CFSPS: Community Grants Program

Community Foundation of South Puget Sound

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $2,500 - US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Aug 9, 2020 11:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Washington: Lewis County, Mason County, Thurston County

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:



Community Grants Program

Through our Community Grants, the Community Foundation aims to build community capacity and support individual and community well-being in Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties. Offered once per year, the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound’s Community Grants program is a significant source of community funding.

Community Grants Focus Areas

The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound seeks to fund a wide range of programs and organizations that contribute to quality of life and positive outcomes for individuals and families living in Thurston, Mason, and Lewis Counties. Grant applications typically align with at least one of the Foundation’s focus areas, and we continue to be interested in all ideas that lead to building a better community. The following is a list of the types of activities under each focus area that we typically support.

Arts And Culture

  • Strengthen arts and cultural organizations ;
  • Cultivate and support appreciation of diverse cultures and art forms ;
  • Deepen community-based arts education for children and adults ;
  • Enhance organizations’ ability to diversify and expand audiences;
  • Use the arts to promote cultural expression, build community, and bridge cultural divides.

Community And Civic Engagement

  • Promote volunteerism, immigrant integration, and civic participation ;
  • Support coordination and organizing efforts that create change in communities and expand opportunities for all ;
  • Support leadership development opportunities, especially leadership that is diverse and inclusive.

Economic Opportunity

  • Strategies to help individuals and families build financial assets and manage their finances ;
  • Develop pathways aimed at linking individuals disconnected from the workforce or school to opportunities for jobs, education, and achieving prosperity.

Education & Youth

  • Expand educational opportunities, foster creativity, and enhance academic experiences for youth in our communities;
  • Promote opportunities for youth development and leadership;
  • Support programs that work with underserved youth and young adults ;
  • Offer training and support for educators/providers/families.

Environment & Animal Welfare

  • Support education opportunities to increase environmental awareness for people of all ages ;
  • Support the provision of care for animals (very limited funding).

Health & Wellness

  • Increase access to services that address health and wellness though all stages of life, especially for low-income and vulnerable populations;
  • Increase awareness and activities that support healthy lifestyles and community well-being, especially for low-income and vulnerable populations.

Housing & Human Services

  • Support access to healthy food, stable housing, and safe communities;
  • Support access to information and services that allow vulnerable populations to remain safe and independent.

Types of Support

The Community Grants program awards three types of grants:

Program Support

Program (or project) support grants can support ongoing or expanding programs or projects that align with the Community Foundation’s funding priorities. Program support grants can also support the development of a new program or project.

Capacity Building

Capacity building grants support opportunities to help an organization to more effectively carry out its mission. These grants will be awarded to support activities that will make an organization stronger, more successful, or more effective. Capacity building activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Training for staff, board, or volunteers; 
  • Improving financial management or information systems;
  • Acquiring new technology or equipment to improve or expand services ;
  • Developing new sources of income;
  • Organizational planning and/or development ;
  • Capacity building requests should include an explanation of how the activities will improve the organization.

General Operating 

General operating grants invest in a grantee’s mission, rather than specific projects or programs. It allows grant recipients to use funds as they see fit to reach their goals—whether for salaries and overhead, to invest in technology, or to fund a marketing campaign. General operating support grants are available to nonprofits with operating budgets under $1.25 million. An organization's headquarters must be based in Thurston, Mason, or Lewis Counties to be eligible for general operating support.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities that serve Thurston, Mason, and Lewis County residents.
    • If your organization or group is not a 501(c)(3), you must secure a fiscal sponsor.
  • Each organization may submit one application per cycle. 


  • We are unable to support: 
    • Organizations that discriminate with regard to age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, religious affiliation or presence of disability; 
    • Building funds or annual fund campaigns; 
    • Endowments and debt reduction; 
    • Individuals; 
    • Political activities; 
    • Religious organizations when funds would be used in whole or in part to further the organization’s religious purposes.
  • Our Community Grants program typically does not support:
    • National and statewide organizations that cannot demonstrate a local presence; 
    • Capital support for new buildings, renovations, property acquisitions, or major expansions (we occasionally support smaller proposoals of $5,000 or less for equipment purchases);
    • Higher education institutions and private schools ;
    • Annual campaigns, events, tickets, fundraisers;
    • Re-granting programs or service club projects;
    • Individual schools, daycares, or camps ;
    • Recreational programs and equipment, including playgrounds ;
    • Short-term events and celebrations, such as conferences, festivals, and fundraising functions .