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Funding your community projects: read this


These people are raising $$ for dozens of non-profits. The Run for It! 5K raises tens of thousands a year for WV non-profits. All you do is register, get your team together, solicit sponsors and get their pledges to the Tucker County Foundation, which organizes the event, and gives you the money you raise! (Photo courtesy Tucker Community Foundation)


This page will tell you what funders want from you and where to look for funding that fits your needs.  We’ve included lists of funding sources. Know about a funding source we missed? Share it! Write it in the comments section at the end.

Here are the sections on this page: Getting ready to apply, Get to know funding and funders, Foundations 101, Most frequent foundation funders and funded, State Funding, Federal Funding, Local funding.

Be sure to scroll all the way down to “Funding for specific activities.:  That’s where you’ll find funding sources specifically for:

  • Food and garden
  • Alternative transportation (biking, walking, etc.)
  • Recreational trails, land and water
  • Running/walking/biking
  • Youth environmental programs
  • Swimming pools


Important First Steps. Don’t skip this:


So you want to make your community a healthier place to live, and you have an idea about a way you could do that. You have researched a community need. You’ve gathered community partners. Now you need to line up necessary resources.


Very early in most projects, the question of money comes up. The first thing you need to do is take steps that will (1) increase your chances of getting money and (2) may lower the amount of money you will require.


Gather your partners/collaborators. First, gather your community partners. Almost every funder now requires that you prove that you are not the Lone Ranger, that you have created collaborative or partnering agreements with the other groups in your community that need to be on board if your project is to be successful. Your partners may be a garden club or the city council, an afterschool program or a local church. Think it through and pull people together to talk about it. Gather your partners, big roles and small.


Make a timeline. You and your collaborators will need a project timeline. List everything you need to be successful; such as people (paid or volunteer), a location, project materials, etc., to be sure the project is ready to move forward.


Start listing the steps you will have to take to make it successful. Your list will change over time. Start the list now. Here are a few questions funders will expect you to be able to answer:

1. What community need are you trying to address?

2. How do you know that the need exists? Can you document it with facts?

3. Does the project address the unmet need in a reasonable manner?

4. Is it in line with the mission of your organization?

5. Who will you work with? Do you have the necessary partners at the table to be successful?

6. Is your organization qualified and able to apply for and manage a project programmatically and financially?

7. Do you have the right policies and systems in place to meet IRS charitable rules and requirements?

8. How will you engage others in your project?

9. How will you measure success?

10. How will the project be sustained?


Let’s assume you have a solid mission statement. You’ve identified your target population and can demonstrate why this population would benefit by your project. Now …


Secure some local funding and resources.


Funders like to see that you have made a variety of efforts – hopefully successful – to help yourself. You may have raised money locally: secured contributions and held events like spaghetti dinners, car washes and so forth, that generate community support and get people involved, giving them a feeling of ownership in your project. Funders also like to see that you have found ways to get in-kind donations: materials, supplies or services or people’s time and talents, rather than simply asking the funder to pay for everything.


Local contributions, financial or in-kind, mean you have local support. Funders want to know you have broad local support.


If you can show how you have helped yourself locally, it will increase your chances of getting a larger grant.


Many funders require a local match. Investigate local funders before going directly to a national or regional funder. Even small grants from local funders are votes of confidence for you that tell a larger funder that local people believe in you.


Be sure to look over the local funding ideas at the end of this page.


Look for a major funder or funders. Once you have done all of the above and made sure you can answer the questions above, your project and organization may be ready to start looking for/approaching major funders.


Funding comes from individual donors, foundations, community organizations, faith-based organizations, and local, state, and federal government. A successful grant proposal is well-prepared, thoughtfully planned, and concisely packaged. The applicant has carefully followed the directions and program criteria. Here are some tips:


Make sure the funder funds what you want to do. This may seem obvious, but many groups waste time and effort applying to the wrong funders. So be smart. Go to the funder’s Web site or other information source. Assess the information carefully, particularly the eligibility and “restricted items” sections. Be sure you are you eligible and in the funder’s geographic giving area. If you aren’t sure, call them and ask.


