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Takoma Foundation Grant Guidelines

Spring 2018 Cycle

The mission of the Takoma Foundation is to make grants that promote a socially, environmentally, economically and culturally healthy Takoma Park community. The Takoma Foundation supports a dynamic, vibrant community that is inclusive, accepting, supportive and understanding.

The Foundation looks for proposals that:
-- encourage and involve resident participation in community life;
-- build connections between people;
-- empower small groups in dealing with immediate community concerns;
-- provide opportunities to community residents that would not be possible otherwise, including the needs of low and moderate- income residents and youth.

In making final grant allocations, we will consider several aspects of each proposal (below), as well as additional factors to ensure that the allocations are diverse, fair, and strategic:
-- Would the proposal contribute to a stronger Greater Takoma Park Community?
-- Would the proposal provide a benefit that would not be achieved without the grant?
-- Is the plan logical, workable and ready to be implemented?
-- How will the grantee be accountable for results?

In the Fall of 2016, the Takoma Foundation introduced a limited number of general operating support grants in addition to the project grants the Foundation has generally given. The Takoma Foundation recognizes that both types of grants are helpful in supporting the types of programs and organizations we are lucky to have in our community.

Project grants support a specific project or activity of the grantee organization. Project grants are available up to $2,000

General operating support grants are grants of up to $5,000 that support a nonprofit organization’s mission rather than being restricted to specific projects or programs. They can be used to support utility bills, fundraising, board and leadership development, salaries, meeting expenses, materials, or a specific project – the discretion is left to the grantee.

An organization may only receive one grant of any type in a 12 month period. For example, if you received a grant in Spring 2018, you will be eligible to apply again in Spring 2019.

Threshold Criteria for applying for each type of grant

General operating support eligibility:

1) The organization has current 501c3 status or has found an organization with 501c3 status that has agreed to act as a fiscal sponsor.

2) The work of the organization is well-aligned with the mission of the Takoma Foundation and addresses one or more of the Foundation’s priority areas (above).

3) Preference given to organizations with an annual budget of $100,000 or less.

4) Preference is also given to organizations serving the following populations:
-- Underrepresented
-- Underserved
-- Community youth success

5) The organization principally serves the greater Takoma Park community. This includes the following neighborhoods:
-- City of Takoma Park
-- East Silver Spring
-- Takoma Langley
-- Long Branch
-- Takoma, DC

6) We understand that organizations in any stage of their lifecycle* may benefit from general operating support. This may include:
-- Startup phase – For organizations that have just recently obtained their 501c3 status (or have identified a fiscal sponsor), but are still in the process of developing their programs and have not yet started to achieve results.
-- Growth stage – For organizations with the infrastructure necessary to support core programs and which are in the process of growing their programs to scale.
-- Mission impact stage – For organizations already achieving mission impact through programs, organizational leadership, partnerships and collaboration.
-- Transition stage – For organizations undergoing a significant leadership transition or shift in constituents or role.
-- Consolidation stage – For organizations ready to merge with another organization.

7) If the organization has received prior Foundation support, the organization is required to send a report to the Grants committee for any Project Grants that were received.

8) During the proposal review process, we may ask for a meeting with your organization to learn more about your organizational capacity and plans as well as how you think this grant will help you take your work to the next level.

Project grant eligibility:

1) The organization has current 501c3 status or has found an organization with 501c3 status that has agreed to act as a fiscal sponsor.

When and How to Apply                                               

GRANT AMOUNT: General Operating Grants: $250 - $5,000; Project Grants: $250 - $2,000

LIMITATIONS: We cannot make grants to individuals or for-profit businesses. If you are not sure if you are eligible, please contact us before you apply.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Complete and submit the Takoma Foundation Grant Application which is found on the foundation’s web site:

DEADLINE:   Proposals for Spring 2018 should be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5 pm on Friday April 27, 2018

TIMELINE: Grant decisions will be made in early June 2018, and funds will be made available by the middle of June, 2018.

HOW WE OPERATE: The Takoma Foundation is a public charity, operated as a donor advised fund of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. The Takoma Foundation’s all-volunteer board raises money from the community to carry out Foundation activities. A committee of the board coordinates the grants process and makes recommendations to the Takoma Foundation board for grant awards.