Grants FAQ

Everything You Need to Know About Applying for a Grant

Do you have grant questions?  We have answers!

How do I log into the grant portal? I am having trouble with login information.

Current and Prospective Grantees Enter the Grant Portal Here    We launched new grant software in January 2021, and if you haven’t applied since then please enter the portal and follow the instructions in the gray box to create a NEW password and a NEW profile. Your password and profile prior to January 2021 did not convey.

If you have applied since January 2021 and are still having trouble logging in, use the “Forgot Password?” link under the blue “Log On” button.

Not sure if you have an account or not? If you think that you or someone at your organization has already registered in the system, do not create a new account, because it won’t link to your organization's application history.  Please contact our Grant Administrator, Dawn Grundeman at to receive your username.

My organization received a grant. How do I acknowledge the Community Foundation of Collier County for the gift?

Visit the Press Kit page for everything you need to let the world know you received a CFCC grant.

Is my organization eligible for a grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County?

Applicants must be a tax-exempt nonprofit organization serving Collier County, FL residents. Your organization must have a complete and updated profile in our Nonprofit Directory (register here)

Applicant must:
Meet the grant guideline criteria
Meet submission deadlines
Agree to the Community Foundation’s Statement of Diversity.
Agree to report back to the Community Foundation on relevant outcomes of funding

Seek funding for a project that is relevant to Collier County

Why does our organization need to be in the Nonprofit Directory?

Your complete and updated profile in the Nonprofit Directory allows us to have a shorter grant application, and it is our best tool for sharing your good work with our community. The questions asked in the directory were carefully planned to give you the opportunity to showcase your organization and also to help potential donors make decisions towards their philanthropic goals.

What sort of programs and projects do you fund?

The Community Foundation provides grant dollars to nonprofits for programs that show measurable results in addressing documented community needs. Our strategic plan ties its grantmaking to relevant community information from the Vital Signs report found on our website, the most recent Community Needs Assessment funded by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, as well as other reports relevant to specific areas such as Future Ready Collier,  the 5 Year Mental Health and Substance Abuse Strategic Plan for Collier County, or the Arts and Culture Strategic Plan for Collier County.

If you are unsure if your program/project qualifies, please email Laura Simmelink, prior to the opening of the grant cycle, to schedule a brief conversation.

What if our request is not aligned with the areas of priorities documented in community reports and plans?

Please see above section: “What sort of projects do you fund?”

Do you fund salaries and operating expenses?

Yes, at this time, CFCC makes smaller grants for general operating expenses, including salaries and administrative expenses. However, this may change on an annual basis so please see our Apply for Grants page for more information before planning your grant request.

What is not eligible for competitive grant funding?

Grants to individuals
Pass-through organizations that fund other unrelated charities (this includes many valuable civic organizations that fundraise to support other charities)
Political campaigns
Lobbying (non-partisan advocacy work is okay)
Scholarly research
Annual campaigns
Event Sponsorships
Team or sport travel, or team sponsorships
Travel-related expenses
Organizations not serving Collier County, Florida

Are grants available for nonprofit capacity building?

CFCC provides grants dollars to support nonprofit capacity building to ensure that nonprofits with operating budgets less than $1M have the tools needed to operate using best practices. These grants of $500-$2,500 must be matched 1:1 by your organization. We define capacity building as specific needs such as:

Strategic planning and organizational assessment

Board development & training

Infrastructure improvements

Improving financial management

Fundraising, marketing, and communications planning

Program planning

Feasibility assessment and implementation of mergers and strategic alliances

How does an organization apply for a grant? What are the deadlines?

All grant applications are submitted online during grant cycle openings (see Apply for Grants page for opening dates). Applicants will be required to create an account and complete their application using the online system. Grant applications are accepted only through the online system.

You will be able to stop, save, and return to your application at any time before the deadline. After the deadline, your incomplete application will be inaccessible. The system saves your previous application history. Each of our grant deadlines is unique, be sure to look on the appropriate page for deadline information.

Log On here:

Should my organization hire a professional grant writer prepare our application?

