Grant Proposal Guidelines Grant Guidelines

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The region served by Danville Regional Foundation (DRF) has faced many challenges in the last decade-economic, health, educational, and social. Because these challenges are ongoing, DRF is committed to working with organizations that strive to create a healthy and thriving Danville/Pittsylvania County/Caswell County region.

DRF supports regional improvement through funding initiatives:

  • Proposed by others (responsive grant making) that show potential for significantly impacting present problems by converting them into opportunities for ultimate success, and,
  • Developed because of unanticipated opportunities where DRF funds, in cooperation with others, can enable productive advances that might not otherwise be attainable.

DRF will consider requests that reflect its mission, values, and areas of focus (outlined under "About the Foundation"). Beyond these previously stated specifics, funding is given greater consideration when the application demonstrates intersection of three areas: need, opportunity, and potential impact.


At DRF, we don't award grants just to fill a need or to embrace an opportunity. The grants we fund do both.

In addition, they lead to a larger impact that is visible in the community.

Here are four questions to ask as your proposal is prepared to see if your idea meets the need, opportunity and impact criteria:

  1. What issue and/or problem are you trying to change?
  2. How will you do it?
  3. Who will you connect to make this successful? What groups will you work with to make this happen?
  4. What does this change look like if you are successful? How will we know it when we see it?


DRF anticipates requests will exceed available funds. Grants will be made based on a competitive process; but, regardless, some very worthy projects will not receive funding. There is always more need than there is money available to grant. Funding decisions will come down to this question, what difference will it make?

Proposals may be submitted at any time and the review process will begin when they arrive at the DRF Office. Depending on the time of year when a proposal is received, the entire process (inquiry to receipt of funds) may take as little as three months or as much as eight.

Please review prior awarded grants for more information.

Still have questions, visit our FAQ page.

Proposal Grantee Expectations

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Application Process for Responsive Grants

All potential applicants are encouraged to meet with staff prior to a proposal. While this is not required, it will provide applicants with the opportunity to discuss an idea with a Program Officer and get a better sense of how to move forward.

Discussions with staff are encouraged and welcomed, but action by the DRF Board is required for an organization to receive a grant.

The proposal should include, but not be limited to:

checkbox Summary - The short version of who, why, what, where, how and how much.

checkbox Organization - Your organization's history, programs, structure, overall budget, board and key staff, accomplishments, other items that establish credibility.

checkbox Need and Opportunity To Be Addressed - Explain why this proposal is important, its relationship to DRF's priorities, present specifics about the basic issues, explain the consequences of inaction, note participation in or lack thereof with regional organizations presently working on this area, make sure the proposal specifically focuses on the community, region, or target populations' needs.

checkbox Use of Resources - Provide a work plan, outline specific activities, explain the target audience and how members will be served, explain worker qualifications and projected employees, and include a specific time line.

checkbox Impact of This Effort - Discuss the difference the project will make and to whom, explain how DRF funding will change the conditions that caused the need/problem, discuss the evaluation or assessment strategies and the person or organization responsible for evaluation.

checkbox Other funding - Include information about other funders and public support, explain where the project fits into your organization's priorities, and discuss the plan for the project's sustainability after DRF funding ends.

checkbox Budget - Explain how the money will be spent, provide a budget that projects expenses and income including key costs critical to this effort (such as personnel, rent, supplies, transportation, non-staff consultants), show these projections for the life of the request and at least one year beyond.

checkbox Negative Information - If your organization is in the middle of a lawsuit, has a funder who is about to drop the organization, has high staff turnover, etc., it is always better to tell DRF rather than have the Board learn it from other sources. Grant application and funding is about trust.

checkbox Organization and Board of Directors listing - Include in this information if any staff or board members have attended the Duke Nonprofit Management Program offered through DRF. While not required, we will look to see if organizational capacity has increased.

Please contact DRF to begin the application process and learn next steps.

If DRF awards a grant, the recipient organization is required to collect, benchmark and measure data related to the project. Read more about Grantee Expectations here.


Capital Projects

Early in its history, DRF completely funded several capital projects as part of a settlement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). DRF may continue to fund capital projects, but only when the projects meet certain criteria. Capital projects, such as building construction, debt reduction, and endowment, may be partially funded if they are explicitly tied to one or more DRF outcomes, benefit a significant portion of the region, demonstrate broad-based support, have a significant multiplier effect, significantly increase the core capacity of an organization, or have an extraordinary impact in the region. In the unusual circumstance when DRF does choose to fund a capital project, funding would normally be limited to 40% or less of the project's estimated cost.


Funding Requirements

When considering funding requests, DRF will use the following criteria to measure proposals:

  1. Programs operating or benefiting primarily those who live in Danville and Pittsylvania County in Virginia and Caswell County in North Carolina.
  2. Organizations that have 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable or government status; however, requests that substitute or supplant funding that is the legitimate responsibility of government will not be.
  3. PLEASE NOTE: Specific, focused requests; such as dinners, benefits, and other fundraisers are excluded.


Other Information

If an application is declined, DRF will give the most specific reason possible.

DRF provides support and limited guidelines to the Community Foundation of the Dan River Region (CFDRR) regarding what is funded from the Danville Regional Foundation Fund; however, CFDRR makes independent decisions about funding. Some applicants feel that DRF should be assisting them in fundraising or at least making referrals. Where easy, it makes sense to do this, but DRF does not have the staff to do research for applicants, especially with organizations with whom we do not share mission or strategy.

On occasion DRF may consider requests to supplement government funds when major benefits to the region and DRF's mission are apparent; however, requests from units of government that have their own capacity to raise funds, or requests that are intended to reduce the funding responsibilities of taxing authorities will be declined.

Grants will not be made to faith-based institutions for religious purposes. Extraordinary circumstances would be needed in order to fund grants to fire department, rescue squads, and public safety organizations. Projects would need to produce one or more of the Foundation's four outcomes and have a significant multiplier effect upon a substantial portion of DRF's region. Individuals, regardless of their situation, do not qualify as eligible grant recipients.

Learn How To Apply Grant Application

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Contact DRF at 434-799-2176 to find out how to apply!