Open Grants Program

Golden LEAF Foundation

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Next deadline: Apr 25, 2024 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Jun 20, 2024 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Aug 24, 2024 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Oct 26, 2024 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry), Dec 21, 2024 8:59pm PST (Letter of inquiry), Feb 22, 2025 8:59pm PST (Letter of inquiry), Apr 25, 2025 8:59pm PDT (Letter of inquiry)

Grant amount: Up to US $200,000

Fields of work: Agriculture Job Creation Workforce Preparation & Job Readiness Medical Education & Professional Training Employment Services Academic Success & Enrichment Vocational & Trade Education Career/College Preparation Public Infrastructure Business Development Technology Access & Digital Literacy Rural Development Show all

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: North Carolina

Location of residency: North Carolina


990 Snapshot

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Overview:

NOTE: 

  • The Open Grants Program requires submission of an initial Letter of Inquiry (Stage 1 Application), which is a specific Golden LEAF form. An applicant may submit a full proposal in the Open Grants Program only if the applicant has received an invitation to do so. The dates above are intended to give applicants an indication of the dates by which a Letter of Inquiry or full proposal in those programs must be submitted to the Foundation to assure consideration at a particular meeting of the Golden LEAF Board; however, Golden LEAF staff will work diligently to present Letters of Inquiry and full proposals in those programs to the Board as quickly as possible, even if submitted after the dates outlined below.
  • Prior to submitting a Letter of Inquiry (Stage 1 Application) in the Open Grants Program, applicants who plan to request funding in excess of $200,000 in the Open Grants Program must request a consultation with Golden LEAF staff and submit additional project information with their application. To request a consultation in the Open Grants program, please visit here.

Overview

The purpose of Golden LEAF is to fund projects that promise to bring significant economic improvement to the tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities of North Carolina. We welcome eligible entities to submit a grant application for a project that is consistent with Golden LEAF’s priorities.

Open Grants Program

The Golden LEAF Foundation is committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects that show the most potential for strengthening North Carolina’s long-term economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities. In the Open Grants Program, Golden LEAF’s grantsmaking is focused in the areas of:

  • Job Creation and Economic Investment, Workforce Preparedness and Agriculture.

Priorities

Below is a list of outcomes Golden LEAF has identified as priorities to achieve the goals of the Foundation. Competitive applications in the Open Grants Program would typically include one or more of these measures to assess project outcomes and success.

Job Creation & Economic Investment

Projects awarded in this priority area will gather data to support outcomes including: 

  • Investment in publicly owned infrastructure
  • Investment in privately owned property, plant, and equipment
  • New full-time jobs created
  • Average annual wage of new full-time jobs
  • Business start-ups

Agriculture

Projects awarded in this priority area will gather data to support outcomes including:

  • Number of participants at agricultural trainings
  • New publications directed towards farmers
  • Monthly use of agricultural facilities that benefit farmers

Workforce Preparedness

Projects awarded in this priority area will gather data to support outcomes including:

  • Increase in students completing at least one curriculum program in the area funded.
  • Increase in students completing at least one continuing education course or program in the area funded.
  • Increase in students earning at least one industry/third party certification, license, or other credential (non-academic) in the area funded.
  • Increase in students completing CTE pathways in the area funded.
  • Increase in students participating in work-based learning.
  • Increase in students receiving meaningful exposure and opportunities to explore local career opportunities.

Characteristics of Competitive Proposals

Most awards in the Open Grants Program will be for $200,000 or less. Golden LEAF may make awards of up to $500,000 from this program for projects that possess some of the additional characteristics described on this page.

Competitive applications for projects include requests for funds to:

  • Develop and implement a new workforce training program to meet demand from local employers
  • Implement a career pathway at a high school for a high demand field
  • Extend water, sewer, or road infrastructure to a site to enable industrial development that will create full-time jobs
  • Support the development of new crops, expand markets for agriculture products, or provide training for farmers.

For more information on how Golden LEAF evaluates Open Grants proposals, including detailed characteristics of competitive projects, please download the program guidelines, review the frequently asked questions, or contact Golden LEAF staff for assistance.

Funding

$8.5 million for the Open Grants Program will be available for this year

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

Eligibility:

  • Governmental entities and  501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organizations that serve the people of North Carolina are eligible to apply.
  • Golden LEAF accepts applications from all communities in North Carolina;
    • however, funded projects must benefit tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities.
    • Applicants can strengthen their proposals by identifying the direct positive effect(s) the project will have on those target communities.

Ineligibility:

  • We do not make grant awards to individuals or for-profit businesses.
  • Golden LEAF does not expect to provide support through the Open Grants Program to projects that would fall within the Foundation’s other program areas and initiatives.

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This page was last reviewed October 18, 2023 and last updated October 18, 2023