Community Grant Guidelines


The Erie County Community Foundation envisions a community where all of our neighbors have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their socioeconomic status, geography, ethnicity or gender.  We see an Erie County where:

  • Barriers to meaningful employment are removed;

  • All may seek treatment for their physical and mental health or addictions without stigma;

  • All, but especially children, have access to healthy recreational activities;

  • All, but especially children, may express or find themselves through and in the arts;

  • A healthy nonprofit community that embraces collaboration and creativity to address local needs.


We will prioritize Community Grants that specifically address the following:

  • Removing barriers to transportation.

  • Providing job training or skill development programs that specifically address Erie County’s workforce gaps.

  • Creating new opportunities for employment.

  • Improving access to high-quality childcare.

  • Broadening access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  • Creating a community without stigma for those seeking mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  • