Kentucky Grant Program

Steele-Reese Foundation

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Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 1, 2020 8:59pm PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit Government Entity

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Capital Project

Location of project: Counties in Kentucky: Adair County, Bath County, Bell County, Boyd County, Breathitt County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Steele-Reese Foundation

The Steele-Reese Foundation is a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities and the nonprofit organizations that serve them in Idaho, Montana, and Appalachian Kentucky. Since its inception, the Foundation has maintained a focus on the unique challenges of rural living and on helping people build healthy, successful, and sustainable communities.

For Kentucky Applicants

We support Rural Education, Rural Human/Social Services, Rural Conservation and Preservation, Rural Health, and Rural Arts and Humanities projects.

What We Fund

The trustees have decided to limit the Foundation's Appalachian Kentucky grant making to elementary and secondary education and to early childhood education programs, and to public libraries serving the needs of children from early childhood through high school. This means that the trustees will not consider proposals from organizations benefitting Appalachian Kentucky in the subject or program areas of arts, conservation, health, and social services. No decision has yet been made on whether this change will remain effective beyond 2017. 

Where We Fund 

In Kentucky, the Foundation only funds projects that serve Appalachian communities within counties designated by the federal Appalachian Regional Commission. 

The criteria that follow relate to each of the program areas listed above and offer guidance to prospective applicants. Proposed projects should:

  • Serve rural areas .
  • Help people to help themselves .
  • Be modest and direct in aim .
  • Be narrow in function .
  • Be based on experience .
  • Demonstrate community financial, in-kind, or other support .
  • Be essential, rather than merely desirable .
  • Yield a direct and measurable, rather than a remote, benefit to people .
  • Be conducted by competent, practical organizations and managers and demonstrate strong leadership capacity at both the organizational and program level .

Capital Improvements and Campaigns

In all program areas, the Foundation makes a limited number of grants for capital improvements, fixtures, and remodeling, retrofitting, and building new structures. In projects involving the building of a new facility or other large-scale capital endeavors, we typically make these grants only during the closing phases when a substantial portion of the required funds are already in hand. 

Grant Amounts

The minimum grant awarded by the Foundation is $5,000. We rarely make grants of up to $50,000 for a single year or make multi-year grants. In many cases, especially in our largest grants, awards are payable only after the grantee has raised either a matching amount or has secured the remaining balance for the proposed project. 

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


  • All entities are required to submit proof of 501(c)3 tax-exempt status as part of their applications.
  • An exception to this requirement is for tax-exempt governmental entities or agencies such as schools, fire departments, and libraries; these entities should submit a letter on official letterhead verifying their public status. 


  • No grants are made to individuals or to organizations that have not been recognized as federally tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service. 
  • The Foundation will not consider proposals for support of projects to assist with any of the following:
    • Endowment funds 
    • Emergencies 
    • Community funds and charity drives 
    • Conferences and workshops or their related travel
    • Documentaries 
    • Efforts to influence elections directly or indirectly 
    • Planning, research, experimental, or untested projects 
    • Athletic or academic competitions, or related travel 
    • Efforts to promulgate religious or political beliefs or agendas