Community Impact Grants

One of the ways the DCF is building opportunity for all in Delaware is through our Community Impact Grants.  Since 1989, the DCF has distributed millions of dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the state. These are funded by the Delaware Forever Fund, which consists of gifts made to the DCF for discretionary grantmaking.   As part of our Building Opportunity in Delaware initiative, we restructured our Community Impact Grants program for 2019 to focus on strategic priority areas, including our growing Latino community, equity, and supporting the success of Delaware’s youth.

Capital Grants

The DCF’s Capital Grants help Delaware nonprofits secure and maintain facilities and build the infrastructure they need to fulfill their missions effectively and efficiently.   From vocational training for at-risk youth to therapeutic horseback riding for children with disabilities, this year’s Capital Grants from the DCF will benefit thousands of Delawareans statewide.  The DCF awarded a total of $255,929 in 2019 Capital Grants to 15 organizations around the state. 

Our program is a stepping stone to a good career for people with significant barriers to employment. In the furniture shop, we’re really building opportunity!

– Andrew McKnight, founder and executive director of the Challenge Program, which received a $25,000 DCF Capital Grant to build a furniture manufacturing facility. In the Challenge Program, at-risk youth receive two years of paid training before being placed in construction jobs.

Capital Grant Recipients – 2019 Capital Grant Recipients

15 Awards Statewide – $256,000

New Castle County

The Challenge Program (TCP) provides vocational training for Delaware’s “at-risk” youth to empower them with the confidence, skills and purpose needed to become productive members of society. CP Furniture, a social enterprise that offers distinctive, handcrafted furniture to residential and commercial clients, has a dual mission to financially support The Challenge Program and to provide jobs and advanced training to program graduates. The DCF grant will support construction of a new furniture manufacturing facility. The new facility will expand output to meet growing demand for CP Furniture products; create jobs for over four times as many TCP graduate trainees each year; generate profit that will reduce TCP’s dependence on public sector contracts; and provide a significant return on investment in terms of economic benefit to society resulting from giving at-risk youth the means to become productive citizens.

Downtown Visions‘ mission is to create, manage and promote a quality environment for people who live, work and visit Downtown Wilmington. All of Downtown Visions’ work in the community is supported by Clean & Safe Ambassadors, who patrol the streets, lots and parking garages, provide a uniformed presence,  free safety escorts, street cleaning, and trash, snow, and graffiti removal. The majority of Ambassadors are local residents who are looking for a fresh start. Many have dealt with addiction or homelessness and have never been properly employed before. The DCF grant will provide the staff with a more efficient and productive environment in which to work by enabling safety updates, space redesign and technology improvements to the Downtown Visions offices.

The Bellevue Community Center provides a range of affordable and accessible educational, recreational, self-enrichment and family support services to individuals and families in the Eastern Brandywine Hundred. The DCF grant will support the installation of a new state-of-the-art security system, complete with 19 cameras and up-to-the minute security monitoring, which will ensure the protection of children, families and staff; the protection of community program participants; and the surveillance and protection of the entire property.

Family Promise of Northern New Castle County works to prevent and end homelessness for families. They provide needed temporary shelter and support to get back into housing through their Hospitality Network and new Hospitality Center. Since 2010, they have served 530+ families (1,900+ individuals). The DCF grant will support important upgrades to essential infrastructure at both of their facilities, including security cameras as well as dedicated workstations that will better facilitate clients’ ability to search for housing and employment.

Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center provides supplemental educational activities for youth in the Hilltop area of the City of Wilmington so they are able to compete academically and socially for career opportunities and higher education. They are in the midst of a capital improvement project that includes replacement of a playground, replacement of the primary HVAC system and secondary single heating unit, and other necessary building upgrades. Overall, the project will make Hilltop safer and provide improvements for the agency that will last for 25 to 30 years, enabling them to continue to serve approximately 200 children a day for the next two to three decades. The DCF grant will go specifically toward replacing the primary HVAC system.

Survivors of Abuse in Recovery (SOAR) is dedicated to providing professional mental health services to victims of sexual trauma and their families regardless of their ability to pay. Headquartered in Delaware and the only organization of its kind in the region, SOAR annually provides individual, family and group psychotherapy services to over 2,000 primary and secondary victims of sexual abuse. The DCF grant will support eliminating the flooding and moisture problem in the basement of its North Wilmington location, which is SOAR’s headquarters and main therapy location in Delaware.

