In Harrison County, there are numerous nonprofit organizations doing valuable work. Often, these nonprofits need financial support in order to keep benefiting our community.

     One way nonprofits obtain financial support is by requesting a grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation (HCCF). Since the foundation’s creation in 1996, it has awarded more than $89 million in grants to Harrison County-serving nonprofits.

     Before applying for an HCCF grant, we highly recommend the nonprofit’s board discuss the project as they review the Grant Making Policy and Procedures on our website, hccfindiana.org. 

     Certain eligibility requirements must be met before a nonprofit may apply for a grant. Nonprofits must serve Harrison County residents. Also, they must have been in business at least two years from the date of their most recent IRS Letter of Determination and submit their Form 990, along with revenues and expenditures.

     HCCF prioritizes awarding grants to nonprofits that are sustainable and committed to ongoing education. Starting this year, the foundation requires nonprofits that apply for grants to have at least one current board member who has completed an HCCF-approved nonprofit board governance training program. To help meet this requirement, HCCF offers Building Dynamic Boards of Directors training three times a year.

     HCCF accepts online grant applications any time throughout the year. This no-deadline approach allows more flexibility to work with nonprofits in identifying community issues and capitalizing on new opportunities.

     Nonprofits apply for grants by using the application found on our website under the Grants heading. Once an applicant clicks on the grant application link, they will create an account.   

     Applicants should use the grant application to explain how the agency began, its current position and future plans. In addition to a description of the proposed project, grant applications should show the nonprofit’s credibility, its capability to achieve its goals, the urgency of the project, the people who will benefit from the project, how the project will be measured and other funding sources for the project (if applicable).

     The application has multiple sections and indicates when all are completed. Applicants are able to stop and save information and return several times until finished. 

     The first part of the application asks for general contact, grant request and agency information. The next section asks the agency to share its accomplishments from the past three years, other funding sources and sustainability plans. 

     The most important section of the application is the detailed project narrative. Applicants need to include specific details explaining who benefits, why is it needed and how will it be measured.  Including statistical data will help.

     The most common mistakes nonprofits make include not submitting a current Form 990, sufficient financial information or other required documents. To keep this from happening, applicants must have HCCF staff review the application before it’s submitted. This allows the applicant to make any necessary changes or add any additional information.

     Decisions will typically be made by the HCCF Board of Directors within 120 days of submission.

     Priority is given to grants that leverage external funding. Since 1998, HCCF has awarded more than $3.6 million that have leveraged more than $20.9 million from outside sources.

     HCCF is happy to help fund projects and programs that positively impact Harrison County and its people. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about the grant application process. Contact Anna Curts, Grants Manager, at 812-738-6668 or annac@hccfindiana.org.

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