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Grantmaking Policies/Guidelines

Stark Community Foundation's Community Responsive Grants Program awards more than 60 grants annually. SCF traditionally receives 80-100 proposals per year with awards typically ranging from $2,500 to $50,000.


It is because of thoughtful and generous individuals, families and businesses that Stark Community Foundation and its family of donors are able to strengthen and impact our local community through grantmaking. Organizations eligible to apply for funding include: tax-exempt private agencies, 501(c)(3) organizations (that are recognized as public charities) and government entities located within Stark County or directly benefiting Stark County. The Foundation does not award grants to individuals except through scholarship funds.

Grassroots Organizations
Stark Community Foundation will consider requests for funding grassroots community non-profit organizations without a 501(c)(3) who meet the following restrictions:

  • Grant request does not exceed $3,000
  • Applicant organization uses a fiscal agent that is approved by the Foundation

Stark Community Foundation normally does not approve grants to support the following:

  • Annual appeals and membership contributions
  • Conferences and recognition events
  • Deficit financing for programs or capital expenditures
  • Endowment funds
  • Incentives for program participants
  • Multiple station computerization projects from individual school systems and other educational institutions
  • Operating expenses of established organizations
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Stipends for program participants
  • Vehicles


Concerns central to SCF'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

SCF will also consider how well the project fits the following list of funding priorities

Focus Areas
We believe that there are three essential ingredients to a healthy and vibrant community: economic development, education, and strong neighborhoods. Our major focus areas concentrate our attention on these essential ingredients.

Economic Development
Economic development serves as the catalyst for addressing the root cause of social problems within communities. Successful economic development programs and policies will create an infrastructure of facilities, a trained workforce, and collaboration between the private sector (business), the public sector (government), and the civic sector (foundations and non- profits). When these elements come together, jobs are created, the family unit is strengthened, and neighborhoods are revitalized. It is a "virtuous circle" that improves the quality of life of all our residents.

Education is the backbone of economic development. Education creates the skills that are necessary to prepare individuals for employment opportunities and the ability to sustain themselves and their families. As individuals, we remain competitive and vibrant as we learn new skills and gather new knowledge. Education must begin at an early age and continue throughout a lifetime of learning.

Neighborhood Revitalization
At the heart of the community is the neighborhood. Vibrant neighborhoods are central to creating and maintaining homes and relationships that are sources of pride around a common purpose. Community pride and a sense of accomplishment create a shared experience that moves a community forward to achieve greater and greater accomplishments. Our intent is to provide the foundation of skills and programs needed to transform our neighborhoods into better places to live, learn, work, play, and raise families.

Pre-Grant Application Meeting

While the 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 Grant 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.

Evaluation Report

The Foundation requires evaluative reports for all grants, and collects specific data to track outcomes of our Board directed Focus Areas. Failure to submit a final report will impact the organization's ability to secure future funding from Stark Community Foundation.




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