Specific Interest Grants

There are a variety of funds at the DCF that provide a structured opportunity for eligible nonprofits whose missions align with specific interest areas to apply for grants. In 2020, these funds awarded a total of $70,808 to 17 nonprofit organizations statewide.

For more information about the DCF’s grantmaking process, visit delcf.org/grants or contact Yolanda Rushdan at 302.504.5239.

Preston’s March for Energy gives children the opportunity to participate in an activity with their peers in their own neighborhood and raises awareness for inclusion.

– Deb Buenaga, executive director of Preston’s March for Energy, which provides adaptive bikes to children with disabilities. Preston’s March received a $7,000 DCF Special Interest Grant to provide monthly social events for individuals and families affected by disabilities.

2020 Specific Interest Grants recipients:

  • $1,250 to Ministry of Caring Inc for its Storyteller Project
  • $2,500 to Delaware Center for Horticulture for The Gravity Festival: Forests and Youth in Action
  • $1,325 to Wilmington Alliance for the West Center City Drumming Circle
  • $2,500 to Delaware Shakespeare for its 2020 Community Tour: Twelfth Night
  • $2,500 to Cornerstone West CDC for the 4th Street Visionaries Community Mural
  • $1,133 to Cityfest, Inc. for The 2020 Summer Camp of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus
  • $1,600 to Cab Calloway School Fund for its summer Healing Arts Program partnership with Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children

  • $7,500 to Cancer Support Community Delaware for Health Coaching for Cancer Survivors
  • $7,500 to Lori’s Hands, Inc. for Impact and Outcomes Evaluation

  • $7,500 to Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley for Wishes Transforming Lives in Delaware
  • $7,500 to Preston’s March For Energy for Adaptive Bikes for Better Lives

  • $7,000 to Forgotten Cats, Inc. for Adoption Preparation for Cats, in partnership with the City of Dover
  • $5,000 to PAWS for People for the Specialized Pet Support program
  • $4,500 to the Brandywine Valley SPCA for the statewide Humane Education program
  • $7,000 to Canine Partners for Life for the Team Training for Future Partnerships program
  • $4,500 to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research for Care for Injured and Orphaned Baby Birds

DCF Guidelines for Specific Interest Grants

Specific Interest Grants provide a structured opportunity for eligible nonprofits whose missions align with specific interest areas to apply for grants. These interest areas are specified in a variety of funds at the DCF.

Below is more information about what Specific Interest areas are supported. Please review them carefully as you decide how your organization is best positioned to join the DCF in building opportunity for all.

Application is now closed

Sample Application (for reference only – must apply online)

Made possible through the Dave Ryerson Fund at the DCF, these small grants will support charitable organizations that support the arts in Wilmington. The opportunity is designed for small organizations or larger organizations with smaller, discrete projects. Supported projects include the presentation of performing, visual, literary, media or folk arts in communities throughout Wilmington, and that reach audiences and participants with limited access to the arts or to a particular art form.

Awards will range from $1,000 to 2,500.

Made possible through the Walls & Turner Charitable Fund at the DCF, these grants will support charitable organizations that:
– Grant the dreams and wishes of chronically and terminally ill children of families with limited financial resources in Delaware
– Grant the dreams and wishes of chronically and terminally parents with children in Delaware who do not have the financial resources for sharing a dream or wish with their children before their expected deaths

Awards will range from $2,500 to $7,500.

Made possible through the Walls & Turner Charitable Fund at the DCF, these grants will support charitable organizations that:
– Assist in the training of professionally trained seeing-eye dogs and service assistance dogs for blind individuals, deaf individuals and/or individuals with mobility impairments and/or other physical disabilities
– Provide support services in connection with the placements of such dogs with eligible recipients who are residents of the State of Delaware who demonstrate a drive to become more independent and who would not be able to acquire such dogs without financial assistance
– Encourage the humane treatment of animals in Delaware through education of the public, adoption of animals without owners, neutering, and enforcement of laws governing the humane treatment of animals.

Awards will range from $2,500 to $7,500.

The online grant application for each opportunity will be available beginning in April 2021. Grant proposals must be submitted using the online DCF application form. One application per organization will be accepted. Other proposal formats will not be accepted.

The grant application submission deadline is April 30, 2021. Grants are approved by the DCF Board of Directors within three months of the application deadline.

Agencies receiving DCF grants must serve the state of Delaware and its residents without discrimination based on race, religion, gender, age, disability, national origin or sexual orientation.

We do not support:

  • Non-501(c)3 nonprofit organizations
  • Purchase of office equipment, furniture or electronics
  • Sports clubs, leagues or facilities
  • Educational institutions
  • Purchase of vehicles (i.e., mobile machines that transport people or cargo)
  • Endowment
  • Religious organizations for sectarian purposes (However, projects that serve the entire community, regardless of religious affiliation, are eligible for support.)
  • Annual fundraising campaigns or general operating expenses
  • Projects completed before June of the current year
  • Individuals
  • Special events
  • Debt reduction

For more information, please contact Sarah Grunewald, vice president of community impact, at 302.504.5267.

I have no doubt in my mind that this program saves lives. Maybe a month from now, a year from now, or 10 years from now, there will be someone who is still alive because of what they learned this summer.

– Maria Edgerton Reed, aquatics coordinator at the Sussex Academy Aquatic Center, which received a $25,000 DCF Focus Grant to teach 200 young people water safety this year.

Check Out Our Full List of Grants