Contact the information person listed in the funder’s written material, before you develop a proposal. Read the directions on their Web site before you do. Verify that funding is available and the deadline dates. Briefly describe your project to make sure it is within their guidelines. Find out what process the funder uses for accepting applications. Basic requirements, application forms, information and procedures vary by funder.


The applicant and grantor agency should have the same interests, intentions, and needs, if a proposal is to be an acceptable candidate for funding. Do your research, check eligibility criteria, follow the directions, and meet all deadlines.


Here are some things most funders will look for:


  • Evidence that the community is engaged in efforts to make the community more healthy. If the community is not engaged, you cannot affect the culture.
  • Evidence that you have community support for your project.
  • Evidence that you are not duplicating something already present in the community.
  • Evidence that your project supports or synchronizes with the efforts of other community groups.
  • A plan – simple or more complex, proportionate to the project – including the goal (success), and “why” of this project.
  • A quality budget (even if simple) that identifies expenses and reasons, and several realistic sources for the income you need.

They will also assess how ready you are and how fully you have developed your idea. Your group’s experience, geographical location and track record will influence their assessment. In general, the newer your group is and the shorter the track record, the more you have to develop your idea to be funded. Here are three group profiles, from new to experienced:


Group A:   typically a new group or a group just beginning to work on healthy lifestyles. They:

  • are proposing a first project (or a repeat of an initial effort)
  • have not yet assessed what persons/businesses/organizations can help them with funding, volunteers, in-kind support.
  • have a modest project with a modest budget, staffed by volunteers, with no evidence of local fundraising
  • are not ready for a formal “grant proposal” to a foundation or similar funder outside the local community.

Group B:

  • has a track record of several well-planned and successful events/projects
  • has been working together with local partners for a period of time.
  • has gathered continuing funding and support from a variety of community sources
  • has reached a level in the project where they need some sort of stipend or part-time salary for a staff person to manage the work
  • understands or is ready to learn how to research, write, and manage a grant proposal to a regional, corporate, or national funding source.

Group C:

  • has a history of increasingly complex projects that were successful,
  • has strong evidence of community support, and has been successful with a previous significant and formal grant project,
  • is partnering with another significant community group (government, school system, YMCA, etc.) for this project which may well be multi-year,
  • can demonstrate that they have already gathered local funding and in-kind support,
  • is a strong organization in terms of board support and activity, staffing, and general organizational development,
  • meets the qualifications for certain federal or state grants (e.g. transportation), or other national programs (e.g. Kaboom playground program).

Your group may not exactly fit any of the three, but it is useful to ask yourself which most nearly describes you.


Rule of thumb: The shorter your track record, the more you need to document your community support.


The material that follows is about grants: how to find the right funder, how to increase your chances of getting a grant.




Getting ready to apply


OK. You’ve raised money locally. You’ve got your partners and collaborators lined up. Now, as you begin to develop your proposal, consider the following questions:


A.  Does a similar program already exist? If so, contact them to see if you might partner or collaborate, sharing of program resources and lessons learned. You don’t want to make the same mistakes others have already learned from, and you want your project to be a success.


B. Community support for most proposals is essential. Who else sees this as a community need and who else can help implement the program?


C. Get organized to write the proposal. Keep a notebook handy to write down ideas as you develop the project. Create a computer file for the attachments and supporting materials.


There are eight basic components to a proposal package. Each funder may use slightly different terms, but the general categories are:


(1) Proposal summary or abstract: Outlines the proposed project. It should appear at the beginning of the proposal. It could be in the form of a cover letter or a separate page, but should definitely be brief – no longer than two or three paragraphs.


(2) Introduction of organization: Most proposals require a description of an applicant’s organization. Describe its past and present operations. This information should establish the applicant’s credibility. Some features to include are:

  • Information about key staff members and the board of directors
  • The organization’s goals, philosophy, track record with other grantors, and success stories,
  • The relevance of the information to the goals of the grantor agency.

