Sustainability Grants provide the critical operational support for the charities that sustain our quality of life in Door County.
Sustainability grants help pay the salary of a case manager working with troubled teens, buy music stands for a local performing arts group, install piping to bring water to a community garden, and pay teachers to help with math and reading instruction during the summer.
Sustainability Grants are rarely glamorous and are usually not the big ideas that stir one’s soul. But this operational support is essential to the programs that sustain the parts of Door County that we love – and alleviate the challenges faced by working families because of the seasonal nature of our economy.
The Community Foundation offers Sustainability Grants because it has a fundamental belief that charities are essential part of our quality of life. Helping to support their operations is key to maintaining the parts of Door County that we love – and to alleviating the social issues arising from our unique seasonal economy.
Through the application for a Sustainability Grant, a non-profit organization might receive assistance from the Arts Fund, the Children & Youth Fund, the Education Fund, the Green Fund, the Health & Human Needs Fund, and/or the Historic Preservation Fund. There no longer are separate applications for each of these Discretionary Funds as there were in the past.
Sustainability Grant Guidelines
The proposed activities should serve the people of Door County or improve the quality of life in Door County. There is no minimum or maximum grant amount, but we anticipate awarding multiple grants during each Sustainability Grant cycle typically in the range of $2,500 to $5,000.
The following do not qualify for a Sustainability Grant:
- Retiring debt or budget deficits
- Loans or re-granting programs
- Multi-year commitments (charities may reapply in future cycles for the same idea)
- Activities that advance a particular religious belief
- Individuals or groups that are not qualified public charities or units of government
While we recognize the importance of all of these activities, our Board has made a strategic decision to focus the priorities of our Sustainability Grants elsewhere.
We generally do not make grants to pay for activities that have been contracted or that occur prior to the awarding of a Sustainability Grant.
Fundraising expenses, capital campaigns and grants to an endowment are generally not supported by Sustainability Grants unless the applicant can articulate special circumstances which make their request particularly important.
Each charity is limited to one application per Sustainability Grant cycle. However, charities may submit applications in successive grant cycles or to the other granting programs of the Community Foundation that might be open at the same time.
The Chief Executive of your organization must review the entire Application Packet and sign the Application Form accordingly. This is an important step in the process as on occasion we have received applications that were submitted without the knowledge of the charity’s senior management. To protect your organization and ours, we now require that your Chief Executive review your Application Packet before we will consider it.
For purposes of this application, the “Chief Executive” is generally the highest ranking paid staff person in your organization. In many charities it is the Executive Director or President & CEO. For schools, the Principal must sign the Application Form. For units of government, the highest ranking official such as a Mayor or Village Administrator must sign.
For an all volunteer organization, the Board President should sign the Application Form.
We will accept the typed name and email address of the Chief Executive typed on the Application Form as an “electronic signature” if the Application Packet is submitted by email. However, please note that if it is not an original signature, we may contact the Chief Executive listed on the form to confirm their electronic signature.
Combining Individual Projects into a Single Application
It is permissible to include multiple projects in a single application so long as each individual project has a strong and natural correlation with the others. For instance, consider a municipality seeking grants to fund a beach improvement effort, the construction of a new playground, and the expansion of a shelter. If all three of these projects occur in close proximity to each other at a single park, they have a strong and natural correlation and thus may be combined into a single application. In another example, consider an organization that wants to install wayfinding and interpretive signage on multiple properties spread out across the County. While the installation of the signage will occur on individual properties far apart from each other, the types and purposes of the signs are similar everywhere and thus can be combined into a single application because they have a strong and natural correlation to each other.
Individual projects that do not have a strong and natural correlation must be submitted on separate applications. Please remember that applicants are allowed only one application per grant cycle.
While it’s permissible to combine multiple projects with a strong and natural correlation into a single application, the budget on the application should separate the individual line-item expenses by project. For instance, rather than adding up the total design, equipment, and labor costs for all three projects into single line items, instead, list them by individual project.
Sustainability Grants are accepted multiple times a year as follows:
Summer 2023 Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: Thursday, July 6th, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.
Fall 2023 Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: Thursday, October 5th, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.
Winter 2024 Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: Thursday, January 4th, 2024 at 4:00 p.m.
Beginning March 2024:
Spring Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: 4th Monday of March at 4:00 p.m.
Summer Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: 4th Monday of June at 4:00 p.m.
Fall Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: 4th Monday of September at 4:00 p.m.
Winter Sustainability Grant Cycle
Applications Due: 4th Monday of December at 4:00 p.m.
Please provide your contact information if you would like to receive emails announcing when applications become available for the various grant programs of the Community Foundation.
On occasion, our spam filters inadvertently screen out email from some charities. You should receive an email within 3 business days of our receipt of your application confirming its receipt. If you do not receive this confirmation, please call (920) 746-1786 to confirm that we received your application materials.
Applicants will be notified of a decision generally about a month after the application deadline.
Please email us, or call (920) 746-1786, if you have any questions or would like an informal assessment of your idea prior to the submission of a formal application.
Grant recipients agree to provide a Final Report as a condition of receiving a grant.