West End Neighborhood House works to help individuals achieve self-sufficiency, reach and maintain their maximum potential, and live responsibly and harmoniously in a healthy community and complex world. Approximately 20 years ago, West End acquired and renovated six town homes located on West 8th Street in the City of Wilmington’s Little Italy Neighborhood to be used as transitional residences for former foster care youth aging out of the system. Since that time, over 450 youth have lived in the homes, which have not received any significant renovation. The DCF grant will support necessary repairs and upgrades of all six homes to ensure the safety of youth currently residing in them.

Wilmington Senior Center provides life-sustaining and life-enriching services, opportunities and partnerships that have a positive impact on older adults’ physical, mental, and social well-being, and that contribute to future generations. It is located in an historic building and much of the flooring is over 20 years old. The DCF grant will support new flooring at its facility, ensuring the safety of program participants, members and staff.

Kent County

As Delaware’s only NPR member station, Delaware Public Media’s mission is to create a sense of place for Delawareans, and a sense of Delaware to the nation, by providing noncommercial news, information, and digital content that is unbiased, robust, in-depth and innovative; which serves the public interest of Delaware residents; and which informs, educates and engages listeners. The DCF grant will support weatherization of Delaware Public Media’s downlink satellite and a back-up generator at the transmitter site. These infrastructure updates will stabilize operations and improve reliability, regardless of volatile weather, power outages or other systems interruptions.

Mom’s House of Dover provides nurturing, free childcare to low income, single parents wishing to continue their education. The roof of their facility, where child care is provided, is deteriorated and leaking in spots. The DCF grant will fully fund the replacement of the roof, allowing Mom’s House of Dover to continue its operations for another 20+ years. During that 20-year period, they estimate they will be able to assist 200-300 single mothers achieve an education, independence and skilled job opportunities.

Sussex County

Southern Delaware Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding

CHEER provides an extensive and evolving range of programs and services oriented toward helping aging Sussex County residents maintain their independence by being able to safely reside in their own homes while remaining active and engaged with their communities. The DCF grant will support the purchase and installation of a walk-in refrigeration unit, which will ensure CHEER is able to consistently produce 1,700 meals daily that are delivered to 10 different congregate sites as well as home-bound Meals on Wheels recipients throughout Sussex County.

La Red Health Center (LRHC) provides quality patient centered care to the diverse members of the Sussex County community. LRHC is currently in the midst of a relocation of its Milford Site and expansion of services at the new site. The primary of the expansion is to add an Oral Health Services Program to address a significant amount of unmet dental health care needs of low-income, underserved populations in Sussex County. The new 9,960 square foot site will also allow LRHC to expand its current women’s health, behavioral health, pediatric and family practice services to meet an ever increasing demand for access to high quality health care services. The DCF grant will specifically support the dental suite renovation costs.

The Laurel Public Library works to meet the educational, recreational, and informational needs of our community by providing access to information, knowledge, and diverse ideas in a professional, courteous, and welcoming environment. The Storybook Room provides access to books, computers, toys and games as well as special programming for young patrons in the Laurel community, where the poverty level is three times the state level and 60% of students quality for free lunch. The DCF grant will support upgrades to the Storybook Room that will better accommodate children with autism, sensory issues or limited mobility. These upgrades include removing carpeting and installing laminate flooring to make the room more accessible and to reduce allergens, as well as repairing and painting the walls, existing shelving and trim.

Southern Delaware Therapeutic & Recreational Horseback Riding (SDTR) works to improve the physical and emotional well-being of children and adults in Kent and Sussex counties living with disabilities through equine assisted therapy. They currently serve 157 participants with a variety of conditions including: cerebral palsy, autism, muscular dystrophy, Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, cognitive and emotional-behavioral issues, and Down Syndrome. The DCF grant will support the installation of a fire protection system for the indoor riding arena, stables, viewing area and office area which will ensure compliance with local/state regulations and enable SDTR to grow and expand by offering additional services, programs and functions to existing and new clients.

Sussex Community Crisis Housing Services provides safe and secure emergency and transitional housing to the homeless and to facilitate the transition from homelessness to financial and housing security. In 2018 it served 2,136 meals to non-resident “walk ins.” The DCF grant will support the renovation of the Crisis House kitchen, ensuring a clean and sanitary environment for preparing meals for residents and the community at large.

DCF Guidelines for Capital Grants

The DCF supports projects and organizations working to build opportunity so all Delaware residents can overcome barriers to success, benefit equitably, and thrive. Supported capital projects will have a lasting, positive impact on the population or region served by the applicant organization.

The DCF defines capital as “construction, major renovation or repair of buildings, and/or the purchase of land.” Capital grants typically range from $5,000 to $20,000, with a maximum award of $25,000. Only 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations within the State of Delaware and those outside the state that benefit Delawareans are eligible to apply.

