Blue Grass Community Foundation Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports early childhood education, cancer and tuberculosis patients, community causes, literacy, and youth enhancement causes in Central and Eastern Kentucky. Grant opportunities vary by county.

FUNDING AREAS: Early childhood education, cancer and tuberculosis patients, community causes, literacy, youth enhancement

IP TAKE: Early childhood education has been a priority for this community funder throughout its various counties, so grant seekers may want to look into this priority area. They have plenty of resources and a tolerance for risk, so it is a great place for grant seekers to turn if they are launching a new nonprofit.

PROFILE: The Blue Grass Community Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life in Central and Eastern Kentucky and “help individuals, families, businesses, communities and nonprofit organizations establish charitable funds, guide their resources to support causes they care about, meet community needs and make a difference.” It was established by Irene and C.W. Sulier of Lexington, who created a permanent endowment for the foundation in 1967.

This is a funder that is solely dedicated to local causes and that understands the needs of the communities it serves. In a recent year, the foundation gave over $400,000 in competitive grantmaking dollars to nonprofits in Central and Eastern Kentucky. The foundation reported over $75 million in total assets in a recent financial quarter.

The grant opportunities and priorities vary from one region of Kentucky to the next; they are as follows:

  • Central Kentucky: literacy and early education ($2,500 to $10,000 grants)

  • Bath & Montgomery Counties: cancer and tuberculosis grants (up to $7,700 grants)

  • Boyle County: projects that serve Boyle county (up to $10,000 grants)

  • Clark County: matching grants for organizations in Clark County (up to $195,000 total)

  • Fayette County Public Schools: mini-grants to age 3-K and literacy teachers (up to $1,000 per grant for $10,000 total)

  • Rowan County: grants that serve Rowan County ($500 to $5,000 grants)

  • Woodford County: youth enhancement programs for teens 14-18 (up to $2,000 grants)

New grant seekers are required to register on the funder’s website before applying for a grant. Each of these grantmaking programs is lead by local volunteers that are elected by the foundation’s board of directors to review funding requests and recommend grantees. Grant seekers can find the specific guidelines and applications for each grantmaking program on the funder’s grant opportunities page.

In addition to awarding grants, this community funder helps nonprofits grow and establish endowment funds and non-endowed charitable funds. It also helps new local nonprofits get off the ground with fiscal sponsorships that have a safety net while the nonprofits work toward tax-exempt status. GoodGiving.net is the online database it uses to connect nonprofits and donors.

General questions can be directed to the Lexington-based staff at 859-225-3343 or via email at info@bgcf.org. Grant seekers can also keep up with what the foundation has been doing lately in its news section.

PEOPLE:

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

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