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Melvin R. Lane Fund

Grants to Western North Carolina Nonprofits for
Organizational Stability and Capacity Building Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to Western North Carolina nonprofit human service organizations for capacity building, including projects designed to improve outcomes, communications, development, volunteer recruitment, collaborations, and technology. Eligible organizations provide services for mentally and physically disabled people, youth, the elderly, and those in need.

The mission of the Melvin R. Lane Fund is to increase the capacity of organizations that provide supportive services for people in need, youth, the elderly and mentally and/or physically disabled people. Capacity building addresses a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission effectively now and in the future through projects designed to improve communications, volunteer recruitment, development, outcomes, collaborations, and technology.

The program is intended to help human service organizations improve their operations, become more collaborative, and secure their future for the betterment of Western North Carolina's disadvantaged citizens.

Grantees may be required to attend one or two convening sessions each year of their grant and participate in evaluation that may extend beyond their three-year grant.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 150978

Number of Grants:

This program may award five to seven grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

This program will award grants of $150,000 over three years.

Term of Contract:

The grant period runs for three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and operating for at least three years are eligible to apply for these grants.

- The organization must have two or more full-time employees and an operating budget exceeding $100,000.

- Organizations must be located in or serving one or more of these WNC counties: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey.

The Foundation generally does not make Melvin R. Lane Fund Grants for: operating expenses (except for costs that are directly related to the project); capital support (except where modest requests can immediately and significantly increase an organization's capacity and effectiveness); activities taking place before grant decisions are made; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; veterans affairs; deficit funding; or debt retirement.

Pre-Application Information:

Letters of Intent are due by 5 p.m. on December 3, 2018.

Applicants will be notified whether they are invited to submit a full application by early January. Ten to twelve finalists will be selected to move to the next round of review. Those chosen as finalists should plan to have both a staff and board representative attend a full application workshop to be held on January 17, 2019.

To ensure that the grant-funded project will be targeted and effective, finalist organizations are required to complete an Organizational Assessment provided by WNC Nonprofit Pathways (organizations that have completed an organizational assessment within the prior 12 months may be exempted). The assessment is a process for identifying strengths, challenges, and priorities for improvement that involves a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of board time in addition to 12 to 15 hours for the board chair and executive director. The assessment, which is funded by the Melvin R. Lane Fund, must be completed between January and April.

Based upon learnings from the Organizational Assessment, applicants will define their project objectives. Completed online applications are to be submitted by April 26, 2019.

Site visits by members of the Melvin R. Lane Fund Advisory Board will be conducted during April and May. Finalists are required to give short presentations on May 31, 2019. Funding decisions will be announced in July.

How to apply:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit a lettter of intent:

Virginia Dollar, Senior Program Officer

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina‎
4 Vanderbilt Park Drive
Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28803

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey Counties