Funding for Grants

Funding for capital grants is provided primarily through the State of Delaware Fund, which was created in 1989 with a $2 million appropriation from the Delaware General Assembly. Additional funding for capital grants is provided by the Foundation’s unrestricted and field-of-interest funds.

The Review Process

  • DCF staff evaluates all completed application forms for conformity with the Foundation’s grant-making guidelines. Only qualified proposals are presented to the Grants Committee for consideration.
  • The committee selects candidates for further evaluation and schedules site visits to some or all finalists.
  • Each applicant organization is notified approximately 60 days following the application deadline about the status of its proposal, and if a finalist, whether a site visit will be conducted.
  • The committee recommends a slate of grants for approval by the Board of Directors.
  • Following Board action, the staff notifies all finalists, whether or not they received a grant.

If You Receive a DCF Grant

  • You are requested to distribute a news release announcing the grant and describing the project to be carried out with DCF funding.
  • You are required to submit a summary of grant-related activities at the end of the grant year.
  • Capital grant recipients must wait for the completion of two capital grant-making cycles before applying for another capital grant. For example, if an organization received a capital grant in 2017, it will be eligible to re-apply for and receive another capital grant in 2020. However, multi-year capital campaigns can be funded only once by the DCF.

If You Do Not Receive a DCF Grant

Applicants for capital grants may apply the following year.

What We Support

The Foundation supports organizations and programs throughout the State of Delaware that address a wide range of community needs, including, but not limited to, health and human services, the arts, humanities and culture, the environment, animal welfare, housing and community development.

What We Don’t Support

  • Non-501(c)3 nonprofit organizations
  • Purchase of office equipment, furniture or electronics (Exceptions may occur in rare occasions, at the Grants Committee’s discretion, for projects that build and/or sustain an organization’s technology infrastructure. Such projects must clearly demonstrate the impact of this type of capacity investment.)
  • 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

Application Process

The 2020 application cycle opens on Sept. 30, 2019. 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.

Schedule for Capital Grants

Grant application submission deadline is listed on the online grant application home page. Grants are approved by the Board of Directors within three months of the application deadline.

Specific Interest Grants

This year the DCF awarded $55,344 in Specific Interest Grants to 11 nonprofit organizations around the state. Specific Interest Grants are awarded from funds created by donors to support issues they are particularly passionate about, including arts in Wilmington, long-term care, fulfillment of children’s wishes, and training and treatment of animals.

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.

2019 Specific Interest Grants

This year’s recipients are:

To support free, high-quality Shakespeare performances to homeless shelters, prisons and community centers through Delaware Shakespeare’s Community Tour, which launched in 2016.

To fund artist fees for a series of free concerts that will increase the availability of music in Wilmington, for those for whom cost, transportation or access is prohibitive.

To support Speak UP!, a contest that will encourage at-risk teens to practice their skills through writing and presenting an original speech to an audience of community leaders.

To support sensory-friendly performances that specifically cater to individuals with autism and other special needs.

To fund new bedside storage solutions to help prevent infection in the bedrooms of residents, who are medically fragile children 0-21 years old.

To support the Embrace Program, which will provide respite services through monthly three-hour events with dinners, games and socialization for individuals and families affected by disabilities.

To enable more of Delaware’s critically ill children to receive wishes, which inspire and give hope to the children and their families.

To support the Embrace Program, which will provide respite services through monthly three-hour events with dinners, games and socialization for individuals and families affected by disabilities.

To provide food, medicine and care for orphaned and oiled native birds, with the goal of returning them to their natural habitat after rehabilitation.

To support operation costs for the Free Pet Food & Supply crisis prevention program, which reduces pet relinquishment by providing owners with free pet food, supplies and education for preventative care.

DCF Guidelines for Specific Interest Grants

In 2019, the Delaware Community Foundation is launching a new opportunity as part of its overall community impact 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.

Made possible through the Convalescent and Rehabilitation Endowment Fund at the DCF, these grants will support charitable organizations that benefit Delawareans in need of long-term health care. This would include, but is not limited to, support of nursing homes, rehabilitative facilities, hospitals or convalescent homes. In addition, the Fund may support research into alternate methods of long-term health care conducted by individuals or educational institutions.

 

Awards will range from $5,000 to $7,500.

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.

How to Apply

The online grant application for each opportunity will be available beginning December 9, 2019. 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 January 17, 2020. Grants are approved by the DCF Board of Directors within three months of the application deadline.

