GTCF Spark Grants

Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

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Anticipated deadline: Apr 30, 2021 5:00pm PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $1,500

Fields of work: Social Justice / Human Rights Civic Engagement & Education Community Services

Applicant type: Individuals, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Pierce County, Washington

Location of residency: Pierce County, Washington

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About this funder:



Spark grants are micro-grants to individuals designed to bring people-powered ideas and dreams to life in Pierce County, sparking positive social and neighborhood change through the efforts of grass-roots leadership.

Spark grants are a maximum award of $1,500 and are intended to create community through projects that bring diverse people together. Be sure to read the Spark Grant Frequently Asked Questions below if you are interested in applying.

Spark grants started as a result of the Foundation’s Be the Spark event, which included an inspirational visit to Tacoma in 2011 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and world-renowned activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In fact, more than 15,000 people attended the Be the Spark event at the Tacoma Dome and since then thousands of individuals have made a pledge to take action and spark change in our community.

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


  • This grant program is for individuals: grassroots organizers, go-getters, and connoisseurs of community who have great ideas on how to make their neighborhood a better place.
  • Youth under 18 wishing to apply are welcome to do so but will need to partner with an adult age 18 or older.
    • The adult should be listed as the primary contact on the application, with the youth as a secondary contact.
  • New, start-up non-profits that are led by volunteers and are kicking off a new idea may be considered for Spark grants.
  • Grant funding is available for the expenses involved in the creation and execution of the proposed project.
    • Spark grant funding needs to benefit the broader community.
  • If you live or work in Pierce County, Washington, and have an awesome idea that will benefit the broader community, build a sense of community, and take place in Pierce County, this grant program is for you.
    • Spark grants only fund projects that occur in Pierce County.


  • A wide variety of projects could fit these parameters but preference will be given to ideas that:
  • Bring diverse people together (how can you bring people together who don’t normally interact?)
    • Inspire a sense of community by uniting people around a common goal
    • Build on community strengths or offer exciting ideas to address community challenges
    • Present a realistic and achievable plan to accomplish the project within a six-month time-frame
    • Are supported and led by people who are trusted and becoming recognized within their community as connectors and leaders
    • Are feasible to accomplish with the $1,500.00 grant OR are supported with matching resources (including donated goods, services, money, or volunteer time) to ensure that the project is attainable
    • Are unique efforts to support something that doesn’t already exist
    • Inspire us with interesting and innovative plans!


  • Well-established non-profits will not be considered and should review our other grant programs to see what might be applicable to them.
  • We will NOT consider funding projects that:
    • Compensate you for your community work (i.e. no salary)
    • Include purchases or payments for personal use (i.e. no rent money, car payments, laptops, etc.)—occasionally equipment purchases or contract labor may be considered (see below)
    • Support the general operating, program, capital, or capacity-building needs of established non-profits
    • Do not explain clearly how the funding will be used, how the project will be implemented, and how it will benefit the community and bring it together
    • Seek sponsorship for a recurring event or fundraiser
    • Seek support for a capital building endeavor
    • Seek funding for individual scholarships