(3) The problem statement (or needs assessment) makes a clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed. The information provided should be factual and directly related to the problem addressed by the proposal.

Areas to document are:

  • The purpose for developing the proposal. What do you want to do? What is the overall aim of your project?
  • The beneficiaries – who are they and how will they benefit.
  • The social and economic costs to be affected.
  • The nature of the problem (provide relevant hard evidence – such as statistics; a short example in the form of a story helps as well).
  • How the applicant organization came to realize the problem exists, and what is currently being done about the problem. Why do you want to do the project? How do you know there is a need for this project?
  • Did you consult the “target audience” or people you plan to serve on what they need or want?
  • Explain what will happen to the project and the impending implications.
  • Most important, the specific manner in which problems might be solved. Review the resources needed. Consider how they will be used and to what end.

(4) Project design (Goals, objectives, and methods): The program design is the way your project is expected to solve the stated problem. The section describes specific project activities that will accomplish the intervention and benefit the participants. You need to spell out all objectives related to the goals , then tell how you will achieve them. Use quantities or things that can be measure. Tell how you will measure them.

Refer to your problem statement. Describe the expected outcome of your proposed activities. Your figures used should be verifiable. Be realistic. Remember, if the proposal is funded, your stated objectives will probably be used to evaluate your program progress, so don’t set goals you can’t meet.


(5) Project evaluation: The evaluation component has two parts: (1) product evaluation; and (2) process evaluation. Product evaluation is the measure of progress that can be attributed to the project. It measures the extent to which the project has satisfied its desired objectives. Process evaluation addresses the way the project was conducted, in terms of consistency with the stated plan of action and the effectiveness of various activities within the plan.

Evaluation strategies should start at the beginning of the project and continue until the project is completed. Look-back evaluation at the end of a project is not enough. Describe the way you will make evaluation continuous.


(6) Future funding or sustainability: Describe your plan to continue the project beyond the grant period, and/or the availability of other resources necessary to implement the grant. If the program involves construction, discuss maintenance and future program funding.


(7) Project budget and budget narrative: Funding levels in grant programs change yearly. Mants are for a one year period only. Therefore, it is safe to never anticipate that the income from the grant will be the sole support for the project. This consideration should be given to the overall budget requirements. Restraint is important in determining cost projections (avoid padding budget line items).


A well-prepared budget justifies all expenses and is consistent with the proposal narrative. Here are some areas you should evaluate for consistency: (1) the salaries in the proposal in relation to those of the applicant organization should be similar; (2) if new staff persons are being hired, additional space and equipment should be considered, as necessary; (3) if the budget calls for an equipment purchase, it should be the type allowed by the grantor agency; (4) if additional space is rented, the increase in insurance should be supported; (5) if an indirect cost rate applies to the proposal, the division between direct and indirect costs should not be in conflict, and the aggregate budget totals should refer directly to the approved formula; and (6) if matching costs are required, the contributions to the matching fund should be taken out of the budget unless otherwise specified in the application instructions.


(8) Attachments: Be sure to attach all required attachments the grantor requests, preferably in the order they request them. Use additional attachments sparingly and be sure they are attached because they clarify or strengthen your proposal. Here are the ones that are commonly required:

* IRS Determination letter of charitable status – Federal 501c3 document

  • Board of Directors List
  • Annual Audit and/or 990 tax form
  • Supporting materials referred to in the project design
  • Any other attachments that the funder requests (such as documentation of a Dunn and Bradstreet number or DUNS number, etc…)



Get to know funding and funders


In the United States, grants most often come from a wide range of government departments or an even wider range of public and private trusts and foundations. According to the Foundation Center, there are more than 88,000 trusts and foundations in the USA. They disperse in excess of $40 billion every year. Trusts and Foundations are a little complex to research. They can be found through subscription-based directories.


Grants are funds you do not have to repay. One party (grant makers) gives them to a second party (recipient) often (but not always) a nonprofit group, educational institution, business or individual. A proposal or application is usually required.


