We invest in organizations responding to Stark County's evolving needs and opportunities through Stark Community Foundation's Community Responsive Grants Program.

We strive to be responsive, which is why we review grant proposals on an ongoing basis. While there is no deadline to apply, the Foundation’s Board of Directors meets next in May 2024 to make funding decisions on current proposals.

Before beginning an application, please be sure to visit the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Organizations located within Stark County or directly benefiting Stark County that are eligible to apply for funding include:

  • tax-exempt private agencies
  • 501(c)(3) organizations (that are recognized as public charities)
  • state-supported educational institutions
  • government entities

Individuals may not apply for a grant but may contact Stark Help Central for further assistance.

Yes, if your proposal involves a program that will benefit Stark County, its people and organizations.

Yes. Stark Community Foundation will consider requests from grassroots organizations without 501(c)(3) status that meet the following restrictions: grant requests do not exceed $3,000 and the applicant organization uses a fiscal agent that is approved by the Foundation.

You will create an account through our online Grant Portal. Please be sure to check out the video tutorials available for further instruction.

Yes. You will need to attach a copy of your 501(c)(3) determination letter, your IRS Form 990, your financial statements (including an audit, if your organization is audited). See the online application for a list of required financial documentation.

Grant requests typically range from $2,500 — $50,000.

Concerns central to Stark Community Foundation's evaluation of proposed projects include: the strength and breadth of local support for the project; the sustainability of the applicant organization; and the project’s enduring value and its ability to address significant community needs. Proposals should be based on data-driven evidence demonstrating need or community benefit.

While Stark Community Foundation plays an integral role in our community by supporting and working with the organizations that serve Stark County, we prefer not to have meetings specifically to discuss a grant application prior to its submittal. The Community Responsive Grants Program review process is structured so that we review all grant applications. Each grant request is thoroughly reviewed by our Grants Review Committee after which a recommendation is made to the Board of Directors for a final decision. We will contact you if we have further questions regarding your grant application during the grant review process.

Once your application is received, the Grants Administrator will process your application and will notify you by email that your application has been received. You will also be notified at this time if your application is missing any required documentation. Once all required documents are received, the Grants Review Committee reviews the grant request. You may at this stage be contacted for an interview and/or site visit.

The Grants Review Committee will make a recommendation to Stark Community Foundation’s Board of Directors who makes the final decision. You will be notified of this decision within one to two weeks after the Board meets.

Stark Community Foundation normally does not approve grants to support operating expenses of established organizations. Additionally, the Foundation normally does not approve grants to support deficit financing for programs or capital expenditures, nor the following:

  • annual appeals and membership contributions;
  • annual community celebrations;
  • conferences and recognition events;
  • endowment funds;
  • incentives for program participants;
  • multiple station computerization projects from individual school systems and other educational institutions;
  • religious organizations for religious purposes;
  • sponsorships (individual, organization or events);
  • stipends for program participants; and
  • vehicles

At times, if it makes sense for the organization and its programs.

Proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis in order to respond to ever-changing needs and opportunities that benefit the community.

Organizations may only submit one Community Responsive Grant application for consideration. If awarded, organizations will not be eligible for additional grant dollars until the grant period is closed. If declined, organizations must wait one year before applying (for the same project).

Stark Community Foundation will not award a Community Responsive Grant to an organization for more than three consecutive years.

Yes, a report must be submitted. Reports may be submitted through the grants management system (on-line portal).

While organizations may not apply for a donor advised fund grant, our Community Responsive Grants Program team shares opportunities with other relevant Foundation staff. The Foundation also provides multiple funding opportunities with various areas of focus.

We look forward to learning more about the programs and services you look to provide in Stark County and the data which supports your efforts.

The Foundation strongly encourages connecting with groups like Canton Regional SCORE prior to seeking funds. They can assist with structuring a board of trustees, grant writing, developing a business plan, structuring a marketing plan, establishing outcomes and performance indicators, complying with IRS requirements and financing and budgeting. In addition to workshops, SCORE provides direct mentoring services at no cost.

Due to the competitive nature of funding opportunities, funding is limited, and there is no guarantee of financial support to new and existing entities.

You may contact Grants Administrator Dana Johnson.

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