Grants

Grants

The Community Foundation for Mississippi primarily offers several distinct types of “grants” to charitable organizations in our service area: donor-directed grants, competitive grants by CFM, and competitive grants by CFM funds. 

  • Donor-directed grants are charitable gifts made by CFM fund advisors directly to specific charities or to their favorite causes. If you are a nonprofit that has received grants from CFM in the past, you may have received funding directed from our donor advisors. If you are a donor interested in starting a charitable giving fund, learn more about donor advised funds here.  
  • Competitive grants by CFM funds have their own criteria determined by fund advisors and are generally managed directly by the fund’s advisory group.
  • CFM’s competitive grants are offered throughout the year, distributed based on focus areas (see below) and are reviewed by a decision-making committee based on eligibility and selection criteria. CFM directly manages its own competitive grants process and offers technical assistance during the process.

Below you will find a list of our currently open competitive grant opportunities alongside deadlines and other pertinent information.

Our Focus Areas

Graphic of trees with a stream.

Placemaking

Placemaking is an approach to community planning that encourages locals to creatively and collectively design and reimagine public spaces for increased livability and quality of life. This approach encourages individuals, organizations, and governments to come together to co-create and celebrate the strengths, stories, and identity of what makes their community unique.

Graphic of people surrounding a heart.

Children and Families

CFM works together with our partners to make meaningful, measurable, and transformational change for children and families in our service area. Our commitment to long-lasting change means that we invest, through a variety of resources, to support programs, interventions, research, and innovative approaches that support the physical, mental & financial health of children and families.

Four hands overlapping.

Community Partnerships

Working together works. Our mission to create meaningful and lasting change means working together with all who call central and southwest Mississippi home. Whether it is nonprofits working with each other, churches, associations, or across sectors, we believe that inclusive partnerships can provide a more holistic approach to change, welcoming more voices to the table and adding more depth to collaborative transformations.

Hand with sprout in palm.

Capacity Building

CFM believes in supporting a nonprofit’s journey to long-term sustainability. To do that, we must walk alongside charitable organizations, serving as a resource and connector to training, technical assistance, best practices, and other opportunities that allow them to become more successful and sustainable over time. By working together, we hope to find sustainable solutions so nonprofits thrive, now and long into the future.

Upcoming Grant Round

Community Impact Grants

Opens: August 5, 2024

Closes: September 5, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

Community Impact Grants are project grants available to nonprofits for up to $5,000. Eligible organizations include 501c3 nonprofits directly serving in any of the 22 counties served by the Community Foundation for Mississippi. No financial match is required, however, projects demonstrating community support will be prioritized.

Community Impact Grants will support projects in the following categories: Placemaking, Children and Families, and Community Partnerships.

Examples of Community Impact Grant projects by category (click to expand): 

Examples include, but are not limited to: Projects that can demonstrate outcomes that contribute to increased livability, projects that focus on the activation of underutilized spaces such as beautification, trail improvements, tactical urbanism, blight removal, or other project-based creative interventions to transform public spaces or increase public dialog about the built environment, community vibrancy, local storytelling or quality of life.

Examples include but are not limited to: Projects that support reading and childhood literacy, programs that increase opportunities to connect children and families with physical, mental or financial health resources, projects that increase access to clean water for children and families at high risk for lead and other contaminants. Other examples include projects that prioritize prevention, early intervention and programs that can demonstrate the ability to measure impact related to children and families within CFM’s 22 county service area. 

Projects that specifically focus on collaborative projects between two or more cross-sector or nonprofit partnerships. Examples might include but are not limited to: Projects that take a collaborative approach to address or advance an issue important to their community such as support for community visioning, charettes and asset mapping, or to support inclusive stakeholder convenings. CFM seeks to support programs that can demonstrate their intention for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) as it relates to project participation. Therefore, grant support may also include projects that lead to positive community change, positive civic engagement, and increasing community voice.

Community Impact Grants will not fund: 

  • Individuals or businesses.
  • Programs, projects or services outside of CFM’s service area.
  • The purchase of permanent equipment (unless the applicant can demonstrate consistent use related to specific ongoing project outcomes), interest on loans, fines or litigation costs, purchase of alcoholic beverages or any food or drink not directly related to the funded project, expenses that have already been funded or reimbursed by other entities or expenses related to lobbying.

CFM also reserves the right to change its eligibility requirements at any time. If you have questions regarding eligibility, please email melody@formississippi.org.

Current CFM Grant Rounds

Nonprofit Capacity Building Mini-Grants

Open year-round

Nonprofit capacity building opportunities at the Community Foundation for Mississippi are primarily offered through our Nonprofit Capacity Building Mini-Grants, open year-round to 501c3 nonprofits within our service area. Nonprofits may apply through a mini-grant to receive discounts or scholarships to attend professional development courses or trainings to assist their board or staff learn ways to increase their effectiveness, strengthening their internal systems and organizational management. 

Nonprofit organizations may choose to apply for financial assistance for a pre-determined training course or for financial assistance to hire a specific vetted nonprofit consultant OR they may apply more generally for needed assistance within specific professional and organizational development areas. While financial grants may be awarded, the majority of grants in this category are awarded through discounted or free attendance at workshops or training courses. In some cases, such as grant-writing, endowment building and storytelling, assistance may be provided through CFM staff or CFM-hosted events. 

John F. And Lucy Shackelford Fund Grants

Open year-round

The purpose of the John F. and Lucy Shackelford Fund at the Community Foundation for Mississippi is to support projects intended to improve the livability of downtown Jackson. Applicants must be charitable organizations or government entities who are located within, or whose request directly serves downtown Jackson, Mississippi. Those who want to submit a letter of interest (LOI) whose headquarters are located outside of downtown must demonstrate direct impact to the downtown Jackson area.

Those submitting LOIs will be asked if your request is for a physical structure, a program or project, an event sponsorship or other request. Please note that the intent of the John F. And Lucy Shackelford Fund is for the long-term improvements of downtown. Applicants will also have to show a connection to livability and the support of the community and/or other funders.

Examples include but are not limited to: Strategic planning, board development, and governance, succession planning, emergency preparedness, planning related to facilities, maintenance or accessibility, workshops related to DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging), program development, evaluation and data gathering, fundraising and grant writing, staff development and more. 

Nonprofit Information Form

If you are a nonprofit in CFM’s service area, we ask that you please fill out our nonprofit form, letting us know more about your organization. This form is the best way to stay connected to upcoming events and grant funding opportunities.