Governmental entities and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations may apply for grants. Our funds must be used for charitable, scientific, educational, or tax-exempt public purposes. We do not make grant awards to individuals or for-profit businesses.
We encourage applicants to use our open door policy to learn more about our grant programs and to discuss proposal ideas with our staff.
If the proposal meets the requirements for an Open Grants Program grant, follow the Open Grants Program guidelines.
If the proposal meets the requirements for an Economic Catalyst Grant, follow the Economic Catalyst Grant guidelines.
Contact Golden LEAF program staff for more information about grant funding through our special initiatives.
There is no minimum grant amount. In the Open Grants Program, grants are not expected to exceed $200,000. There are no maximum grant amounts in the Economic Catalyst program. For information on other initiatives, please contact Golden LEAF program staff.
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity. To maintain our tax-exempt status, our funds must be used for charitable purposes.
Under our charter, Golden LEAF’s funding priority is to provide economic impact assistance to economically distressed or tobacco-dependent regions of North Carolina. In determining whether a proposal fits these criteria, we look at a variety of factors.
Through June 2019, Golden LEAF has received $1,167,517,573.27 in payments as a result of the settlement of litigation brought by North Carolina and 45 other states against manufacturers of tobacco products. As of July 2020, Golden LEAF has awarded 1,882 grants, totaling more than $1.055 billion to nonprofit organizations and government entities throughout North Carolina.
Golden LEAF no longer receives annual payments of funds through the settlement agreement, but has received an annual appropriation from the NC General Assembly for the past several years.
Golden LEAF has budgeted $29.545 million for new awards for fiscal year 2020-2021. Of this, the amount budgeted for the programs and initiatives is as follows:
Learn more about Golden LEAF Foundation scholarships by viewing the scholarships section of this website.
There’s no requirement that you contact our staff before submitting a proposal, but Golden LEAF has an open door policy, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss project ideas at any time.
While the Foundation has traditionally considered brick and mortar projects a low priority, some applicants have made a successful case for funding these types of projects in their communities. It’s important to demonstrate how your proposed building project relates directly to Golden LEAF’s funding priorities.
Water and sewer and other public infrastructure projects funded by Golden LEAF are often related to job creation activities by a specific company and funded through the Economic Catalyst Program. Learn more about the Economic Catalyst Program.
Golden LEAF does not fund overhead costs.
Yes. We also encourage declined applicants to use our open door policy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a proposal. In the Open Grants Program, an organization may not resubmit a proposal for a previously declined project for six (6) months after the declination. An eligible entity that has had a project declined may submit a proposal for a substantially different project at any time.
Yes. We encourage past grantees to call our staff to discuss proposal ideas.
Click here for a detailed explanation of exceptions to the required disclosure of public records and confidential information.
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