Complete Community Impact Grant Guidelines

Community Impact grants ($12,001 and over)

These grants typically fund programs larger in scope and scale. Successful applicants will demonstrate a track record of effectiveness and the capacity to articulate and measure impact. The CFMC expects to fund grants with an average grant size of $25,000. These applications are reviewed by grant committees that carefully review proposals and recommend a slate of grants to the CFMC board, which has final authority in all grant decisions.

Small Grants Program ($12,000 and under)

While still following the Community Impact guidelines and priority areas, these smaller grants are intended for first-time Community Impact applicants, small organizations, or programs serving a specific population or geographic area. The Small Grants Program has a streamlined application and reporting process, and grants are reviewed and recommended by a group of senior foundation staff.

Community Impact Grants Small Grants Program
Grant Amount $12,001 – $50,000 $12,000 and under
Deadlines 1st Friday in February & August 1st Friday in September & March
Scope & Characteristics
  • Countywide or larger scope
  • Impact on complex issues
  • Organizations with strong track record of effectiveness
  • Limited size & scope
  • Serve specific community
  • Smaller organizations
  • First-time Community Impact applicants
Application & Reporting
  • Comprehensive application
  • Capacity to track & measure results annually
  • Higher expectations for outcome measurement
  • Shorter application
  • Measurable results encouraged
Review Committee review Staff review
Decisions Within 5 months Within 3.5 months


Selecting Grants

The CFMC receives far more requests than is possible to fund. Typically, the CFMC can only approve one third of requests and must decline many worthwhile proposals.

The CFMC seeks to fund proposals that:

  • Align with one or more of the CFMC’s funding priorities (see Program Areas)
  • Exhibit the potential to accomplish meaningful results in one or more interest area
  • Address community challenges, underserved populations and/or service gaps
  • Articulate desired results, effective methods, 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 financial information that demonstrate fiscal health

The CFMC strongly encourages proposals that do 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
  • Leverage the proposed CFMC grant with other financial and human resources


Eligible Organizations:

  • Community Impact grants are open to 501(c)3* nonprofit organizations and public agencies serving Monterey County residents.
  • All requested funding must directly benefit residents of Monterey County.
  • All organizations applying for a grant should be current on reporting obligations for past CFMC grants.
  • Only one Community Impact grant per organization will be awarded annually, unless the grant is for a multi-organization collaborative project or to a fiscal sponsor Fiscal sponsors may submit more than one application on behalf of different sponsored groups and/or one for their own organization.

*Organizations or collaborative projects that are not legally incorporated may partner with a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization which will serve as the fiscal sponsor for the proposed grant. The fiscal sponsor must agree to be accountable to the CFMC for the programmatic and financial outcomes of the grant and have a signed agreement with the sponsored group verifying the terms of the arrangement.


Grant funds cannot be used for the following types of activities:

  • Activities that are non-secular or promote a religious doctrine
  • Academic research
  • Funding to K-12 schools and public agencies that would supplant tax-supported, mandated services or for the acquisition or renovation of equipment and facilities
  • Fundraising campaigns or fundraising events
  • Creation of, or addition to, an endowment fund
  • Payment of debt or legal settlements
  • Political or partisan purposes
  • Expenses incurred prior to the grant award date

The CFMC does not support organizations that discriminate in their employment practices, volunteer opportunities, or delivery of programs and services on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law.

Types of Support

Program We are most interested in supporting sustainable programs that have the potential to produce meaningful results on community priorities.

Organizational Development Proposals are welcome for major organizational development efforts (non-recurring activities intended to develop the internal capacity and infrastructure of organizations). 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 We supports capital costs (buildings and facilities) when those capital improvements have the potential to advance greater social benefit. Capital support will be considered for predevelopment expenses and/or for construction costs after the agency has raised at least half of the goal.

Operating Support We 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 and a positive and stable history.

Duration of Grants

Community Impact grants typically cover a period of eleven months; however, organizations awarded a grant may submit a renewal application for the same purpose in subsequent years, starting in 2016. Renewal applications are reviewed in a competitive process with all other proposals in the same priority area.

Organizations may receive up to five (5) consecutive years of funding through the Community Impact grant program. After the fifth consecutive year of funding, an organization must refrain from applying for one year. Proposals for a fifth year of funding must address how the organization or program will be sustained in year six without a CFMC grant.

Multiyear proposals may be considered for larger collaboratives or initiatives.

Applying for Multiple Grants

In general, an organization is eligible to receive only one Community Impact grant per calendar year. The exceptions are:

  • Collaborative Grants: The lead agency for a collaborative can receive a grant on behalf of the collaborative and a separate grant for its organization
  • Fiscal Sponsors: 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations can apply on behalf of sponsored groups

In both of these cases, the applying agency would be responsible for financial management and reporting. The applying agency is the applicant and submits supporting documents relating to its organization. The application does require additional documentation from fiscal sponsors and collaboratives including a memorandum of agreement and other supporting information.

Please contact us if you plan to apply for multiple grants in one calendar year.


A two-step evaluation report is due to us eleven months after you’ve been awarded an Community Impact grant. 2014 Grants and older use the Common Impact Evaluation form. All grants awarded in 2015 will complete the evaluation in our online grant system. Contact us if you have any questions. The evaluation report will include the following:

  1. budget/expense , detailing how the funds were spent.
  2. An evaluation form in which you report on how the grant was used, the impact it had on your organization and/or community, what you have learned, and your next steps.