Where Have Grants From the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Been Going Lately?

 photo: Jason Kolenda/shutterstock

photo: Jason Kolenda/shutterstock

Based in Nashville, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is tasked with bringing donors and nonprofits together in a whopping 43 counties. And in the funder’s most recent grantmaking cycle, groups in 31 of these counties received grants. To get a handle on the types of organizations that receive this community funder’s grants, where they operate, and where the money comes from, we’re taking a closer look at CFMT’s giving.

Arts and Humanities is a Top Priority

In CFMT’s most recent grant cycle, which was part of its 2017 annual grantmaking process, the foundation awarded $2,072,235 to 346 nonprofits the region. Fifteen percent of the new grants were awarded in the arts and humanities category, which was the largest giving category of all. However, arts and humanities was closely followed by grants for human services and children, education, and animal welfare. Each of these categories received 13 percent of the total award amount.

A list of the 346 grantees are listed by county here. Examples of new grantees include the ACLU Foundation of Tennessee for a “know your rights” campaign, Agape Animal Rescue for spay and neuter surgeries, and Book ‘Em for pre-literacy skills training targeting low-income children. Groups from the following counties received CFMT grants this year: Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Montgomery, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Warren, White, Williamson, and Wilson.

Competitive Grants Come from Unrestricted and Field-of-Interest Funds

Some community foundations in the Southeast offer competitive grant opportunities, while others do not. CFMT is one that does, and its discretionary grants are awarded once per year from both unrestricted and field-of-interest funds. The field-of-interest funds are set up by individual donors but are still part of the competitive process. Most grants are $5,000 or less, but the Allocations and Distributions Committee reserves the right to give up to $10,000 for grants.

In addition to the funding categories noted above, CFMT also gives in the areas of civic affairs and community planning, conservation and environment, employment and training, health, historic preservation, and housing and community development.

The Application Period Opens Up in Summer

Since CFMT has a once-per-year discretionary grantmaking process, regional groups will need to wait until next summer to apply for funding. In 2017, the guidelines and application were made available to grantseekers on June 20, and then applications were due on August 1.

You can sign up for email updates on the funder’s website to learn about the 2018 grant cycle in the months ahead. In the meantime, make sure that your Giving Matters nonprofit profile is complete and up-to-date, as this is a requirement in advance of applying for a CFMT grant.