CFMT: Discretionary Grants

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Suggest an update

Grant amount: Up to US $12,500

Next anticipated deadline: Jul 11, 2020 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: Aug 1, 2020 9:59pm PDT (Full proposal)

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense, Project / Program, Biomedical

Location of project: Counties in Tennessee: Bedford County, Cannon County, Cheatham County, Clay County, Coffee County Show all

Location of residency: Counties in Tennessee: Bedford County, Cannon County, Cheatham County, Clay County, Coffee County Show all

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:



Note: Organizations are required to have a complete and updated profile to be considered for The Community Foundation discretionary grants. New to Read the Requirement for grantseekers and complete the “Placeholder Form“. Deadline to create a profile and submit your placeholder form is the "pre-proposal" deadline above 

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee awards grants for a broad array of charitable purposes.

The Community Foundation’s grantmaking is encouraging grant requests to support programs and those they serve in addition to operations.

The Foundation has identified several broad categories in which needs exist and for which grant requests are encouraged:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Community Development, Improvement & Planning
  • Conservation and Environment
  • Education
  • Employment and Training
  • Food, Food Security, Agriculture & Nutrition
  • Health
  • Housing and Shelter
  • Human Services-Emergency/Temporary Needs
  • Human Services-Children & Youth
  • Human Services-Aging Adults
  • Human Services-Women & Men
  • Human Services-New Americans

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


  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will accept Discretionary Grant Applications for programs or projects from:
    • Nonprofit organizations legally chartered in Tennessee and in possession of a determination letter from the Internal Revenue
    • Nonprofit Organizations must be headquartered in and serving the following Middle Tennessee counties:
      • Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, Davidson, DeKalb, Dickson, Fentress, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Moore, Overton, Perry, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, White, Williamson, and Wilson.
    • Organizations with programs or projects scheduled to take place from December 1, 2019 through November 30, 2020.
  • Nondiscrimination Policy in Grantmaking:
    • No person, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability, or any other improper criterion be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation.


  • The Foundation is particularly interested in ideas that shed new light on the needs and aspirations of Middle Tennesseans with emphasis on providing long-term solutions. 


  • Organizations ineligible to apply:
    • Nonprofit organizations headquartered outside Middle Tennessee
    • Private Foundations
    • Private Schools (K-12th grades)
    • Grantmaking Organizations (Funds from The Community Foundation cannot be used to re-grant to another organization.) 
    • Houses of Worship
  • Limited funds are available at this time.
  • We cannot make grants to any organization that does not provide direct services or that intends to use these funds to support other nonprofits.
  • Unless there is compelling evidence that such support is vital to the success of a program meeting priority needs, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s unrestricted and field-of-interest funds are highly unlikely to support:
    • Administrative/General Operations
    • Administrative expenses not to exceed 20% of the total funding request
    • Advertising/Sponsorships
    • Annual Campaigns/Endowment Campaigns
    • Biomedical or clinical studies; other than those related to breast cancer and transplantation
    • Capital Campaigns (i.e. new buildings, vans, cars, buses, office renovations or remodeling, etc.)
    • Debt retirement or restructuring
    • Equipment for general operations, unless mandated by the State of Tennessee (i.e. appliances, trailers, sprinkler systems, etc.)
    • Technology for general operations, i.e. telephones, computers, copiers, etc.
    • Events/Receptions (including food, rentals, etc.)
    • Federated fund drives
    • Fundraising events/Fundraising feasibility studies
    • Lobbying activities/Political activities
    • Commissioned studies to educate policy makers and advocates.
    • Multi-year grants for projects
    • Purposes/Services outside our Middle Tennessee service area
    • Public agencies for mandated services
    • Programs of a religious nature or programs requiring participation in religious activities or adherence to a particular set of beliefs as a condition for receiving services.
    • Replacement of Government Funding
    • Scholarships, Stipends, or Incentives to participate
    • Trips and/or conference attendance (including registration fees, travel reimbursements, etc.)
  • It is unlikely we will provide funding for brand new organizations without a track record especially if there are
  • existing entities doing good work in that area of need.
  • Beginning in 2019, the following organizations will be considered ineligible to apply:
    • Nonprofit organizations with budgets below $50,000, and/or
    • Nonprofits that have been in operation for two years or less.
      • However, if your organization fits the description above and received a grant during the 2017 and 2018 grant cycle, you are eligible to reapply.