The Waterloo Community Foundation (WCF) seeks grant proposals from qualified organizations for projects or programs that benefit the community of Waterloo and, in limited situations, its vicinity. Grant proposals must detail how funds will improve and benefit our community in one of four areas: 

  • health and human services 
  • arts and culture
  • education
  • economic development

We expect to award seven grants, $5,000 each, for a total of $35,000. Matching funds are not required, but partnerships are encouraged. The application and required documents must be received by Thursday, October 6 at 11:59 p.m.  All applicants will be notified the week of November 28 of grant decisions.  Grants must be expended between January 1 and December 31, 2023.

Eligibility to Apply
1. 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt, not-for-profit organizations and/or qualified to receive tax-deductible gifts under Section 170(c)(2)(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. If you are not a 501 (c)(3) or a component unit of
government, you must align yourself with a fiscal sponsor.
2. Component units of government organizations (schools, fire departments, libraries, parks, etc.).
3. Organizations with a charitable intent that meets the mission statement of the Foundation.

Funding Criteria
1. Eligible organizations must be providing projects or programs in Waterloo or, in limited situations, its vicinity.
2. Applicants must be committed to diversity, inclusivity, and equity and may not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, creed, religion, religious affiliation, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, veteran status or any other protected status under applicable law.
3. The Foundation gives priority to projects and programs which:    a. Have potential for long-term impact.
    b. Have been planned in light of overall community needs.
    c. Do not duplicate existing services and will help those who are not being adequately served by existing community resources.
    d. Maximize community resources through cooperation and collaboration with other organizations in the community and the elimination of redundant services, programs, or projects.
4. The history of and use made of the prior grants will be considered in reviewing new requests.
5. The Foundation is interested in funding new and dynamic projects; that is, grants made to groups moving in new directions. Financial planning by the requesting agency should include a careful analysis of the
potential for ongoing support of the program after Foundation funding ends.
6. Grants are normally made for one year, but commitments may be made for multi-year projects.
7. A request which asks the Foundation for a portion of the support for a project will generally receive greater priority than one which looks to the Foundation as the only funding source. The Foundation is especially interested in matching grants; that is, those grants in which each Foundation dollar granted will attract money from other sources. 
8. Grants from discretionary funds are not made to religious organizations for sectarian purposes; rather, discretionary grants are made to support programs serving all persons, regardless of faith or creed. 
9. Grants normally support programs and capital equipment needs that are related to particular programs. 
10. Capital improvement projects will be considered. 
11. The Foundation does not fund grants to cover travel and/or accommodation expenses without prior approval from the Board of Directors. 
12. Grant recipients are asked to generate local publicity when the grant is received, making the public aware of the Foundation’s support. 
13. Only one application per organization will be considered per granting cycle. 
14. Preference will be given to non-profits not receiving an award in the previous granting cycle. Receipt of funding during this granting period does not necessarily guarantee future funding. The Foundation will not fund ongoing annual operating expenses, endowments, grants to individuals, sectarian religious programs, projects that do not benefit the community of Waterloo and, in limited situations, its vicinity. Funded organizations will receive a site visit and evaluation within a year after funding approval. 

Criteria for Review
Proposals will be evaluated on a competitive basis, utilizing the following criteria: 
1. Impact to Waterloo. Proposals must detail the number and percent of Waterloo residents served by the proposed project or program. Proposals lacking this specificity will NOT be considered for funding. 
2. Clarity of project description, goals, project activities, and steps to achieve desired outcomes. 
3. Organization’s background and ability to produce, implement and execute the program/project. 
4. Feasibility of proposed project that identifies project/program sustainability (i.e. plans to seek/leverage other funding sources.) 
5. Project budget and narrative are realistic and complete. 

For more information, contact Paige Price at or (319) 883-6022.