Knox County Foundation: Major Grant

Knox County Foundation

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Next deadline: Jul 15, 2020

Later deadlines: Jan 15, 2021

Grant amount: More than US $5,000

Fields of work: Civic Affairs Education Youth Services Recreation Health & Medicine Art & Culture Human & Social Services Community Development & Revitalization Show all

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit, Public College / University, Public Elementary / Secondary School

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Knox County, Ohio

Location of residency: Knox County, Ohio

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About this funder:




For more than 72 years the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon/Knox County, formerly the Mount Vernon/Knox County Community Trust, has awarded grants and scholarships from a variety of unrestricted, donor-advised and designated funds. As a group, these awards reflect the diversity of charitable interests defined in the Foundation’s mission statement: 

  • To improve the quality of life in Mount Vernon and Knox County through charitable giving; 
  • To provide a vehicle for donors of varied interests to support charitable and community activities; 
  • To assess and respond to emerging and changing community needs in the fields of:
    • education;
    • youth services;
    • recreation;
    • health;
    • arts and culture;
    • social services; and
    • civic and community development. 
  • To develop a permanent endowment for the community, and to serve as a catalyst for the initiation of vital projects.

Major Grant

Applications (more than $5,000) are invited twice each year, and must be received by January 15 for February consideration or July 15 for August consideration. The application for a Major Grant consists of a four-page form, and various required exhibits. The Foundation encourages organizations applying for funding of $50,000 or more to do so in the February round, as the majority of its large grant pool will be available for distribution at that time.

First time applicants for major grants and any applicants requesting a grant over $20,000 are typically required to personally present proposals to members of the Distribution Committee and/or the entire Board of Directors. Presentations are strictly limited to no more than 10 minutes with an additional 5 minutes reserved for questions from Foundation board members.

Occasionally, the Program Manager may request a site visit to get a better understanding of both the project and the organization submitting the request.

Major grant applicants who intend to request a grant $50,000 or more are encouraged to meet with the Program Manager early in the process to for an assessment of potential Foundation interest and support. As the Foundation runs a competitive grant program, knowledge of imminent large grant requests, even a year or more ahead of an actual grant request, is always appreciated.

Foundation Priorities

The Foundation seeks to maximize its impact in the community and has adopted the following strategic priorities to guide its grantmaking. Proposals that address one or more of these priorities have a greater likelihood of receiving funding. They are listed here in no particular order of importance. 

  • A pilot project which can serve as a model of excellence in the community;
  • A project which proposes a creative solution to an identified, but unmet need, in the
  • community;
  • A project or program which encourages volunteer involvement;
  • A project that is a collaborative effort among nonprofit organizations in the community and will eliminate duplication of services; 
  • A project which is likely to make a clear difference in the quality of life for a substantial number of people; or 
  • A project which promotes economic vitality in the community.

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


  • Grants are made to tax-exempt private agencies classified as 501(c)(3) organizations, and to public charities as defined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
  • Public schools, governmental entities and Knox County colleges and universities are also eligible to apply for Foundation grants.


  • The Foundation prefers to support projects in which it is a funding partner, rather than the sole funding source.
  • Applicants are strongly urged to include some degree of match funding in their proposals, and Foundation grants should be the final dollars committed to a project.
  • An additional factor in considering an award is an organization’s demonstrated ability to sustain the project, if applicable, when Foundation funding has ended.


  • Certain projects and organizations are generally not eligible for funding, including but not limited to: 
    • Grants to individuals or projects where facilities or equipment of non-qualifying entities are improved or benefitted; 
    • Routine operating or payroll expenses;
    • Projects/Programs that are restricted to members of a particular faith community or promote a specific religious doctrine; 
    • Purchase of computers, unless proven to be used solely for the project/program;
    • Paying off existing obligations, debts or liabilities;
    • Travel (when it is the proposal’s primary focus);
    • Projects which have been completed prior to allocations decisions;
    • Organizations that do not operate programs in Knox County, or for the benefit of Knox County residents; nor
    • Political campaigns.