It’s not necessary. We have a straightforward application, and the most important thing is to clearly answer the questions and state measurable results/outcomes. It’s fine to hire a professional grant writer but it’s not necessary. If you have all the needed information on hand, our application should take no longer than 1-2 hours to complete.  

What information do I need for grant application?

You may download an application question packet on our Apply for Grants webpage, and you can use the application as a guide to gather the information in advance.

Does the number of people who will be impacted by a grant make a difference to your funding decision?

Yes, but not always. It is certainly something that the Committee considers, but our efforts to make an impact are measured qualitatively as well as quantitatively.

If a nonprofit has an endowment with the foundation, will it affect our chances of receiving a grant?

No. Having an endowment with CFCC has no bearing when it comes to receiving a grant. If you have an endowment with us but your organization needs a grant, go ahead and apply if you wish. You will be on even footing with all our other applicants.

Who decides which grant applications to fund?

Grant decisions are made by community-based committees comprised of volunteers who have a background or particular interest in the program area. Community Foundation staff support these committees. Grant proposals are ranked and scored on multiple criteria by the committees, and issues such as sustainability and outcomes play a significant role in the decision-making process. 

What role do donors play in funding grant proposals?

The Foundation uses a mix of unrestricted, field of interest and donor advised funds in most of our grantmaking, whether it’s a Program Grant, a “wish List” request, a discretionary grant, etc. We do share strong proposals that align with donor interests with our donors. However, our donor advisors do not accept direct requests for funding.

Our previous grant requests were turned down. Why?

Please remember that it is discouraging to have to say “no” to good people doing important work. Applications are usually not turned down because they are “bad” applications. Occasionally, an application will fall outside the bounds of our guidelines and the Committee will find itself unable to help. Please read the guidelines carefully before you invest the time and energy in making an application. But generally, it is a case of the competition being very tough. It is an annual occurrence to receive far more in requests than our grant budget allows us to fund.

Does the Foundation make grants to schools or local government?

The Foundation does not generally fund projects or support educational initiatives that are more appropriately the subject of public funding. A proposal from a public or charter school or the local government would need to address a special project or initiative not normally covered by the publicly-funded budget.

Regarding private schools, the Foundation does not generally fund projects that serve only a discrete and fixed group of individuals without also having a broader public benefit.

I want to start a nonprofits. Are grants available?

We do not provide the funds, legal or financial services needed to start a nonprofit. However, we do at times fund small, new nonprofits that have successfully launched and are operating. We will consider supporting new nonprofits that actively partner with other Collier County nonprofits, do not duplicate existing services, and are able to demonstrate meeting a documented need in Collier County. If you are a new nonprofit that meets these criteria, your organization is welcome to email Laura Simmelink, our Senior Director of Programs, to schedule a conversation.

My nonprofit is not currently operating in Collier County but want to expand into Collier County. May I apply for a grant?

We will consider supporting nonprofits that actively partner with other Collier County nonprofits, do not duplicate existing services, and are able to demonstrate meeting a documented need in Collier County. If you meet these criteria, your organization is welcome to email Laura Simmelink, our Senior Director of Programs, to schedule a conversation.

My organization or fiscal agent is a tax-exempt religious organization doing non-sectarian work. Are we eligible to apply?

We do not fund religious activities of any kind, but tax-exempt religious organizations are eligible for grants if grant-funded activities are non-discriminatory, non-sectarian, and benefit the larger community.

Do you provide multi-year funding?

At this time, we do not provide multi-year grants through our competitive grant cycles.

Can we apply for more than one type of grant?

Yes. If you operate more than one eligible program or project, you may apply for more than one grant, as long as they are for separate grant opportunities.  For example, you may not apply for two Education Grants, but you may apply for an Education Grant and another type of grant.

Do you have grants available for small or new nonprofits?

Yes, we have two grant funds specifically for small or new nonprofits with budgets less than $1M:  Capacity Grants and the Angel Fund for Small Nonprofits Grant Fund. Visit our Apply for Grants page to learn grant cycle dates.

Still have questions?

Please contact:

Dawn Grundeman
Grants Administrator