Annual Grant Cycles

Our discretionary grant programs provide funding for nonprofit projects and programs that serve residents in Clark, Cowlitz and Skamania Counties. In 2019, we will continue to offer two Focus Grant cycles on the following timeline:

Cycle 1 opens – Friday, February 15   |   Cycle 1 closes – Friday, March 29
Cycle 2 opens – Monday, July 15   |   Cycle 2 closes – Friday, August 30

Support Types

The average grant size for this program is $25,000. You may apply for multi-year funding, although multi-year awards are uncommon. Applications are submitted via our online grants system. We will consider the following types of support:

Operating support — Unrestricted funding to support an organization’s mission

Programs & Projects — Support for new and established services or initiatives

Modest Capital Projects — Investments in buildings, equipment, and technology

Capacity Building Support — Funding to strengthen organizational infrastructure, including support for diversity, equity, and inclusion work

Visit our Grantmaking Framework page to see if your organization’s efforts align with our funding strategy. For other questions about our Focus Grants program, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you need additional assistance, our Program Team can be contacted at [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for funding?
Nonprofits, fiscally-sponsored projects, government and tribal agencies, churches and schools working to address intergenerational poverty in Clark, Cowlitz, or Skamania counties are eligible to apply. We do not fund debt reduction, endowments, parent teacher associations or booster clubs.
Can organizations that are not headquartered in southwest Washington apply?
Yes. As long as an organization has programs or projects serving people in southwest Washington, it is eligible to apply for funding.
How do I determine if our request aligns with the Focus Grant program criteria?
If you have questions regarding alignment, please review our grantmaking framework. If this doesn't answer your questions, please reach out to our Program Team at [email protected] to discuss your project or proposal.
Does an organization have to be a registered 501(c)3 to apply?
No. You may apply if you have a fiscal agent that is an established 501(c)3. Government agencies (including public schools), tribal agencies or faith-based organizations are also eligible to apply.
What is the average size of a Focus Grant award?
The average size of a Focus Grant is $25,000.
How often can an organization apply for a Focus Grant?
If an organization is awarded funding in Cycle 1, it must wait until Cycle 1 of the following calendar year to submit another proposal. If it is declined in Cycle 1, the organization can apply in Cycle 2 of the same calendar year. If the organization receives an award in Cycle 2, it is eligible to apply in Cycle 1 of the following calendar year.
Can an organization apply for multi-year funding?
We make a limited number of multi-year awards. If you are interested in exploring multi-year funding, please contact the Program Team at [email protected] prior to submitting an application.
What happens after an application is submitted?
Your organization will receive a response from us approximately 8-10 weeks after the grant cycle closes. After the cycle closes, the Program Team begins an initial vetting phase to ensure applications are complete and aligned with the grantmaking criteria. Sometimes, a member from the Program Team will reach out to applicants for follow-up questions. Then the Discretionary Grants Committee begins a robust grant review and discussion process before making award decisions. Once complete, approved grants are paid directly to the applicant organizations.
Do Focus Grant applications receive consideration for other Community Foundation funding streams?
Yes. Our goal is to ensure as many proposals receive funding as possible. Throughout the review process, we will share applications with our Donor Relations team in an effort to identify alignment between unfunded proposals and fundholder interests. If a proposal is selected for funding, that organization will receive an award notification letter and grant check. Organizations that receive such funding should address all acknowledgements as specified in the award letter.
What are the reporting requirements for grantees?
At this time, we do not require post-award reports. However, members of the Program Team will be reaching out during the second half of your grant award period to learn about successes and/or challenges your organization is experiencing. These informal check-ins are always scheduled, and can be conducted in person or by phone.
Do you provide feedback on unfunded applications?
Yes. Interested organizations are encouraged to contact the Program Team at [email protected]

Funds Supporting our Discretionary Grant Programs

Alfred Allina Fund

Arts and Learning Endowment Fund

Barry Endowment Fund
for Children and Families

Butler Endowment Fund

Children’s Trust Fund

Children’s Trust Endowment Fund

Community Foundation
Community Engagement Fund

Community Foundation
Capacity Building Fund

Community Foundation
Early Learning Impact Fund

Community Giving Fund

Community Giving Endowment Fund

Cowlitz Community Fund

Cowlitz Community Endowment Fund

Hazel Defenbaugh Fund for Seniors

Hazel Defenbaugh Fund for Trails

Barry Disdero Chartiable Fund

Evelyn Dusenbery
Fund for the Performing Arts

Harris Dusenbery Fund for the Homeless

Waldon M. Groves Fund

K.T. and Luella Henderson
Charitable Fund

Merle Hogg Fund for Seniors

Home Heating Assistance Fund

Leslie S. Homer Endowment Fund

Homes for Community Living

Ethel K. Lehman Fund

Jean Lewis Endowment
Fund for Clark County

Jane Onsdorff Malmquist Charitable Fund

Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund

Term Nylund Fund for Children

William B. Price Fund for Children

William Troy Sorweide Endowment Fund

SWIFT for Kids Endowment Fund

Esther Talback Memorial Fund

Kenneth E. and Eunice M.
Teter Charitable Fund

Lenore Vande Zande Endowment Fund

Walt Whitman Fund

Youth Philanthropy Fund

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Ian Thompson“The grants we received through the Cowlitz Community Fund have allowed our program to flourish considerably in the community. We are just four years in and have already connected hundreds of children and families to the joys that school gardens provide.”

– Ian Thompson
Executive Director
Lower Columbia School Gardens