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Grants

Since 1998, Manatee Community Foundation has awarded more than $56 million in scholarships and grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations–all based on the charitable aspirations of donors who care deeply about making a difference.

The generosity of donors who give through MCF makes impactful work possible in the arts, human services, education, animal welfare, environmental, civic engagement, and health-related causes.

During our last fiscal year, ending June 30, 2022, we awarded more than $5.7 million, providing relief and recovery to nonprofits during the pandemic.

We are taking an opportunity to evolve our competitive grants cycle to maximize the impact of our resources and best support our community. Our grant portal will be closed beginning May 10, 2024 and reopen July 1, 2024. The application deadline for the Fall 2024 grants will be October 1, 2024.

More information about our competitive grant cycles will be published on our site by July 1, 2024. Current grant applications received prior to May 10, 2024 will be reviewed by mid-June and nonprofit partner organizations will be informed of the outcome of their application no later than June 30, 2024.

  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • Submit your grant report here if you have not applied for a grant using our new grant system, AwardSpring. If you have applied for a grant using AwardSpring, you need to login to your AwardSpring account, go to your dashboard and then submit the report listed in your account.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a deadline to apply?

There will be quarterly deadlines for nonprofits to apply for a grant. Please check back here on July 1, 2024 for more information.

What is the Grants Committee’s focus? What does a successful application look like?

Please check back here on July 1, 2024 for more info.

What items are not funded?

Manatee Community Foundation does not fund:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Conduit organizations that fund unrelated charities
  • Political campaigns
  • Lobbying
  • Scholarly research
  • Annual campaigns
  • Event sponsorships
  • Team or sport travel
  • Travel-related expenses
  • Organizations not serving Manatee County residents

Manatee Community Foundation reserves the right to edit this list at any time.

How much can our organization apply for?

Grant amounts vary widely depending on the funding available. On average, most grants are between $1,000 and $10,000.

How many grants can we apply for in a year?

You can have only one open grant project with us at any given time. Once your organization is awarded a grant, we will not normally accept another application from the same organization until the grant report for the prior funded project has been submitted and if the request is within the last 12 months of the last request.

How do I apply for the Bishop Parker grant funding that is administered by MCF?

MCF administers grants for the Bishop Parker Foundation that are $15,000 and less. There is no separate application for these funds. Organizations are not able to apply for a $15,000 grant for the Bishop Parker Foundation funds and then another grant from MCF – it’s all one and the same. If your application is approved by the MCF grants committee, MCF staff makes the determination about which of the Foundation’s eligible Funds is best suited to supply the grant dollars. The Bishop Parker Foundation Fund is of the options they may select, based on a number of factors.

If awarded a grant, do we need to send a press release?

As of May 1, 2023, all grant awardees are required to send out a press release regarding their grant funding. There is a boiler template and resources available in the award notification email that is sent to the organization’s representative who completed the grant application.

Can I save the grant application and come back to it later?

Yes, when you create an AwardSpring account, you will be able to login and save your account before submitting a grant application.

We’re a new nonprofit and looking to get started. Do you fund for capital or operating expenses?

Because the average award amount is $10,000 or less, we do not make leadership gifts in capital campaigns. However, MCF will consider capital items like vans, computers, etc.

While MCF believes strongly in operating support, because of limited dollars, we’re not able to fund everyone. Your application will be stronger if you’ve been in operation for more than 6 months serving clients and have data supporting the success of your program.

If you have a strong need or case for operating support, please complete the application.

Do you need our organization’s complete budget?

No, we just need the budget for the proposed project. Please do not include the organization’s entire budget or it will delay the review of your application.

We serve both Sarasota & Manatee counties. Can we still apply?

Yes, but to expedite the review of your application, please only submit results, data, and information for those people you will/have served in Manatee County.

I submitted a grant on (insert date here). When should I hear back?

The timetable for grants are changing. Please check back here on July 1, 2024 for more info.

I’m having a problem with my Giving Partner Profile.

Please contact the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: 941.955.3000 | Nonprofits@CFsarasota.org

Can I submit a grant on behalf of my school?

The Manatee Community Foundation is dedicated to fostering systemic change that benefits all schools equitably rather than providing direct support to individual schools. Our focus lies in initiatives and programs that have a broad impact, aiming to create lasting, positive changes within the educational system that can benefit the entire community. Through our efforts, we strive to enhance opportunities and resources for all students across the board. If your school has a particular need, please work with the Manatee County School District to submit a grant application.

Are religious organizations allowed to apply?

At the Manatee Community Foundation, we recognize the invaluable role that local religious institutions play in our community. We’re committed to supporting projects and initiatives within these institutions when they remain accessible to everyone, regardless of their faith, background, or personal preferences. Our investment criteria prioritize projects that don’t involve active evangelization and focus on initiatives benefiting the broader community. We believe in fostering partnerships that strengthen the fabric of the community, while respecting diverse beliefs and ensuring that the services provided are available to all who seek them.

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