Grant Making Policies

Grant seekers should note the following before contacting NDCF concerning a grant:

  • NDCF makes grants only to those organizations designated by the IRS Code as 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt groups or government agencies.
    Before writing a letter of request to NDCF seeking financial assistance, please make certain that your organization is eligible for a grant according to the stated tax exempt requirement.
  • Since NDCF serves organizations statewide, grants normally do not exceed $5,000.


In considering a formal grant request, NDCF will review the following:

  • The composition and commitment of the group’s overseeing body – Board of Directors or Trustees.
  • The organization’s management and fiscal integrity.
  • The possibility of a grant leveraging additional support.
  • The level of local involvement and support.
  • The number of people to be served and the impact of the program on the community.
  • The degree to which the program duplicates or complements the work of other community organizations.
  • The possibility of the program being replicated in another setting.
  • The extent to which the project reflects an imaginative or new approach to a problem.
  • The impact of the North Dakota Community Foundation’s grant on the success of the project.



  • Please submit a concise letter of request not to exceed two (2) pages describing the organization, the project, the approximate project cost, and the amount to be requested from NDCF — only one request per agency per year. NDCF does not accept faxed or emailed requests.
  • Mail Letters of Request to:

      NDCF Letter of Request
      PO Box 387
      Bismarck, ND 58502-0387
  • Deadline: Letters of request must be received by NDCF no later than August 15.
  • The NDCF Board of Directors review the letters of request in September. If the Board is interested in additional information, formal application materials are sent in late September. Requests not continuing through the process will be notified by the first of October.
  • Grants are paid out in late November or December.


In addition to the above, the following guidelines will be used in the prioritizing of grant requests:

  • NDCF does not have a narrow area of focus. The Board looks at each project on its merits.
  • The Board attempts to be as equitable as practical to the various geographic regions of the State.
  • NDCF does not make multi-year grant commitments.
  • The Board places emphasis on helping applicants who have limited access to other sources of funding.
  • A low priority will be given to projects already substantially supported by government, or which in the opinion of the NDCF Board, can and should be provided for by taxes.
  • Grants for sectarian projects will receive a low priority.
  • Grants to national organizations will receive a low priority.
  • Grants will be denied to organizations and projects that exist to influence legislation, carry on propaganda, participate in political campaigns, or which threaten to cause significant controversy or divisiveness.
  • A low grant priority will be given to those organizations which field substantial fund-raising each year with paid and volunteer staff.
  • Grants are not made to individuals.

Grant Guidelines

NDCF Statewide Greatest Needs Fund Grant Guidelines

The North Dakota Community Foundation serves North Dakota communities statewide with the goal of improving the quality of life for the state’s citizens. The Foundation administers many different types of funds. Most of the Funds are restricted to a specific purpose. This page focuses on the guidelines for the Foundation’s Statewide Greatest Needs Fund. Applications for a grant from the regional community endowment funds are available from the local advisory committees found here.


For your convenience, we provide a recommended checklist to follow. Click Here!