2022 Community Impact Fund Guidelines

The Community Impact Fund is a responsive, open, competitive application process with one annual deadline. The Fund invests in four areas: Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Environment, and Youth Development. The Foundation considers funding for both general operating support and program support. Organizations are eligible to request funding annually. Prior recipients may reapply after a final report has been submitted to the Foundation.

 

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be located in or providing services to residents in Bandera, Blanco, Edwards, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Real, or Uvalde counties.
  • Be classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Have a minimum of 12 months of operating history after 501(c)(3) determination.
  • Demonstrate that 100% of the applicant organization’s Board of Directors have given to the applicant organization during the last completed fiscal year. Giving is defined as a personal cash donation or financially measurable in-kind contribution.
  • Have filed grant evaluation reports for previously awarded Community Impact Fund grants.
  • Present required financial statements, determined by an applicant organization’s annual operating budget:
  • Budgets under $250,000 - most recently completed fiscal year’s financial statements
  • Budgets between $250,000 and $749,999 – recently reviewed financial statements issued by a CPA
  • Budgets $750,000 and above – recently audited financial statements issued by a CPA

The Community Foundation defines “recently” as being within the last 36 months.

 

How Applications are Evaluated

The Community Impact Fund supports 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in the Foundation’s 10-county service area (Bandera, Blanco, Edwards, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Real, or Uvalde counties). The Fund considers both general operating support and program support requests.

After first considering how strongly an application fits the Fund’s focus areas, grant requests are then evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Soundness of fiscal, strategic, governance, and program delivery practices.
  • Past success, demonstrated impact, or strong potential for impact.
  • Use of relevant evaluation to assess progress toward meeting goals.
  • Openness to collaboration and being a part of a broader approach to improving the lives of Hill Country residents.
  • Uniqueness of programs or services.

 

What is Not Supported by the Community Impact Fund

The Community Impact Fund cannot support applications outside of its four focus areas: Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Environment, and Youth Development. Additionally, Community Impact Fund grants do not support the following:

  • Capital campaigns
  • Building endowments or reserve funds
  • Membership drives
  • Special events, fundraising events, or sponsorships
  • Retroactive funding, as in, activities that are completed prior to when funding becomes available
  • Debt retirement
  • Grants to individuals
  • Grants for re-granting purposes
  • Multi-year funding requests
  • Conferences, travel, or professional development
  • Medical, scientific, or academic research
  • Political campaigns or religious activities
  • Scholarships
  • Tuition assistance

 

Two Types of Support 

Applicant organizations should decide whether to apply for general operating support or for program support; either type of request is eligible for the Community Impact Fund. Requests should not exceed more than $15,000.

  • General Operating Support is unrestricted funding. Organizations may use the funds for administrative purposes, to meet monthly obligations, to support programming, pay salaries, or to meet other organizational needs. For general operating support requests, organizations must submit a current strategic plan that covers two or more years of operations.
  • Program Support is funding for a specific program of an organization. Funds can be used for any element of the program’s budget. For program support requests, organizations must submit a program budget.

 

Community Impact Fund’s Focus Areas – Definitions & Evaluations

The Community Impact Fund invests in four focus areas: Arts & Culture, Basic Needs, Environment, and Youth Development.

Arts & Culture

In 2022, the Community Impact Fund will support arts and culture by funding organizations that present, produce, or provide arts programming for the public; art forms supported can be dance, design, folk arts, literature, media arts, music, opera, performance arts, theatre, public art, and visual arts. Additionally, organizations that promote and/or preserve the Hill Country’s history and culture will be considered.

Grantees will be evaluated on one or more of the following measures:

  • Audience participation in programming. Grantees will report on the number of audience members for supported projects.
  • Community satisfaction with arts and cultural opportunities. Grantees will be required to submit documented efforts of reaching diverse audiences with regard to age, race, geography, and/or subject matter.

 

Basic Needs

In 2022, the Community Impact Fund will support basic needs by funding organizations and programs that address hunger, poverty, literacy, neglect, family violence, lack of access to basic medical care, homelessness, the needs of seniors and veterans, the needs of those with disabilities or chronic illness, and animal welfare.

Grantees will be evaluated on one or more of the following measures:

  • Number of unduplicated residents served. Grantees will submit a record of unduplicated residents/clients served.
  • Description of collaborative work with other organizations. Grantees will be required to document how collaboration with other entities affects operations and programming.

  

Environment 

In 2022, the Community Impact Fund will support the environment by funding organizations and programs that address environmental stewardship and/or education. Nature education, energy and water conservation, land stewardship, wildlife protection, recycling and repurposing, and maintaining dark skies are all priorities that will be considered.

Grantees will be evaluated on one or more of the following measures:

  • Number of unduplicated residents served. Grantees will submit a record of unduplicated residents/clients served.
  • Number of acres or geographical areas affected by the grant. Grantees will be required to document the geographical areas its funding affected.
  • Economic and environmental impact. Where appropriate, supported organizations will document the economic impact and the environmental impact of the grant.

 

Youth Development 

In 2022, the Community Impact Fund will support the next generation by funding organizations and programs that work with children and youth, from birth through age 21.

Grantees will be evaluated on one or more of the following measures:

  • Number of unduplicated children and youth served. Grantees will submit a record of unduplicated children/youth served.
  • The quality of the safe and/or supportive environment. Grantees will be required to document where and how they create, provide, and/or maintain a safe and/or supportive environment for children and youth.
  • The levels of interaction and engagement for young people. Where appropriate, supported organizations will document ways children and youth are encouraged to interact, engage, and build life or work skills.

Deadlines

Online applications for the Community Impact Fund are available on the Community Foundation’s website as of Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Completed applications and supporting documents are due at 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Grant application deadlines are absolute – applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

 

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