The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation categorizes grants by size and type of use. Priorities are given to requests within our stated focus areas; however, the Foundation also wishes to serve as a catalyst for new practices and ideas and respond to challenges and/or opportunities that are unique to North Carolina. For these reasons, the Foundation reserves the right to remain flexible in its grantmaking policies. The Foundation is also interested in building the capacity of nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit sector.
Strategic vs. Small Grants
Requests of up to $35,000 per year for up to two years are referred to as small grant requests, utilizing a streamlined grant application. All other requests are referred to as strategic grant requests.
General Operating Support vs. Project Support
General Operating Support grants provide unrestricted funds for the organization’s overall budget. Project Support grant funds are earmarked for a particular activity or project within the organization.
The Foundation focuses its grant making on five focus areas:
- Community Economic Development
- Public Education
- Social Justice and Equity
- Strengthening Democracy
Applicants are encouraged to review focus area priorities to better understand how their organization’s work or project fits within the priorities of the Foundation.
What ZSR Rarely Funds
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is restricted to making grants to charitable, tax exempt, 501 (c)(3) organizations and government entities. The Foundation does not make grants or loans to small business and does not make grants to individuals for any purpose.
Before beginning an application, please carefully review the complete list of uses, programs and activities to which the Foundation (with rare exception) does not make grants.
How to Apply for a Grant
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is restricted to making grants to charitable, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations, colleges/universities, religious entities and government units for programs and projects that serve the people of North Carolina. No grants are made to individuals for any purpose. Out-of-state charitable organizations are eligible to apply for funds to support projects operating in North Carolina.
NOTE: If an organization has applied to the IRS for its 501(c)(3) status, but has not yet received it, the Foundation will accept the organization’s grant application. A copy of the IRS application must be uploaded along with the online grant application. If IRS approval is imminent, a grant may be awarded to that organization; however, funds will not be disbursed until the organization has provided the Foundation with a copy of its 501(c)(3) status letter. If an organization is considering applying to the IRS for its 501(c)(3) status, but has not yet done so, the Foundation will not accept a grant application. The Foundation recommends the organization apply for a grant in the next grant cycle after completing its application to the IRS.
2. What To Prepare for the Application
- Review the list of uses, programs, and types of organizations to which the Foundation (with rare exception) does not make grants.
- Review sample application documents:
- Sample application for a small general operating support grant (with instructions)
- Sample application for small project support (with instructions)
- Sample application for a strategic general operating support grant (with instructions)
- Sample application for a strategic project support grant (with instructions)
- Sample application for colleges/universities, governmental units, and religious entities (small projects - with instructions)
- Sample application for colleges/universities, governmental units, and religious entities (strategic projects - with instructions)
- Review how to upload final attachments
- Review sample budgets
- Audit Letters/Exceptions (College/University, Governmental Units, Religious Entities are not required to provide.)
- Tax-exempt status
- Board List
- Advisory Board (if existing; College/University only)
- Staff Diversity Data & ZSR Board Policy
- Board Diversity Data
- Regional Census Data
- What to Expect after Submitting an Application
3. Apply Online or continue existing application
**Grant application forms are not available at this time. Please check back December 20.