Most grants fund a specific project and require compliance and reporting. The grant writer submits a proposal (or submission) to a funder, often in response to a “RFP or Request for Proposal” from the funder. Grants can be given to individuals, such as victims of natural disasters or people who want to open a small business. Sometimes grant makers require tax-exempt status. In that case, the recipient must be a registered nonprofit organization or a local government.


The Grantsmanship Center ( is a great resource, if you want to learn more about any of this.


A grant is a tool – a means to an end. From the Grantmanship Center: “A grant is not about money alone, because by itself, money doesn’t protect battered families, help children to read, fill the plates of the hungry, clean polluted lakes, or open museum doors. But when a grant is used to finance a well-planned program run by a capable and committed organization, it can be a powerful catalyst for change.

The size of a grant is not the measure of success. A large grant to support an ill-conceived program can be a waste of money. A small grant to support a well-designed program can be tremendously effective. Grant development and writing is not about chasing dollars – it is about getting good results.”



Foundations 101


The Foundation Center ( ) defines a foundation as a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust whose main purpose is making grants to unrelated organizations or to individuals for scientific, education, cultural, religions, or other charitable purposes.


This broad definition includes private foundations and public foundations. Most of the funds of a private foundation come from one source: an individual, a family or a corporation. A public foundation normally receives its assets from multiple sources, which may include private foundations, individuals, government agencies, and fees for service.


Private foundations:

There are three types of private foundations: independent, corporate and operating foundations. They operate in three distinctive ways.


1. Independent Foundations are the most prevalent type. Their assets are usually provided by an individual or a family in the form of gifts or bequests. Family Foundations are in this category. The Benedum Foundation is an example of an Independent, private foundation that serves West Virginia


2. Corporate, or company sponsored Foundation are like independent foundation in most respects, but the source of their assets is a company rather than an individual or family. An example of a corporate foundation in West Virginia would be the Highmark Foundation

Corporations may also have foundations and/or local giving programs. Their giving programs operate within the corporation rather than through a separately structured foundation. Generally decisions about those grants are directly related to the corporation’s business profits. They are usually given in the corporation’s location areas, and are usually guided by employee interests. Ask your local library for names of such foundations in your area.

Employee matching gifts programs are increasingly common grant vehicles. Corporations often have separate application processes for their foundation and giving programs.

To learn about corporate fundraising, look at the Foundation Center’s Introduction to Corporate Giving ( It is available free as an online webinar or an in-person class.

Securing Corporate Partnerships offers more in-depth instruction:, a daylong, fee-based class that will help you understand how corporate donors differ from foundations, and help you develop strategies to gain their support and long-term commitment.


3. Operating foundations: Like Independent foundations, their assets usually come from an individual or a small group of donors. They accomplish their charitable purpose largely by operating their own programs rather than by making grants. Operating foundations in West Virginia include hospital foundations, such as the CAMC Foundation


Here’s more good advice about private foundations from the Grantsmanship Center, a great resource for community groups. Their motto is: “Get funding, create change.”


Public foundations:

A public foundation is a nongovernmental public charity that operates grants programs that benefit unrelated organizations or individuals. Community Foundation are the best-established category of public foundations in the United States. An example would be The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation


The following credible websites can help you search for appropriate foundations:

> The Foundation Center: is the most authoritative source of information on private philanthropy in the United States. They help grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policymakers, the media, and the general public better understand the process / nature of philanthropy.Their web site is designed to guide you to the information you are looking for -instruction on funding research, help with proposal writing, and tools for locating prospective funders, news and research on the field, or a library or training class near you. There is a charge, but the West Virginia library system and several universities have this services available free to the public. The Foundation Center also offers online training and tutorials on grant seeking, such as the following:

o   Overview: Online directories, tools and resources:

o   Grant seeking Basics for Nonprofit Organizations: Prepares nonprofit organizations to seek out and identify potential sources of foundation support.

o    Grant Seeking: Beyond the Proposal  “looks past the proposal itself and advocates a more grant seeking strategy…”

o   Guide to Funding Research: A basic primer on the grant seeking process and an introduction to the available resources.

o   The Foundation Directory Online: Provides fundraisers with access to searchable online databases of grant makers, grants, and 990s. With five subscription plans available by month or by year for all levels of grant seekers. Their premier funder database, Foundation Directory Online, now includes a free search tool that has replaced Foundation Finder, providing public access to essential information about nearly 90,000 foundations and over 250,000 IRS Forms 990-PF.

