East Tennessee Foundation Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports nonprofits in 25 counties in Eastern Tennessee through donor-advised grant distributions and a competitive grant program. Open requests for proposals are posted on the funder’s website.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & culture, at-risk youth, community development 

IP TAKE: Each fund at the community foundation has its own unique deadlines and guidelines. Contact Jan Elston to get on ETF’s mass mailing list to keep track of new opportunities.

PROFILE: Based in Knoxville, the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) is a community foundation that is home to hundreds of charitable funds and supporting foundations established by individuals, families, businesses and other nonprofits and foundations. It seeks to “build charitable resources to make communities stronger and lives better through thoughtful giving.” The foundation was established in 1986 and has awarded over $223 million in competitive grants.

ETF has field-of-interest and affiliate funds as part of its competitive grantmaking process. Areas of funding interest include arts & culture, at-risk youth and community development. This foundation serves 25 counties, with the westernmost border marked by the counties of Scott, Morgan, Roane and McMinn.

The foundation uses an online grants management system to accept grant applications, but it is important to visit their grants web page for application requirements for each individual grants program. Grant seekers can find a list of grant funds, as well as grants and loans by location and program, on their Grants page.

ETF regularly publicizes its requests for proposals on its website and through mass emails. New grant seekers can find letter of intent applications online. The staff then evaluates which organizations will be invited to continue on with the full application process. First-time ETF grant seekers can download the tutorial for applicants using the online grant system.

Keep in mind that this funder does not support capital improvements, individuals, endowments, fundraisers, religious causes or debts. In a recent year, the foundation awarded over $9.2 million in grants to hundreds of nonprofits. Over $1 million of those funds were made through competitive grant programs, while the others were distributed through donor-advised funds. Grants from the foundation’s donor funds are recommended directly by donors. Due to privacy, ETF does not provide contact information or details about donors' interests or grant distribution histories.

Only nonprofits located in the following counties are considered for grants: Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union and Washington.


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