Strategic Plan

The Golden LEAF Board of Directors adopted a long-term strategic plan in February 2021 to help address some of the economic challenges facing North Carolina. The goal of the strategic plan is to help Golden LEAF become more effective, efficient, and impactful in moving the economic needle in rural, economically distressed, and tobacco-dependent North Carolina communities.

The plan distilled the Board’s vision into these strategic priorities:

Download the Golden LEAF Strategic Plan

Please see below some of the results of the strategic planning process:

SITE Program

During the strategic planning process, the Golden LEAF Board identified gaps in available funding to support site development necessary to attract businesses, especially to rural and economically distressed areas. In response to these findings, the SITE Program was designed to support the identification, preparation, and development of sites to attract quality jobs to these communities.

For more information about deadlines and available funds, visit the program page

Open Grants Program

The Open Grants Program provides funding throughout the year in the Golden LEAF priority areas of job creation and economic investment; workforce preparedness; agriculture; and community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality. Under the Open Grants Program, most projects are awarded at $200,000 or less.

As a result of findings during the strategic planning process, the Golden LEAF Board increased the funding available through the Open Grants Program. At the June 2021 meeting, the Golden LEAF Board approved establishing criteria and an application process for requests for funding of more than $200,000, up to a maximum of $500,000, from this program. Projects eligible for up to $500,000 have a defined set of characteristics listed on the Open Grants Program webpage.

Applicants looking to apply for more than $200,000 from this program, must first have a consultation with Golden LEAF staff to discuss the project and how the project addresses the characteristics that would potentially lead to a higher award level.

Strategic Plan Updates

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