Funder profiles include: Address and contact information, fields of interest, program areas, fiscal information. Study these profiles. Make sure the funder funds the kind of project you want to do.

o   Foundation Center Libraries: The Foundation Center’s five libraries hold many resources for individual grant seekers. You can search the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, and the libraries’ collective holdings.

o   Proposal Writing Short Course: Describes how to prepare a funding proposal, including the planning, research, and cultivation of foundation and corporate donors.

o   Philanthropy News Digest’s (PND’s) RFP Bulletin: Requests for proposals (RFPs) by grant makers who wish to attract applicants with specific projects or interests.

o   PND Talk: A place to share opinions, insights, and questions related to the field of philanthropy with peers at their message board.

o   Learn about Proposal writing with easy online tutorials:


> Fundsnet Services ( The stated purpose of this site is to help spread the word about grants programs initiatives, fundraising programs, philanthropy, foundations and 501(c)(3) non-profits organizations sources by posting related links on their site.

They do not offer grants, but they post resources that make grants and resources easier to find for 501(c)(3) organizations. Here is a link is to their health and wellness section:
> The Grantsmanship Center ( is a training and resources organization for nonprofit, academic and government agencies. They offer workshops, publications, and consultation throughout the United States, and internationally. Their job is to help private and public nonprofits make better communities. They do that by offering training and publications to help organizations plan solid programs, write logical, compelling grant proposals and create earned income opportunities.

Funders and Funded


Who gets foundation grants in West Virginia?

> Aggregate Fiscal Data for Top 50 Recipients of Grants from FC 1000 Foundations to Recipients in West Virginia

> Top 50 FC 1000 Foundations Awarding Grants to Recipients in West Virginia, 2011

> Aggregate Fiscal Data of Grants from FC 1000 Foundations, to Recipients in West Virginia, 2011

> 50 Largest Foundations by Total Giving, 2011:



Who are West Virginia’s top funders?

The Grantsmanship Center lists the top funders in West Virginia, choosing from funders that will accept unsolicited proposals.  The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, a top West Virginia funder, is not listed because they work with potential grantees in advance.

All foundations on the list below have been screened to ensure that they have a staff, issue RFPs, or otherwise indicate an interest in receiving proposals. Some foundations who give large amounts of money are not listed because they do not meet these qualifications.

The Grantsmanship Center lists a maximum of forty foundations for each state. More detailed information about these foundations, including their program areas, types of funding, application procedures, and more can be found the Grantsmanship Center’s exclusive online database of funding information:


The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation $5,894,940
Hugh I. Shott, Jr. Foundation $1,620,284
Bernard McDonough Foundation, Inc. $1,393,206
Tucker Community Endowment Foundation $1,378,536
The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, Inc. $1,163,911
Sisters Health Foundation
Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation $1,101,374
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation $882,801
The James H. and Alice Teubert Charitable Trust $882,101
The Daywood Foundation, Inc. $797,500
Beckley Area Foundation, Inc. $672,843
Hollowell Foundation, Inc. $426,300
The Logan Healthcare Foundation $414,861
James B. Chambers Memorial $347,230
Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. $282,907
Hinton Area Foundation $129,551
Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. $118,454
Logan County Charitable & Educational Foundation $48,366
Barbour County Community Foundation $16,099
Pyles, Haviland, Turner & Smith Foundation, Inc. $9,600


Who are West Virginia community foundations?

