2021 Community Grants Guidelines

2021 community grant Applications closed on August 27. Please check back in the summer of 2022.

Download the full 2021 Community grants guidelines

Download the 2021 Community Grants Questions

Community Grants Program Details

  • We award roughly 80 grants annually through our Community Grants program
  • Requested amount may be up to $5,000; awards typically range from $1,500 to $5,000
  • Total awards through this program in 2021 will be approximately $325,000
  • The 2021 Community Grants application cycle is open July 12 through August 27, 2021
  • Grant checks for successful applications will be processed by late December 2021

Community Grants Program Objectives

In reviewing grant proposals, the Community Foundation considers the following:

  • Impact: We support organizations contributing to individual and community well-being across a variety of focus areas including arts and culture, community and civic engagement, environment and animals, health and wellness, basic needs, and economic opportunity.
  • Geography: We fund organizations that primarily work in our service area or fill unmet needs within our service area (Thurston, Lewis, and Mason Counties, WA).
  • Community Partnerships: We prioritize organizations that carry out their work in coordination with local community partners.
  • Population Served: We support nonprofits serving all populations and seek to prioritize populations and communities with unequal access to resources and opportunities.  
  • Accountability: We seek to fund services that are designed appropriately for the communities they serve and prioritize organizations that meaningfully engage the voices, perspectives, and expertise of their program participants.
  • Organizational Capacity: We are seeking organizations that demonstrate reasonable financial health and basic capacity (governance practices, a minimum of 3 board members, nondiscrimination policy, etc.).

Grants Committees made up of community volunteers review and score applications and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. Community members wishing to serve as volunteers on one of our Community Grants Committees may fill out an interest form HERE.

If you have any questions about our Community Grants Program or volunteering on our Community Grants committees, please contact Daisha Versaw at daisha@thecommunityfoundation.com.

Most Grants Will Be Unrestricted

“Unrestricted grants” invest in a grantee’s mission, rather than specific projects or programs. Grantees may use funds as they see fit to reach their goals. This may include salaries, overhead, technology, marketing, and more. To qualify for unrestricted grants, an organization must be based in Thurston, Mason, or Lewis County and meet all other eligibility requirements posted here.

Click here to read more about the changes we have made to our Community Grants program.


The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities that serve Thurston, Mason, and Lewis County residents. Organizations must acknowledge that 100% of Community Grant funds will be used in our geography. If your organization or group is not a 501(c)(3), you must secure a fiscal sponsor.

Not eligible:

  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin, or any protected classes
  • Individuals
  • Partisan political activities
  • Religious organizations when funds would be used in whole or in part to further the organization’s religious purposes
  • National and statewide organizations that cannot demonstrate a local presence in Lewis, Mason, or Thurston Counties
  • Re-granting organizations, service clubs, and service club foundations
  • Schools, school districts, PTOs, preschools, childcare centers, camps, and sports teams/clubs

Exceptions: Organizations with a regional or statewide geography whose applications demonstrate how grant funds will be used for programs and services within our geography. Faith-based organizations whose applications demonstrate programs that meet a critical need in the community and do not require religious participation. Organizations that offer childcare, including camps, whose applications demonstrate robust or inclusive programming or service to underserved populations.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound does not support organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, status as a veteran, national origin, or any other protected classes.

Due Date: August 27, 2021

Applications are due on Friday, August 27th at 11:59pm. Applications received after the due date will not be accepted. Please note that staff will be available to answer questions and offer technical assistance until 5:00pm on Friday, August 27th. We recommend beginning your application before the due date—especially if you are new to our online grants system.

Contact Us!

Community Foundation staff welcome and encourage questions about the Community Grants process.

For questions about eligibility, program objectives, or evaluation criteria, please contact Daisha Versaw at daisha@thecommunityfoundation.com.

For technical support or questions about the online grants platform, please contact Melissa Rosscup at mrosscup@thecommunityfoundation.com or (360) 705-3340.

Download the full 2021 Community Grants Guidelines

click here to learn more and apply!