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 download and complete the 2 page application form by clicking on the button to the left or clicking here. Only one request per organization per year. You may include up to one (1) additional page of supplemental information with the form.
  • Submit the Form:
    Via Email to
    Via Mail to:
      NDCF Grants
      PO Box 387
      Bismarck, ND 58502-0387
  • Deadline: Requests must be postmarked by July 31st to be considered for funding.
  • The NDCF Board of Directors will review the applications at their fall meeting . 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 delivered in late November & early 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.