Foundation Name Geographic Focus
Appalachian Community Fund Appalachian counties in KY; TN; VA; WV
Barbour County Community Foundation Barbour County, WV
Beckley Area Foundation, Inc. Raleigh County, WV
The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, Inc. Belmont, Guernsey and Monroe counties, OH; Brooke, Marshall, Ohio, Tyler and Wetzel counties, WV;
Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc. Barbour, Harrison, Lewis, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Tucker, and Upshur counties, WV
Community Foundation of the Virginias, Inc. Tazewell County, VA; Mercer County, WV
Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties, WV
Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc. Boyd and Greenup Counties KY; Lawrence County OH; Cabell and Wayne Counties, WV
The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam Counties, WV
Greater Morgantown Community Trust (GMCT) Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, and Preston counties, north central WV
Hinton Area Foundation Summers County, WV
Logan County Charitable & Educational Foundation Logan County, WV
Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Washington County, OH; Wood, Pleasants, Ritchie, Gilmer, Wirt, Calhoun, Roane, Doddridge and Jackson Counties, WV
Tucker Community Endowment Foundation Barbour, Grant, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Tucker Counties, WV
This list is not inclusive. There are many more small private West Virginia foundations. Private foundations are not required by law to publish their existence, location or purpose. Many do not. The reference librarian at your local library may be able to help you find out what local foundations exist in your area. Also check with the county commission.
Two foundations, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Sisters Health Foundation, have poured a combined total of well over $35 million into West Virginia health projects since 2005. ( and


State Funding


Governor’s Participation Grant Program: The Governor’s Community Partnership program provides state grant funds for West Virginia community and economic development projects. In true community partnerships, the program enables communities to expand, build and improve a variety of public facilities and services.

According to the Web site, funds are available for “meaningful public improvements in communities.” The program funds local government, generally counties and municipalities, for governor-approved projects, from parks to industrial parks, from tennis courts to county courthouses.


Community participation money (The Budget Digest). Each year, the legislature puts specific projects into the state budget. You have to find a legislator to sponsor your project. Talk with your local legislators or interested legislators from elsewhere.


Hotel-motel tax. State law requires that part of this tax money be spent on recreation. Communities are supposed to be able to apply for some of that money, but the law does not prescribe the way communities can apply. If there is no method by which you can apply for the money in your community, you may want to take up that matter with the county commission.

WVPASS: West Virginia Partnerships to Assure Student Success (WVPASS) was established to “…support West Virginia communities by providing them with training, technical support and resources for youth and community development.” Their listing features grant opportunities from a variety of funding sources.


West Virginia Department of Education maintains a list of grants: This link takes you to a grants list for schools: It is not inclusive.



Also see grant listing by category below under local funding and funding for specific activities.



Federal Funding


First, get broadly familiar with the federal process. Start here: How to apply for federal grants:;jsessionid=xTrpSp5hxl7lLLMcpJKhGDlGyxcxNYtQx6rS2wZtccwSfpMjLy0R


Resources by topic area (such as health, human service, education, etc.):


Here is your fullest listing of federal grants: the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) It provides a full listing of all Federal Programs available to state and local governments; federally-recognized Indian tribal governmental Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups and individuals. It contains detailed program descriptions for 2,206 federal assistance programs.

The Catalogue was created to help people identify potentially helpful programs, and to deliver general information on those programs. The Catalogue is also intended to improve coordination and communication between the federal, state and local governments. Currently, the General Services Administration, which produces the catalogue, sorts programs into 15 categories:

As of early 2014, there were 67 agencies listed on the CFDA. Narrow your search down to program areas that relate to your project. Use this link:


The following agencies have programs related to health and well being. This is not an exhaustive list.

> Appalachian Regional Commission

> Department of Agriculture

> Department of Education

> Department of Health and Human Services

> Department of Transportation




Local funding

Bigger funders like to see that you have raised money locally through your events and contributions and through smaller local or state grants.

Here are some sites that will give you ideas about ways to do that:

> Smart Growth Online funding pages: helping communities grow in a healthy way

> Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training

  • The Grass Roots Fundraising Book: How to raise money in your community, by Joan Flanagan

> Give Forward fundraising ideas:

> Crowdfunding : a story and two examples:

> Small fundraising projects:

> Raising money for healthy activities with healthy activities:

    Fundraising events that get people moving.


