Vermont Community Foundation

OVERVIEW: This community funder supports nonprofits throughout the state of Vermont in a variety of areas, including youth, education, arts, and the environment.

FUNDING AREAS: Youth, education, literacy, arts, women and girls, environment, capacity building, opportunity gaps, college and career

IP TAKE:  There are many funds and ways to get involved with VCF. But closing education and economic achievement gaps have been particularly important to the funder lately, so focus your proposal on this concept, if applicable.

PROFILE: The Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) is located in Middlebury, Vermont, and was established in 1986 to support nonprofits in the state. VCF awards over $12 million per year in grants through its funds and programs. There are around 772 funds at VCF, with a reported $251.5 million in total assets.

VCF offers competitive grant rounds for Vermont nonprofits and posts current opportunities on its website. For example, Opportunity Gap grant programs support early care and learning, youth and families, college and career training, and community and economic vitality. Grassroots grants are between $500 and $3,000, nonprofit capacity-building grants are up to $2,500, and special and urgent needs grants are between $500 and $5,000 in this category.

There are also statewide grant programs housed at VCF, including the Con Hogan Community Leadership Award for Vermont leaders, the Paul Post Fund for Libraries for public school and libraries’ young adult programs, and the Samara Fund for LGBTQ Communities. There’s also the Vermont Arts Endowment Fund for statewide arts groups and the Vermont Women’s Fund for groups that support career pathways and prospects for women and girls in Vermont.

VCF place-based programs focus on issues in their home regions and include the following:

  • Addison County, Brandon & Beyond: The Walter Cerf Community Fund
  • Chittenden County: The Concert Artists Fund
  • Deerfield River Enhancement Fund
  • Brattleboro: Crosby-Gannett Fund
  • Brattleboro: Dunham-Mason Fund
  • Lake Champlain Basin: Kelsey Trust
  • Lake Champlain & Tributaries Restoration Fund
  • South Lake Champlain Fund
  • Lamoille County & Beyond: The Green Mountain Fund
  • The Northeast Kingdom Fund
  • Rutland County: Hills and Hollows Fund
  • Upper Connecticut River Mitigation & Enhancement Fund

Long-term grantmaking is made through the High Meadows Fund (climate resilience and working farms and forests), the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation (post-secondary education and training), and the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children. However, these grants are available mainly on an invitation-only basis. Each of the grant opportunities mentioned here have their own sets of application guidelines and deadlines.

Dan Smith is president and CEO of VCF, and there are six staff members on the grants and community investments team. Get to know the various staff members by following the VCF staff blog.

The foundation staff can be reached with general questions at info@vermontcf.org or (802) 388-3355. The address is 3 Court Street, Middlebury, Vermont 05753. Keep up with foundation news and events here.

PEOPLE:

  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)

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