Grant Criteria


Organization Support Grants support general operating costs and capacity-building projects for nonprofits that impact the quality of life in Linn County, Iowa.  These grants do not assist with capital infrastructure [bricks and mortar] projects.

Organization Eligibility

  • Must be a nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 status
  • For organizations based in Linn County:
    • If less than two years old (based on IRS letter of determination)
      • If the operating budget is less than $5 million, it may apply to capacity-building projects.
    • If more than two years old (based on IRS letter of determination):
      • If the operating budget is less than $5 million, it may apply to general operating costs or capacity-building projects.
      • If the operating budget is between $5 million – $20 million, it may apply to capacity-building projects.
  • For organizations based outside of Linn County:
    • If you are over two years old (based on an IRS letter of determination) and have an operating budget of less than $20M, you may apply for the Linn County portion of capacity-building projects.

Ineligible Organizations – General Operating Support

  • Organizations with a core religious mission

Ineligible Activities – Capacity-Building Projects

  • Fundraising events and activities
  • Program-specific staff training
  • Travel out of the region
  • Staff salary costs except when costs are directly related to project implementation
  • Religious activities or efforts supporting an organization’s core religious mission
  • Expenses that have occurred or will occur during the grant review process

Information about organization capacity building and organizational assessment tools can be found in Nonprofit Network Resources.

Maximum Organization Support Grants Request Amount

New initiatives are limited to a single-year request.

Organization BudgetRequest Amount
$750k – $5M or $20M$1,000-$25,000

*The Community Foundation generally does not fund more than 20% of an organization’s budget.

Duration of Grants

12 months

Frequency of Application and Funding Limits

  • Organizations have four application opportunities between Program Supports Grants (PSG) and Organization Support Grants (OSG) in the calendar year with the following exception: a current active grant removes the application opportunity for that grant program.  Contact the Program Officer for clarification if needed.
  • Organizations with operating budgets of less than $250,000 are generally limited to up to 20% of their operating budget in total from these two grant programs during the calendar year.
  • Organizations with operating budgets of $250,000 or higher are limited to $50,000 total from these two grant programs during the calendar year.

Grantmaking Equity Statement

The Community Foundation is committed to ensuring equity in our grantmaking strategy. Review the Grantmaking Equity Statement adopted by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors here.

Application and Forms

NOTE: The Community Foundation maintains strict standards to uphold the integrity of the grantmaking process. Our conflict of interest policy applies to grant committees, board and staff requiring recusals in cases of conflict of interest. The Community Foundation review processes are methodical and transparent, with scoring tools for competitive grant applications available in the online applications.

Questions? Contact Us.

Visit the Nonprofit Giving Center and the Nonprofit Calendar to search for a nonprofit fund, organization, cause, or event to support.