Fund For Louisville Logo
Created by visionary philanthropists who wanted to support their community today and beyond their own lifetimes, the Fund for Louisville allows the Community Foundation to respond to emerging needs and opportunities in the Louisville area.

The Fund for Louisville’s current focus is capacity building.  The Community Foundation believes that strong nonprofit organizations lead to more effective programs and greater community impact.  These funds support the work necessary to strengthen the leaders, systems, and plans that enable nonprofits to pursue and achieve their missions.

Who can apply for a grant?

Organizations that:

  • Are headquartered in Jefferson County, Kentucky. If based outside of the county, then the organization must demonstrate that a majority of customers /beneficiaries are located in Jefferson County, Kentucky.
  • Are classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity in good standing. Organizations with a pending application for 501(c)(3) status may apply with proof of Form 1023 receipt from the IRS. Should the organization be selected to receive a Fund for Louisville grant, the award will be withdrawn if the final 501(c)(3) determination is not verified within 6 months of the award decision.
  • Nonprofit organizations or community groups who do not have 501(c)(3) status may apply if another tax-exempt organization acts as a fiscal sponsor.

Please note:

  • Approximately half of the grant funds will be awarded to organizations with less than $1 million in annual revenue (based on the last completed fiscal year).
  • Organizations that received 2015 Fund for Louisville grants are not eligible for the 2016 cycle.  However, recipients of 2014 Fund for Louisville grants may apply.

What projects are eligible for funding?

Capacity building can include, but is not limited to activities such as:

  • Needs assessments
  • Board and staff development/training
  • Improvement to financial, internal communication or data management systems
  • Technology upgrades
  • Planning required for merger or collaboration

How much is available?

Up to $235,000 in capacity building grants will be awarded in December 2015 for use in 2016.  These grants are made possible by the Community Foundation of Louisville, the Lift a Life Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

There is no minimum request amount, and organizations are encouraged to request only what is needed to execute the project.  The maximum grant award will be $20,000.  Finally, the grant request must make up 50% or more of the total capacity building project budget.

How can I apply?

Fund for Louisville is annual program.  The 2016 grants application process is currently underway and now closed to new submissions.

For those organizations that submitted a Letter of Intent by the June 25, 2015 deadline, the next step will be an invitation for full application.  Selected organizations will be invited by July 21.  The deadline for full applications is Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 4:00 P.M.  Grantees will be announced and funds will be disbursed in mid-December 2015 for use during 2016.

Please log into the Foundation’s grant website to view grant application materials.

Please see also the Frequently Asked Questions.

How are grantees selected?

Each organization must analyze its needs and present a specific capacity building project.  The most competitive projects will have the following characteristics described in the Letter of Intent (LOI):

  • Project is timely for the organization
  • Project is well-defined
  • Project is connected to the organization’s strategic plan
  • Project will have impact that is able to be measured or recognized by the organization.

Full applications will seek additional information about the organization, its track record and finances; the capacity building project budget and the organization’s readiness to implement the project; and, the project’s anticipated impact.

Please note that the Community Foundation of Louisville reserves the right to modify the Fund for Louisville Grants Program to best meet the needs of the community.

Current Grant Recipients

Current grant recipients may complete their 6-month project update report and their 12-month final project and budget report on the Foundation’s grant website.

Previous Winners

For additional information about the Fund for Louisville Grants Program, contact Liz.

Liz Alkire
Liz Alkire »
Program Officer