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Grant Guidelines

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Grant Guidelines and Eligibility


We hope this application process is an exploration on how to build a community where everyone thrives. Funding for the competitive grants program comes from the Community Foundation’s endowments, donations, and gifts from designated and donor advised funds.

Grant opportunities to benefit communities in Whatcom County include Project Neighborly, Funds for Whatcom County, Pitt’s Sportsman’s Fund and the Youth Philanthropy Fund for the Environment. Grant amounts vary, but typically range from $1,000-$10,000. Please review grant opportunity descriptions for specific criteria and funding amounts available.


Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations with a valid letter from the IRS recognizing its 501(c)3 status, Native American Tribes, religious and educational institutions, and, projects with an approved fiscal sponsor. City or County Governments requests for non-essential, quality of life, community enhancement projects not typically funded through tax dollars may be eligible.


We aim to invest in relevant and timely activities that take a cooperative approach to community building. Successful proposals will describe not only what you propose to do, but also how it involves others in the community who need to be a part of successful problem-solving and long-term planning for our community’s future. We place the highest priority on ideas that fuel inspiring, actionable, relevant projects which:

Support new and creative projects that offer the greatest opportunity for positive and significant change

Reflect and promote the diversity of the communities we serve

Advance equity and inclusion

Leverage resources

Cultivate neighborliness

Link demonstrated needs with opportunities in our community

Address and help resolve important existing or emerging community issues

Facilitate cooperation and collaboration among organizations

Lift community voices

Catalyze change while building capacity


Organizations that discriminate in policy or practice, based on gender, religion, sexual orientation or identity, ethnicity, national origin or physical ability

Religious activities (grants will not be made for religious purposes but may be made to faith-based organizations for the non-religious programs offered to the broader community)

General operating, program, or capacity-building needs of established non-profits

Incomplete, unrealistic, or unclear applications

Political campaigns

Sponsorships, tickets for benefits, recurring events or annual fundraising campaigns

Endowment funds

Debt retirement

Capital requests (bricks and mortar) and equipment (exception: Pitts Sportsmen)

Funding for individuals or for-profit organizations