Kentucky Grant Program

Steele-Reese Foundation

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

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

 In the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program, The Steele-Reese Foundation is limiting its 2020 grant-making to: 

  • Elementary and secondary education 
  • Early childhood education programs, and  
  • Public libraries providing programs for children from early childhood through high school.


The highest priority of the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program is ensuring that children leave the third-grade able to read and write on grade level; and that children leaving middle school can perform mathematics on grade level. Additional priorities include improving school libraries, providing supplemental materials to aid learning, and supplementing school arts programs.

Proposals for projects in high schools should be narrowly focused to meet specific needs. All proposals must be specific in identifying a rationale for funding, set out clear steps for execution of the work, and articulate measurable outcomes. 

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.
  • The service area for the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program is confined to the Appalachian counties designated by the federal Appalachian Regional Commission.


  • The trustees will not consider proposals from organizations benefitting Appalachian Kentucky in the subject or program areas of arts, conservation, health, and social services.
    • At this time, we are not funding adult education programs.
    • The Trustees have not yet determined whether this focus will remain effective beyond 2020.
  • Proposals seeking funding for after-school programs and summer programs are less likely to receive support unless these programs can demonstrate concrete outcomes beyond attendance and/or participation in activities.
  • 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