Community Grants


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 were $341,515
  • View the full list of 2021 Community Grant awards HERE.

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, Mason, and Lewis counties, WA).
  • Community Partnerships: We prioritize organizations that coordinate with local partners to carry out their work.
  • 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 we 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. We welcome inquiries from all community members wishing to serve as volunteers on one of our Community Grants committees. If you have any questions about our Community Grants Program or volunteering on our Community Grants committees, please contact Daisha Versaw at

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.

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
  • Organizations with fewer than three board members

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

Applications typically due in late August. Applications received after the due date will not be accepted. 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

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


Community Grants


Community Grants Applications open Summer 2022.

Applying Online:

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound uses an online grants platform. The platform compiles information and support materials for all of the Community Foundation’s grant programs. If you are new to our online grants platform, you will need to create an account in our system. If you are unsure if your organization already has an account, please contact Melissa Rosscup at or (360) 705-3340 before creating an account.

At the time of registration you will be asked to enter the following information:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization's information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for the organization's Executive Director or CEO

Some suggestions for using the online grants platform:

  • We recommend you read the grant eligibility guidelines and reaching out with any questions you may have before starting your application.
  • Character limits include spaces and punctuation.
  • To work on your application in another language, please use the "Select Language" drop down button in the top left corner (will take a few minutes to load).
  • Copying and pasting text from a different platform (e.g., Word, Excel, etc.) may not transfer correctly – double check for errors before submitting application.
  • Once you start the application you can save your work throughout the process and come back to it later.
  • While there is an autosave feature, double check for a "Save" button at the bottom of the page before closing your browser.
  • Be sure to select “Apply” before beginning your application; data entered in the “Preview” page will not be saved.
  • The size of text boxes may be adjusted by dragging the lower right corner.
  • Required fields are indicated with an asterisk.
  • To create a PDF version of your completed application, click the "Application Packet" button at the top of the page.

If you have any questions, accessibility issues, need help with language translation, or have any trouble with the online grants platform, please contact Melissa Rosscup at or (360) 705-3340 for assistance.

Community Grants


The Community Foundation aspires to keep the community and our donors informed about the benefits generated from the grants we make.  Grantee reports help tell the stories of our communities.  The Grant Report is used to capture information to help us communicate your work to the larger community.

If you received a grant from the Community Foundation through our 2021 Community Grants program, we will require a grant report by August 26, 2022.

We will notify you by email when grant reports open. At that time, you'll be able to submit yours via the Community Foundation's online grants platform. Once you are logged in to the online grants platform you'll click "Edit" to begin your grant report or to see a list of grant report questions.

Please contact Melissa Rosscup at with any questions about the online grant report.

"At any age, we all have assets to share. Small amounts make a difference. And we really are all in this together.”

- Janet, Community Foundation Fund Holder

“Philanthropy is an important piece of helping to sustain a thriving, healthy community... the dividends are a healthier, vibrant community.”

- Give Local Donor

"I know I can pick up the phone and call the CommunityFoundation and they'll take our call... I've been incredibly impressed with the generosity and sense of togetherness I've encountered in the South Sound. This community is strong because of that and only because of that."

- Brian, Local Nonprofit Leader