Connected Communities FAQ's

Grant Application Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What is considered a matching fund?

The match should be funds generated after April that are in addition to normal operating expenses/income. One of the anticipated outcomes of the Connected Communities Grant is to increase philanthropy in the Midlands. Please use this grant as an opportunity to leverage additional funding. 

2.  Do in-kind donations count towards the matching funds?

The Central Carolina Community Foundation Board of Trustees has not historically accepted in-kind donations as part of the matching funds. However, it may be considered if the in-kind donation is for a tangible, quantifiable item (i.e. contractor services, facility rental, supplies, etc). Volunteer hours will likely not be accepted as part of the Matching Funds.

3.  Can grant money be used for expenses already incurred?

Funds cannot be applied retroactively to costs already incurred. Therefore, all grant money should be used for expenses incurred after receiving the grant.

4. If we already have the funding secured for our project, can we redirect these funds and use grant money to cover these costs instead?

Grant funds should not be used as a substitute for funds already secured by your organization.

5. If we have already raised money for this project, can it count towards our match?

The match can only be funds secured after receiving funding from CCCF. We encourage you to use this grant as an opportunity to approach donors/other funders to secure additional funds. If appropriate, you can submit letters of support from any donors/corporations committing matching dollars.

6. What if we are requesting funding for an existing project or we have already started working on this project?

If your project has already begun, you should propose using these funds to enhance it and/or do something that you would not be able to do otherwise. For example, if you already have funding to conduct five workshops, you could propose using CCCF funding to do five additional workshops, provide childcare or transportation to increase attendance, give all attendees a book that complements the workshop content, etc.  

7. Are we expected to raise a 30% match of the grant request or of the total budget?

Your organization is expected to match 30% of the CCCF request (not 30% of the total project budget). When you enter the CCCF Request into the provided Excel Budget Form (row 9), the match amount will automatically generate for you in Row 44. This is the minimum amount your organization must match.

8. Is this a one-year request, or can we ask for multiple years of funding?

Your organization is making a one-year request to CCCF. However, if you anticipate continuing this project after February 2019, please thoughtfully consider how you will put plans into place NOW to begin securing funds for next year. If you anticipate requesting funds from CCCF again next year for the same project, it is best to go ahead and say that in your proposal.

9. If awarded, are we allowed to use public campaigns, such as Midland's gives, to help raise our matching funds?

Yes! Please use public campaigns such as Midlands Gives as an opportunity to raise your Challenge Match. All organizations will be notified by February 2018, so Midlands Gives would be a great opportunity to solicit matching dollars. In order to receive full funding, the entire Challenge Match would need to be secured by September 2018.

10. What is the Connected Communities project year?

The project year is March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019. 

11. Would it be helpful for us to have a letter of support from partners for the grant or is including their names enough?

It is not a requirement but could be helpful (especially if you are relying on them for a heavy lift). If at all possible, we recommend having partners sign one letter so there are not a lot of letters to page through. If you are unsure if a document would be helpful, you could also include in the application something along the lines of “[X document] is available upon request”.

12. Is it okay to select more than one grant category (i.e. both Vibrant Social Offerings and Welcoming Communities)

We recommend your organization thoughtfully consider what outcomes you plan to achieve with your project. You should select categories that you are confident your project will intentionally address. Please ensure you include objectives that align with each category you select. 

13. Does CCCF have a preference for what expenses you pay for?

No. It is only important that all funds are expensed during this project year.

14. Can you provide more guidance on how to answer “Please Provide a narrative of your project plan and the primary activities to achieve your outcomes”? It seems repetitive of the Project Plan and Evaluation Form.

In some instances, that section may be repetitive of the Project Plan and Evaluation Form. We want to ensure organizations have the space to thoroughly describe their project in a narrative form. It is your chance to answer the question “what is your project?” In contrast, the Project Plan and Evaluation Form are more technical and will be used to clearly outline your project objectives. 

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