The Mission Grants Program is available to nonprofit organizations with current IRS designated 501(c)(3) status that have projects directly benefiting residents of Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties in Massachusetts. Organizations that seek funding to provide services to residents in these counties but are headquartered elsewhere must be able to demonstrate that their services are needed in the Pioneer Valley and indicate which local partners they are working with in the region.

For 2016 we will have two processes by which organizations can apply for grant funding through our Mission Grants Program – Mission Standard grants and Mission Express grants. Organizations can submit either a Mission Standard request or a Mission Express request, but not both.



Mission Standard

Mission Express

Requests up to $25,000 for programming and infrastructure which support an organization’s mission. On hold for 2017
Requests up to $50,000 for capital campaigns. Organizations interested in seeking capital campaign support must contact Sheila Toto or Janet Daisley to set up a time to discuss a request for capital campaign support.  
We do not fund projects retroactively.

New submission by a previous grantee: Any organization that has previously been awarded a grant is not eligible to submit a new application as long as previously awarded funds remain unspent and the project is not completed. In addition, all final grant reports must be submitted 30 days prior to the grant deadline to which the organization is applying.

Multiple submissions: Nonprofit organizations may submit one funding request per calendar year. Exceptions to this rule will be made in very rare circumstances and must be approved in advance by Grants Staff.

General Operating Support Grants: The Mission Grants Program does not provide grants for general operating support. Exceptions may be made for very small organizations that are limited in scope and only operate one program.The Mission Grants Program does not support requests for:

  • Endowments.
  • The same project less than one year apart.
  • Private education and religious organizations except for programs that serve broad community needs. (Please see Limitations and Restrictions on Grants for Programs Benefiting Schools.)
  • Retroactive funding for projects that have been complete or will be complete prior to the grant decision date.
  • Fundraising events, the purchase of tickets for benefits, or courtesy advertising.
  • Projects that seek to directly or indirectly influence legislation or election campaigns;  activities related to influencing government policies, permitting or regulations will not be considered.
  • Higher education scholarships. Information about the Community Foundation scholarship and interest free education loan program can be found on

Only in rare circumstances and with prior approval would we consider: Requests for academic or medical research; replacement of governmental or other public funding except for grants bridging periods before anticipated funding; or request for multi-year funding.Grants for programs benefiting schools:Public Schools (Preschool through 12th grade):

  • All applications must come from 501(c)(3) entities for the benefit of public school systems, including charter schools.
  • Requests for support for capital improvements, core staff salaries, or technology (hardware and software) will not be considered.
  • Projects benefiting public schools (preschool through 12th grade) including charter schools, may include value-added special programming which could involve after-school and summer programs, community service projects, and extra-curricular programs.

Private Schools (Preschool through 12th grade) where 50% or more of income is generated from state, federal or municipal funding sources.

  • All applications must come from 501(c)(3) entities.
  • Requests for educational scholarships will not be considered.
  • Requests may follow general grant guidelines.

Private schools (preschool through 12th grade) where less than 50% of income is generated from state, federal or municipal funding sources.

  • Project for which funding is being sought must benefit the community beyond the school’s population.
  • Requests for educational scholarships will not be considered.

Colleges or Universities (Public or Private):

  • Requests will not be considered for operating expenses, projects and activities, or equipment which are within the primary instructional and service responsibility of a college or university and are limited for the college, university or school faculty, staff and students.
  • Requests for funding of projects and activities provided by colleges or universities must: 1) demonstrate benefit to the community, 2) provide documentation of community involvement in the planning and the implementation of the project, and 3) include letters of support from community organizations with their application.
  • Requests for higher educational scholarships will not be considered. Information about the Community Foundation scholarship and interest-free educational loan program can be found on

Nonprofits seeking support to work directly with schools:

  • Organizations must provide letters of collaboration or copies of signed agreement forms from the principal or superintendent of school(s) the organization will be working with during the project.