The Foundation issues grants throughout the year from multiple component funds and has established basic standards for grant eligibility as follows:
- Applicant organization should be legally constituted and exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation may, from time to time, and at its sole discretion, consider applications from non 501(c)(3) entities provided that the nature of the project clearly is charitable in nature.
- Applicant must be compliant with the PA Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act unless they are excluded or exempted from the Act.
- Applicant organization must have a charter and/or by-laws which clearly define the organization’s purpose, structure, and the duties, authority and responsibilities of the governing body of the organization.
- Applicant organization must have a duly constituted volunteer Board of Directors which meets regularly and has full power to establish operating policy; to employ and dismiss employees; to control and be responsible for other groups operating in or using the name of the organization; to enter into contracts; and to acquire, manage and dispose of real and capital properties obtained in the name of the organization.
- Applicant organization must demonstrate that it is fiscally responsible and that it is in compliance with all legal requirements of legislative bodies.
- Applicant organization must adhere to a policy mandating that all of the income of the organization be used for its particular stated charitable purposes and none for its members.
- Applicant organization should seek to assure accountability, operating efficiency and responsiveness to community needs.
- Applicant organization should publish an annual report which provides its goals, objectives, services, and such financial information as required by the PA Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act for that organization.
- Applicant organization must operate a project which meets a demonstrated and documented need and which can be carried out principally within the county of Washington, Pennsylvania. Grants from Donor Advised Funds are permitted to benefit communities outside of Washington County.
- Applicant organization must operate a project in at least one of the Foundation’s funding areas.
ELIGIBLE FUNDING AREAS
The Foundation makes grant in the following areas:
- Arts & Humanities – projects that benefit arts education and arts appreciation, including the performing, visual, and creative arts, as well as cultural and historic projects in our community.
Community Improvement and Economic Development – projects that focus on strengthening, unifying and building the economic, cultural, educational and social services, and the spirit of any community or neighborhood. Community improvement projects include, but are not limited to, agricultural fairs, community festivals, community parks, green space projects and walking trails. Economic development projects include, but are not limited to, blight removal, increased entrepreneurism, improved low-income housing, job creation, and workforce development
- Education – projects to enhance the education experience for persons of any age, including literacy and lifelong learning.
- Environment & Animal Welfare – projects to protect the environment and to ensure biodiversity, including conservation, protection of ecosystems, agricultural projects, protection of wildlife, and the care of domesticated animals.
- Health & Fitness – projects that promote the physical and emotional health of the community, including medical services, counseling, fitness, and wellness programs.
- Human Needs – projects that give aid, comfort, support or assistance to children and youth, senior citizens, or the indigent.
- Religious / Faith Based – projects that promote interdenominational sharing and understanding and that emphasize the importance of spiritual growth and development.
- Does not award grants to political candidates, for use in political campaigns or for lobbying of elected officials.
- Does not support organizations that practice or advocate discrimination by race, color, creed, sex or national origin.
- Does not make grants to individuals. Interested individuals are encouraged to work with and through existing incorporated not-for-profit entities.
- Does not normally make grants to re-granting organizations or to private charities.
- Does not normally make ongoing commitments, though a large grant may be paid over a period of years.
Special consideration will be given to applications which:
- Improve upon the effectiveness of existing organizations. Proposals to establish new charities will receive particular scrutiny.
- Enable an existing organization to establish a new program or to expand an existing program.
- Have multiple funding sources. Multiple funding sources help validate a proposal. Normally, the Foundation will not be the only source of support for a particular project.
- Have a broad impact upon the community.
- Leverage additional money as a challenge grant.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR GRANT SEEKERS
Grant seekers are encouraged to visit the Grant Requests page for specific application procedures and deadlines for grant opportunities. Additionally, most grant opportunities are announced via the Foundation’s e-newsletter, Charity Matters. If you are not already a subscriber to Charity Matters, please send an email to email@example.com to subscribe. All applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome of their application. All decisions of the Board of Trustees are final and are not subject to appeal.