Highlands Community Fund

Kids hugging tree
The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust received $3,000 for its Kids in Nature environmental education programs. Photo courtesy of Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust.

Highlands Community Fund (HCF) generally provides grants between $2,500-$10,000 for charitable purposes. At its discretion, the HCF Advisory Board may also consider grant requests for greater or lesser amounts.

Requests that exhibit the greatest community benefit will be given the highest consideration.

  • If an organization other than the applicant will benefit from the grant, then the applicant should include a letter of endorsement from that organization.
  • Projects should be completed within one year of receipt of grant funds.

Deadlines and Dates

The grant application deadline is 5 p.m. on the second Friday in August.

Eligibility

  • Grants are made to qualified 501(c)(3), governmental, educational, and religious organizations serving Highlands.
  • An eligible organization may only submit one application per year.

What We Do Not Fund

  • Grants generally do not support: scholarships; annual giving campaigns; endowment funds; debt repayment; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; festivals or one-time events such as exhibits, performances or fundraisers; or activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant decisions are made.

How to Apply

1. Access Community Foundation Staff Assistance

If you would like to discuss your proposal or have questions regarding eligibility, you are welcome to contact Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer, by email or at 828-367-9913.

2. Submit a Grant Application

Access the online application process to submit a grant application. For technical assistance with the online grant system, please contact Diane Crisp, Grants Manager, by email or at 828-367-9904. Applicants will be notified by email upon receipt of their application.

3. Review Process

Applications are screened for completeness, clarity, and compliance with eligibility requirements. Grant proposals are evaluated by the Fund’s Advisory Board, with consideration of the Fund’s priorities, availability of funds for the stated purposes, applicants’ capabilities, and potential benefits to the community. Funding decisions will be completed, grant awards announced, and funds distributed by the end of September. Use of grant funds may begin on or after October 1.

Reporting Requirements

An online end-of-grant report verifying use of grant funds and results will be required. Instructions will be included in the grant award letter. Additional reports or site visits may also be required.

Guideline Modifications

The Fund’s Advisory Board may modify these guidelines, or make exceptions to them, in consultation with the staff of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

For additional information, visit Recent Grants.

Return to Grants Directory