Eligibility for all DCF Grants

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

Focus Grants

In 2019, the DCF awarded $284,476 in Focus Grants to support organizations and initiatives working to build opportunity so all Delaware residents can overcome barriers to success, benefit equitably and thrive. Investments were focused on youth success and supporting Delaware’s growing Latino communities.

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.

2019 Focus Grant Recipients

This year’s Focus Grants recipients are:

To support the Kuumba Academy Summer Camp, a program that provides students from low-income areas with core curriculum and extracurricular activities to promote academic excellence and well-being.

To support the director of high school advocacy for the Home Stretch Support Program, which helps at-risk students transition into more rigorous academic programs and colleges.

To fund bilingual staff members, a college application boot camp and transportation for college admission events for the Delaware Goes to College Academy in Sussex County, which helps Latinx students gain college admission through professional advising and academic programming.

To provide supplies, equipment and leadership training for Friendship & Inclusion, a project created to establish connections between adults with developmental disabilities and mentors, strengthening opportunities for integrated employment and leadership development.

To support doubling the growth of enrollment in the Year Up Program, which provides urban young adults with opportunities to pursue higher education to reach their career goals.

To fund the teacher training immersion program, which will bring more computer science teachers into Wilmington, and increase the number and diversity of students pursuing careers in computer science.

To provide training, personnel, equipment, scholarships, discounts, coupons and transportation for the Water Education and Safety Program, which creates educational opportunities that benefit children’s physical and emotional well-being.

To fund costs of Delaware Wolf Trap, a program dedicated to serving Delaware’s youngest children through active, arts-integrated learning strategies designed to enhance literacy and math development in early childhood classrooms.

To support integrated Spanish-English GED classes, providing almost 50 adult Latinx students with the resources to gain a secondary school diploma or GED.

To fund instructors leading the Sussex County Tyler’s Camp program, which serves low-income Latinx middle school students with access to summer learning and extracurricular activities. This award is co-funded by the Jeanne M. & William R. Allan Fund and the Mildred H. & Ray A. Thompson Funds.

To support the Community Mentoring Program, providing 100 new at-risk youth with mentoring services.

To fund a portion of salaries for the immigration department staff and rental of space, in support of the New Citizenship Program, which assist Sussex County Latinos in their efforts to attain stability, integration and success.

To fund the Pilot Needs Assessment for the new THRIVE program, designed to build a more inclusive Sussex community and provide a safe space for LGBTQ students to feel valued and supported.

DCF Guidelines for Focus Grants

In 2019, the Delaware Community Foundation launched a new opportunity as part of its overall community impact grants. Focus Grants will support organizations and initiatives working to build opportunity so all Delaware residents can overcome barriers to success, benefit equitably and thrive.

We believe that philanthropy is an important part of solving big challenges. In 2018, we identified three areas where we believe the DCF can provide valuable civic leadership: increasing youth success, supporting Delaware’s growing Latino communities, and strengthening equity and community. Funds available through the Focus Grants program have been aligned with these areas.

Below are summaries of two of the three Focus Grant areas, in which we have current grant opportunities. Please review them carefully as you decide how your organization is best positioned to join the DCF in building opportunity for all.

Strategy: Invest in enabling at-risk, traditionally disadvantaged youth (birth to age 24) to advance their personal development and resiliency, civic engagement, physical and mental health, educational readiness and achievement from birth to post-secondary.

The DCF will support programs and initiatives throughout Delaware that:

  • Expand access to and quality of early education in local communities.
  • Expand and strengthen out-of-school learning opportunities, with an emphasis on projects that serve middle and high school youth.
  • Encourage civic engagement and participation of Delaware’s middle and high school youth.
  • Identify and eliminate barriers to postsecondary access and success for our target population.
  • Strengthen pathways from education and training to employment.

Awards will range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Strategy: Invest in enabling Delaware’s Latino families and residents to thrive, through expanded educational and community supports and building capacity and collaboration of service providers and resources in local communities.

The DCF will support programs and initiatives in Sussex County that:

  • Expand access to and quality of English learner programs for youth and their families.
  • Expand programs that connect families to affordable housing.
  • Lower financial barriers to basic needs beyond housing, including food security, transportation, and health care.
  • Improve financial literacy.
  • Encourage civic engagement of Latino families and youth.
  • Promote efforts for Latino youth to feel connected to – and engaged in – their communities.
  • Develop local infrastructure that improves economic opportunity and quality of life for our target population (e.g. broadband access, clean energy or bike/pedestrian transportation).
  • Expand access to arts and multi-cultural opportunities for all residents.

Awards will range from $10,000 to $25,000.

Eligibility for all DCF Grants

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

Check Out Our Full List of Grants