tom Linfield using the Contact Information below.

Eligible nonprofits are limited to one application per grant cycle. In general, MCF will not award a grant to an organization that was funded during the previous grant cycle.

2018 Timelines:
- 8/15/2018: Letter of Inquiry due
- 10/1/2018: Complete Grant Application due from select organizations
- 12/21/2018: Grant awards announced

Step 1: Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

A strong Letter of Inquiry will include great ideas, measurable outcomes and project sustainability. Please use the attached MCF Letter of Inquiry Form. After submitting your Letter of Inquiry, it will undergo a preliminary review and applicants will be contacted with the decision via email within two weeks.

Step 2: Grant Application

If you are invited to submit a full grant proposal, congratulations! One hard copy and one electronic copy of the application must be submitted (emailed and postmarked) by the deadline.

Other funding sources are critical. MCF is rarely the sole funder of any project. Referencing other funding sources in your grant application indicates your organization’s strategic planning for the sustainability of the initiative beyond the grant cycle. MCF does not typically fund more than one third of a given project.

Those seeking capital funding are expected to be one-third to one-half completed with their campaign before applying for funds Those seeking an endowment challenge grant who hold some of their endowment funds at MCF and some endowment funds elsewhere are encouraged to apply for the challenge match at the end of their campaign to raise the final dollars.


Contact Information:

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

Email applications to

Tom Linfield, Vice President, Community Impact
(608) 232-1763

Madison Community Foundation
2 Science Court
Suite #3
Madison, Wisconsin 53711

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Wisconsin: Dane County