The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors approved changes to the Open Grants Program at its June 2021 meeting, guided by the recently adopted strategic plan. Historically, the Open Grants Program has awarded $200,000 or less in funding for projects. While most applications will continue to be for $200,000 or less, the Board approved funding for up to $500,000 for projects that meet certain additional criteria.
The Golden LEAF Foundation is committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects that show the most potential for strengthening North Carolina’s economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities. The Open Grants Program allows eligible applicants to apply for Golden LEAF funding throughout the year. The Open Grants Program is for economic development projects aligned with Golden LEAF priority areas. More details regarding Golden LEAF’s priority areas and priority outcomes are available at the links below or by watching this short video.
- Job Creation and Economic Investment
- Workforce Preparedness
- Community Competitiveness, Capacity, and Vitality
For projects that possess some additional characteristics, Golden LEAF may make awards of up to $500,000 from this program. To determine which projects will be eligible for consideration for an award of more than $200,000, Golden LEAF requires that the project include one or more of these characteristics:
- Higher level of funding will lead to significant outcomes
- Result of a planning process involving multiple organizations and members of the community
- Building on a history of success that allows a project to scale and significantly increase outcomes
- Funding will enable or encourage compelling collaboration, including uncommon or innovative approaches or organizations in more than one county
- Funding will leverage significant funding from other organizations
- Applicant has limited resources
- The project cannot be implemented in phases without compromising its outcomes
Applicants who wish to apply for more than $200,000 in funding from the Open Grants Program must complete a required consultation with Golden LEAF staff.
More information is available on the website on how Golden LEAF evaluates Open Grants Program proposals, including detailed characteristics of exceptional projects. If interested in applying for funding through the Open Grants Program, please download the program guidelines, review the frequently asked questions, or contact Golden LEAF staff for assistance.