> In the Eastern Panhandle, the annual Freedoms Run ( nets about $15,000 per year for Jefferson County school running trails and a middle school hiking program. A coalition organizes it: West Virginia University School of Medicine, Shepherd University, Harpers Ferry National Park, local tourism groups and individuals. Contact Dr. Mark Cucuzzella,

< Run for It! This yearly huge 5K in Davis is set up to help non-profits raise money. In 2013, they gave back about $71,000 to non-profits that registered teams and solicited sponsors. The nonprofit gets half of the registration fee, plus all the sponsor money. In 2013, Run for It! gave back $71K to nonprofits. The non-profits don’t have to write a grant. They just walk or run for it.


> Walk 100 Miles in 100 Days: West Virginia University pioneered this trademarked program about 20 years ago. In 2013, more than 1,000 people in six West Virginia and Kentucky counties used the program to carry out the Hatfield-McCoy Healthy Challenge, sponsored by the Mingo County Diabetes Association and West Virginia on the Move. Contact West Virginia on the Move:




Funding for specific activities


GrantWatch: Federal, state, city, local and foundation grants opportunities, categorized by type and updated daily. Organizations can sign up for free weekly emaisl of new grant opportunities. They post grants in several categories. This is the link for health and medical issues.

Health and medical grants for West Virginia


CVS Caremark Community Grants Program funds nonprofit organizations that provide access to health care for underserved populations including wellness and prevention programs, public school programs; health education and awareness programs. The grant application process ends on December 1. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded on a rolling basis. 


Physical Activity projects

Trails :




State-administered biking/ pedestrian/ trails programs:

WV-DOT Bike/Pedestrian Program / WV Trails Program
Program Coordinator, Department of Transportation
Phone: 304 558-9591
Fax: 304 558-3783

As of 2013, Safe Routes to School federal funding is gone, and MAP-21 funding is available, but states have to decide how to use it. Applying is complex. Advocacy Advance, a partnership between the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists, offers help at Here is an infographic that may help you understand this confusing funding:

Funding: MAP-21: The former funding under Safe Routes to School, etc. has been collapsed into MAP-21, and there is now a match and less overall funding. Biking and walking projects can apply for exclusions. MAP-21 funding won’t be enough. Previous funding is cut in half from Safe Routes to School – Transportation Alternatives (Enhancements program). Where is the money now?

  • Surface Transportation Program
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality
  • Highway Safety Improvement Program
  • Recreational Trails
  • Metropolitan Transportation Planning

Transportation Alternatives explanation, Department of Transportation (DOT) sit


Parks/playgrounds: These links will give you ideas.





Healthy food projects:

See Healthy Food Financing Initiatives (HFFI) and Funding Availability Now through the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website :  (click “available funding”).

Healthy Food Access Portal: The “Find Money” site features grant, loan, and incentive opportunities to help you build, renovate, or plan for healthy food retail. You will probably have to combine several different grants, loans, and incentives to fully fund your project.

High tunnel greenhouses

Youth Environmental Programs

  • The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection provides grants of up to $15,000 through its Youth Environmental Program. Typical funded programs include trails, school gardens and other sustainable projects through a school or afterschool program.


  1. I was wondering if there are any grants that can help a church feed children during the summer.

    • Yes, Betty, any non-profit that feeds kids can get funding for that. Call the WV Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558-2708 and ask about their Summer Food Service Program. Read a bit about it before you call at So wonderful your church is doing that!

  2. What an amazing resource – great work!

  3. What about the money each county and city gets for gambling/gaming facilities? I hear that is a huge, and discretionary, pot of money. Who has good examples of getting some of those funds?

  4. What a wealth of information. Great

  5. Thanks for elaborate information on how to solve the challenges that we face though projects and partnership with others. I am in great need of water supply for the village in my local churches and in need of two chapels. hope i have go the light where to begin. wish you all the best.

  6. Congrats for all you done to help people’s.

    Pls! How or by which way I ll find the money for water of my village people ?



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