Guidelines & Application

Before applying for a Community Impact Grant, please carefully review the guidelines below. Note that the CFMC uses Monterey County's Common Grant Application. If you are applying to another participating funder for the same project, you may use the same application provided to that funder.

2014 Common Grant Application

Interim Report (required only if organization received a Community Impact Grant within the last year)

Framework and Guidelines (revised February 2014)

Community Impact Grants are made from numerous unrestricted and Field of Interest funds established by donors to the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC). Approximately $2 million will be available for Community Impact grants. Grant awards are expected to range from $10,000 to $35,000. Grants greater than $35,000 may be considered for larger and collaborative ventures, but are the exception. The average grant is $20,000.

The CFMC seeks to fund proposals that:

  • Focus on work aligned with one or more of the CFMC’s priorities described in our Grantmaking Framework
  • Exhibit the potential to accomplish meaningful results or impact in one or more of the Interest Areas listed under each funding priority
  • Address critical community challenges, underserved populations and/or service gaps
  • Articulate measurable outcomes (desired results), effective approaches, and viable plans for maintaining ongoing efforts
  • Demonstrate strong community support, capable leadership and knowledge of, and involvement in, the communities served
  • Include a realistic project budget and organizational financial information that demonstrates fiscal health (e.g., diversified revenue sources, solvent, sustainable, etc.)

In addition, we strongly encourage proposals that include one or more of the following:

  • Incorporate fresh, innovative approaches that are based on research, experience and best practices in the field
  • Use collaborative strategies that support efficiencies, increase effectiveness, and build leadership for achieving broader community impact
  • Leverage the proposed CFMC grant with other financial and human resources

Your grant application will be reviewed by one of three community grants committees made up of CFMC board members and community volunteers representing a range of perspectives and expertise. The Community Impact Grants Committees carefully review proposals, and recommend a slate of grants twice a year to the CFMC board, which has final authority in grant decisions.  Inevitably, these committees receive far more requests in each of our priority areas than CFMC is able to fund.  Typically CFMC can only select a third of the requests we receive and must decline many worthwhile proposals.

Supplemental Information

Frequently Asked Questions (January 2013)

Information Session Presentation (June 2014)

Impact Evaluation

An Impact Report is required within one year of the grant date. It is expected that the granted funds will be expended within one year; the supported project need not be finished, since the Impact Report reflects the funded portion only. Grants which are funded entirely or in part by outside agencies may have additional reporting requirements, which will be detailed in the award letter. Use this Impact Report for grants made in 2011 or before.

An Interim Report is required along with new Community Impact grant applications, if the previously funded project is still underway.

Types of Support

Healthy, safe and vibrant communities require a range of strategies. Therefore, grants are considered for one or a combination of the following types of support:

The CFMC is most interested in supporting sustainable programs that have the potential to produce meaningful results on community priorities. Funding is provided for the expansion or refinement of existing programs as well as for new programs that show the promise of efficacy and sustainability. Grants to programs with a successful track record are also considered. Proposals addressing a single program, rather than a combination of projects, are strongly encouraged.

Organizational Development
The CFMC recognizes great value in developing the internal capacities of nonprofit organizations to increase their effectiveness and community impact. Proposals are welcome to support major organizational development efforts (non-recurring activities intended to develop the internal capacity and infrastructure of organizations). Funded projects might include: strategic planning, agency restructuring, fund development planning, moving to new business models, reaching out to new audiences, or conducting needs assessments or community engagement activities. Organizations proposing a capacity-building grant should address how the project strengthens the organization and how it will enhance its mission and benefit the community served.

Capital Support
The CFMC supports capital costs (buildings and facilities) when those capital improvements have the potential to advance greater social benefit. Capital  support will be considered for pre-development expenses and/or for construction costs (after the agency has raised at least half of the goal). Receipt of a grant for pre-development costs does not preclude an agency from also applying for a one-time grant for capital project costs (for the same project) at a later date.

Operating Support
Under limited circumstances, the CFMC may provide unrestricted operating grants to organizations that have a proven track record of community benefit in Monterey County. Organizations must have a base of operations in Monterey County, have a positive and stable history, and have successfully implemented a CFMC grant within the last three years. Operating support grants are most often provided in conjunction with organizational development efforts to provide bridge funding while new revenue sources and internal enhancements are undertaken. Funding for the start-up of new organizations is also considered.

Duration of Grants

Community Impact Grants typically cover a period of one year; however, organizations awarded a grant may reapply up to three years for the same purpose. Funding in the second and third year is contingent on successful completion of the previous year’s goals and progress on sustainability plans. Multi-year proposals may be considered for larger collaboratives or nonprofit sector initiatives, but are the exception.

Submitting a Grant Proposal

Before applying for a grant, please carefully review the CFMC’s grantmaking priorities and guidelines. Our program staff is available to answer your questions about the interest areas and application procedures. Please call 831.375.9712 or visit for application materials, staff contact information and a complete schedule of all of our grant opportunities.

An organization may submit one grant application per cycle (addressing only one funding priority) on behalf of their organization. Note that there are two grant cycles with different priority areas: spring cycle with a deadline in February, and fall cycle with a deadline in August. If the organization applies in February and does not receive a grant, the organization is eligible to submit a grant application addressing another priority area in August.

Collaborative grant applications should:

  • Be submitted by the lead agency, the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization responsible for the financial management and reporting
  • Include the first two pages of the Common Grant Application completed and signed by all named collaborative partners, on behalf of their organization
  • Be submitted by the lead agency with the remaining required documents, on behalf of itself (financial statements) and the collaborative (proposal and evaluation plan).

Grant applications from a Fiscal Sponsor should include a copy of the memorandum of agreement between the fiscal sponsor and the sponsored group. The Fiscal Sponsor is the applicant, and submits supporting documents relating to its own organization, The sponsored agency, like a program, is described in the narrative and the project budget.

For more information about applying for a Community Impact Grant, contact Janet Shing at or call 831.375.9712 x137.