Local Grants for your Small Project or Program

The process of finding grants typically begins with prospect research. Foundations generally give based on subject and geographic region, so look for funders whose interests match your organization’s mission, programs, populations served, and locations served.

Please note that foundations generally give to nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status. If you don’t have exempt status, first consider finding a nonprofit to work with or to act as your fiscal sponsor. These might help you qualify for more funding opportunities. There are also a few project grants that are available to small groups of residents and individuals available here.

United Way of Pierce County – Neighborhood Grants

Provides financial and technical support to resident or community-led groups for projects that help children and families in their neighborhood. In 2016, the Neighborhood Grants Program, in partnership with South Sound Together, will be awarding chosen groups in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,500. Grantees will be required to submit a final report in order to be eligible to apply again next year.


Greater Tacoma Community Foundation – Spark Grant

The Spark Grants is a grant program designed to help bring people-powered ideas to life within Pierce County, WA. This is not your typical grant—it’s designed to support everyday people who want to spark positive change. The program leverages $1,500 “micro-grants” to fuel go-getters, grassroots organizers and connoisseurs of community who have great ideas on how to make their neighborhood a better place. A wide range of projects are eligible, but priority will be towards those that bring diverse groups together, build on community strengths or offer exciting ideas to address community challenges.


City of Tacoma – Innovative Grant Program

The Innovative Grant (IG) program to assist and support residents and neighborhood organizations in developing and implementing small-scale physical improvements. The IG program provides matching funds to grassroots neighborhood organizations (formal or informal) within the eight Neighborhood Council (NC) areas that have identified a project that will improve their neighborhood. Each NC makes recommendations to City Council regarding the Innovative Grant applications for projects within their geography. Each NC is allocated $20,000 for projects, with a maximum amount per application of $7,500. Applications should be for beautification or physical improvement projects in the right-of- way (sidewalk, street, common areas) that benefit the community and are not for improvements to private property that increase value or for personal gain.


City of Tacoma Neighborhood and Community Services Funding

This section facilitates community-wide solutions through strategic funding of effective human services programs and proactive partnerships. The contracting section is responsible for developing and implementing the Human Services Strategic Plan, as well as facilitating the contracting process with local public and non-profit agencies. Every human services contract contains provisions for Outcome Based Evaluations that measure the impact of services in the lives of City residents. Priority Areas: Prepare children and youth for success; Meet basic needs of Tacoma residents; Jail and hospital diversion; Programs targeted to help youth; Reduce chronic homelessness; and Community-based care.


Bamford Foundation

Over the past few years, the Bamford Foundation has continued to make grants aligned with our four priority giving areas, primarily within greater Tacoma and Pierce County, in the spirit of our mission to improve the quality of life of individuals and families and to strengthen their communities. The foundation supports 501c(3) nonprofit organizations, programs, partnerships, and capital projects that are effective (research-based); innovative; that promote equity, respect and diversity; and that invite individuals and families to use their voices and resources to strengthen their communities.

The foundation board has worked on refining our priority giving areas this year, which all reflect the board’s value of the transformative role of lifelong education for individuals, families and communities: Basic Needs (food, clothing, shelter, health care, financial stability); Early Learning and Parent support; Expanded Learning Opportunities; and Access to Higher Education and Job training opportunities.


Sequoia Foundation

The Sequoia Foundation is committed to strengthening and enriching the quality of life in Tacoma and Pierce County. The Foundation pursues its mission by supporting well-managed nonprofit organizations and citizen initiatives that achieve measurable, high-quality results. The Foundation believes that supporting the healthy development of children and youth is an essential investment in our community; promotes a more just society; and helps promote a more secure future for us all. The Foundation envisions communities that are dynamic, diverse and benefit from active and engaged citizens. The Foundation believes that a robust cultural and arts infrastructure is essential for creating vibrant, healthy communities. The Foundation believes that people in need deserve help, and that the highest form of help is assisting individuals and families to achieve greater levels of self reliance and independence.


City of Tacoma – Make a Splash

The City of Tacoma Environmental Services Department awards up to $50,000 a year in environmental grants to help educate residents and protect and restore our surface water resources. A reimbursable maximum award amount up to $4,000 is open to anyone considering a project within Tacoma city limits.   Tie-ins with the Puget Sound regional stormwater pollution prevention campaign, Puget Sound Starts Here, are encouraged.

Projects should have a strong stormwater message, provide a stormwater benefit, and may be educational in nature. Projects should focus on preventing stormwater pollution and protecting or restoring clean surface water. This grant is not meant for projects focusing on water conservation or clean drinking water. Grants are open to anyone considering a project within Tacoma city limits.


Cheney Foundation

The Foundation is open to a wide variety of programs serving the communities where we give. The Foundation prefers to fund projects that: develop new and innovative approaches to community problems; expand existing programs to serve more people and/or areas; start new programs; and invest in equipment or facilities that will have a long-lasting impact on community needs. Project grants are generally given on a one-time basis. The Foundation will evaluate an organization’s plans for sustaining the impact of project grants, especially those for program expansion or starting new programs


Woodworth Family Foundation

We Support Nonprofit, 501(C)3 Organizations In The Tacoma And Pierce County Area That Focus On Education, Youth Services, Health Care And Human Services. Our application process always begins with a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). The process is the same for past grantees and new grant seekers. The LOI provides us with detailed information about your organization, program, and overall alignment with our goals. We may grant from this letter or request a proposal for further review. Please review these LOI instructions carefully to ensure that your submission includes all required information.


Tacoma Pierce County Health Department Healthy Youth

The Healthy Youth Program serves youth all day, every day through schools and community.  Schools and community based organizations play a critical role in helping children and youth establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Our Healthy Youth Grant Program supports schools and community agencies that address active living, healthy eating and tobacco prevention efforts. We provide competitive funding and technical assistance to support schools, school districts and community organizations to improve youth health.


Franciscan Health System Foundation

Given that the Franciscan Health System in one of the largest organizations in the South Puget Sound area, we are serious about our commitment to the communities and people we serve. To that end, the Franciscan Foundation focuses its grants in the following areas: Health and Human Services, focusing on projects, programs, and events designed to improve the health status of individuals and communities; Community-based programs focusing on projects and programs that benefit the economic health of the areas we serve. We generally limit our support to 2% of the project or program budget.


Jane’s Fund Russel Family Foundation

Jane’s Fellows are people in Pierce County who are willing to lead even without formal job titles, institutions and structures. They are often outside the spotlight. They are people of caring and vision who stay involved in tough causes despite the challenges, and they inspire action.
In 2004, the foundation launched Jane’s Fellowship Program to support grassroots leaders in Tacoma and Pierce County. Each class of fellows participates in a 15-month leadership experience before becoming part of the graduate network. The next application period will be in the summer of 2016.

Milgard Foundation

Priority will be given to applicants that serve Pierce County, Washington and to organizations that focus on social services that improve the quality of life and impact a positive change in the community. We are now requesting an electronic Letter of Inquiry (LOI) be filled out as the first step in the grant application process. Once you log into your organization in our grant program, you can access the LOI on the apply page. There is no deadline for submitting an LOI. Our staff reviews the LOI’s on a regular basis, but we ask that you allow up to 6 weeks for a response.


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