Community Foundation 20th Anniversary Grant Opportunity

In celebration of our 20th Anniversary, the Community Foundation of North Florida is offering eight $5,000 grants. These grants are made possible by a generous gift from the Ethel and Edwin Ramsey Fund.  The purpose of this fund is to support a wide variety of charitable activity.

The Community Foundation is accepting grant applications specifically for the purposes of strengthening the internal capacity of organizations to deliver their services more effectively or efficiently.

Here are some examples of activities that would qualify (in no particular order):

  • Improving technology
  • Development/Training/Education for Board and/or Staff members
  • Strategic planning
  • Implementing (or improving) evaluations/assessments (of programs, management, board, financial, fundraising, or otherwise)
  • Increasing knowledge/skills/resources for:
    1. Accounting and financial management
    2. Fundraising
    3. Marketing and Communications
    4. Service delivery

You are not limited to the above examples. Please focus your application on how you think the funds would best strengthen your organization’s ability to carry out its mission and goals in an effective and efficient way.

20th Anniversary Grant Application Process

Organizations interested in applying for this funding opportunity must submit a complete Proposal using the forms listed below. Applications are due by 5pm Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Completed applications must be emailed to Laura Harwin at

  1. CFNF 20th Anniversary Grant – Proposal Form completed in full; and
  2. CFNF 20th Anniversary Grant – Budget and Narrative Form completed in full.

Both the Proposal Form and Budget and Narrative Form must be submitted. An email will be sent confirming receipt of each application.

Awardees will be required to provide a brief written statement after the funded work is completed to share the impact of the grant.


Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Currently exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and classified as organizations to which contributions are deductible under Section 170(c)(2), normally a public charity under Section 509(a); and
  • Serving the Community Foundation’s primary geographic area (Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor or Wakulla County).

Unfortunately, we are unable to make grants to individuals.

For more information about this grant opportunity, please contact Laura Harwin, Director of Nonprofit Relations at or 850-222-2899 ext. 100.


General Information

The Knight Foundation Fund is currently the only fund at the Community Foundation that accepts grant applications. Information about the priority area and application process is below.

About The Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation logo

The Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

Knight Foundation Fund – Grant Opportunity

The Community Foundation accepts grant applications through the Knight Foundation Fund, a component fund at the Community Foundation.

The 2016 grant cycle is now closed. The priorities remained unchanged (see below) from 2015, but the 2016 grant cycle was invitation-only.

This year, the cycle involved a two step process. In Stage 1 applicants submit an abbreviated proposal describing their project and how it helps Knight Foundation accomplish its priorities as set forth below. From there, in Stage 2 a limited number of applicants are invited to submit full proposals for final consideration for funding.

Please read the information below to learn more about the Knight Foundation Fund’s grant guidelines and application process.

You may click here to see the organizations and projects awarded grants in previous years. Note: Projects funded in prior years before 2014 were funded under a priority area of interest and guidelines different from the 2014-2016 priority area and guidelines.

For more information about the Knight Fund grant cycle, please contact Laura Harwin or 850-222-2899.

Knight Foundation Fund Guidelines

The Knight Foundation Fund supports the success of the 26 Knight Communities through investments that attract, retain and harness talent; that expand opportunity by increasing entrepreneurship and economic mobility; and that support civic infrastructure to accelerate the growth of ideas and bring people from diverse social and economic backgrounds together.

Promoting civic innovation and robust engagement will enable our communities to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Knight wants their investments to (a) inspire the actions of residents of Tallahassee and (b) help Knight build successful cities.

Talent: Knight Foundation invests in residents, immigrants and entrepreneurs as economic growth, job creation and neighborhood revitalization drivers.

Place: Knight Foundation invests in places that are primed to accelerate talent and opportunity.

Civic Innovation: Knight Foundation invests in innovation in governance and civic capacity.

Places that accelerate talent and opportunity:

  • Connect assets and people
  • Attract and retain talent
  • Foster economic integration
  • Result in a change that can be felt in the near term
  • Incorporate quality design and new tools or technologies
  • Respond and are authentic to the community
  • Are sustainable
  • Leverage public and private partners and enhance market potential

Knight is most interested in projects that reflect one or more of the following:

  • Represent a true innovation
  • Have the ability to be breakthrough or transformative
  • Accelerate learning and the exchange of ideas
  • Have a champion equipped to execute
  • Have a path toward sustainability or completion
  • Promote retention and attraction of talent
  • Enhance opportunity and economic mobility
  • Incorporate opportunities for robust citizenship and/or engagement
  • Result in a change that can be seen or felt in the near term

Knight Foundation Fund Application

The 2016 invitation-only grant cycle is now closed. The application process was a two stage process.

Stage 1: Organizations interested in receiving a grant from the Knight Fund must submit an Abbreviated Proposal using the following form:Abbreviated Proposal Form

A limited number of applicants will be selected as finalists and invited to submit a full application as described below in Stage 2. 

Stage 2 (for Finalists only): Finalists from Stage 1 will be invited to submit a full Proposal for funding consideration. Participation in Stage 2 is expected to involve the completion and emailing of the following required documents by the Stage 2 deadline to Laura Harwin:

  1. Grant Proposal Form completed in full; and

  2. Project Budget Form.* completed in full

*Project Budget Form Example

Actual requirements for Stage 2 will be described to finalists when they are selected and notified.

What organizations are eligible to apply for a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund?

Applicants to the Knight Foundation Fund must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Good standing as a not-for-profit with the Florida Secretary of State’s office;
  • Currently exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and classified as organizations to which contributions are deductible under Section 170(c)(2), normally a public charity under Section 509(a); and
  • Doing the work described in the application, in the Community Foundation’s primary geographic area (Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor or Wakulla County).

May an individual apply for a grant?

No. Each applicant must be an organization meeting all of eligibility requirements set forth in the preceding paragraph. We are unable to make grants to individuals.

What is the maximum or minimum grant amount we can apply for?

There is no maximum or minimum limit on the amount for which you may apply. The Knight Foundation Fund had a total of $167,000.00 to invest in local projects for this grant cycle.

Is multi-year funding available?

Grants are typically made for activity undertaken in one year. Grant recipients may apply in future years for funding but are not given priority or guaranteed additional funding.

Where should questions regarding the Knight Foundation Fund be directed?

Any questions concerning the Knight Foundation Fund and the application process should be directed to Laura Harwin, Director of Nonprofit Relations, at 850.222.2899 or by email.

Are there activities that are not likely to be funded by the Knight Foundation Fund?

Yes. The following are not likely to be funded by the Knight Foundation Fund:

  • Activities outside the Fund’s stated areas of interest;
  • Activities outside the Fund's stated geographic area;
  • Requests for general operating support, annual fund-raising campaigns, fund-raising dinners, or operating deficits;
  • Activities that normally are the responsibility of governments;
  • Medical research, organizations or project whose mission is to prevent, eradicate and/or alleviate the effects of specific diseases, and requests from hospitals
  • Activities to propagate a religious faith or restricted to one religion or denomination, support of political candidates, and memorials;
  • Programs or projects that take place outside the US or are conducted by organizations headquartered outside the US; and
  • A second request for a capital campaign for which Knight Foundation previously approved a grant from its own funds or advised a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund.

Knight Foundation Fund Grant Recipients and Project Descriptions

NOTE: In all years below, the Knight Foundation priority area differed from the current priorities.