Grant Criteria Guidelines

Purpose: The purpose and mission of the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) is "Working with Neighbors to Build a Dynamic Community". We strive to accomplish this through funding selected projects of non-profit, community-based organizations.

Who can apply:

  • Non-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; OR
  • Non-incorporated groups with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor (these groups must partner with a qualified organization for fiscal management of the grant).
  • Organizations that serve the needs of residents residing within the Western Placer Unified School District (WPUSD) area.
  • If the applicant is a faith-based organization, it must demonstrate that it operates a social service program or activity that is open to the public.
  • Government and education entities.
  • (One application per project will be accepted.)

Restrictions: The Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations only (no grants to individuals). Foundation grants are not awarded for:

  • Debt reduction
  • Fundraising events
  • Religious activities
  • For profit entities
  • Applicants requesting personal assistance
  • Partisan political activities
  • Organizations that discriminate on the base of age, race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Salaries or overhead operating expenses (cost of doing business or administrative costs).

Time period: Grants are made for one calendar year only and must be expended within that year.

Funding priorities and limitations: Funds received from LCF are to be used exclusively for the proposed designated program and/or project as defined in the application and in the LCF Approval Response Letter. Grant funds cannot be applied to other applicant expenses that are not approved by LCF. Applications that increase or expand service levels, or establish new programs, services or activities, or are in cooperation and collaboration with existing community groups, will be looked upon most favorably. Grant funds must be used for the purposes specified in the grant application submittal and the LCF approval letter or must be returned to LCF.

Criteria: The LCF Board of Directors and the Grant Review Committee determine funding levels based solely upon the materials submitted by the applicant organization. Please read the application carefully and provide direct and succinct responses to the information requested in order to best assist the Committee in making their selections.

The Foundation reserves the right to fund less than the amount requested. All funding decisions are final; the Foundation will not entertain appeals.

In considering grant applications, the Committee will review the following:

  • Non-profit Agency Status: Funding is provided to agencies determined by the IRS to be a non-profit tax exempt organization (i.e.: Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code) or organizations acting in partnership with 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Partnerships: Applicants are encouraged to establish partnerships and coordinate their services with other service providers. The Committee will review the extent to which the applicant complements rather than duplicates the services of other community organizations. Significant collaborations must be documented by virtue of a written agreement.
  • Benefit to Lincoln Area Residents: The Foundation was established to improve the “quality of life for the Lincoln area community”, defined by the boundaries of the Western Placer Unified School District (WPUSD). As such, it is imperative that the grant application, as well as follow-up reports, clarify the number of residents in the greater Lincoln area that will be or have been assisted by the grant. If the applicant cannot accurately quantify the number of Lincoln residents to be served by the grant, the applicant must clearly describe the types of results expected and the anticipated impact the program will have upon the community.
  • Grant/Project Manager: Identify the person that is responsible for the application, execution and progress/summary reports of the grant issued.
  • Fiscal Responsibility: The applicant is expected to demonstrate the fiscal responsibility and have the management qualifications necessary to successfully execute the program being funded.
  • Monitoring Efforts: The Grant/Project Manager’s responsibility includes submitting written reports to the LCF Grant Review Committee regarding the progress of the project. Mid-Year and Final Grantee Summary Reports must describe how the funds were spent and how the project benefited the community. Please submit a success story addressing how the LCF grant impacted your organization and the constituency your organization serves.

LCF Application Review Process: All grant proposals are reviewed by the Grant Review Committee which then makes funding recommendations to the LCF Board of Directors for final approval. The Grant Review Committee prioritizes projects that promise the greatest impact and most effective use of the community’s donations over the long-term and that successfully address the following:

  • Capacity of the organization: How well does the organization’s board, volunteers and staff demonstrate the skills, experience and commitment to carry out the proposed project?
  • Organization mission and funding focus: To what extent does the project relate to LCF’s core mission and funding availability?
  • Need for project: Is this project appropriate for the area or population it intends to serve, does it have community support, and will it involve collaboration with other organizations?
  • Goals and methods: Does this project have clear and measurable goals that will result in a meaningful improvement to our community?
  • Budget and project sustainability: Is the project budget realistic and will the project continue to be sustainable after an investment from the Foundation?

The Lincoln Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax deductible. Our tax ID number is 73-1677611.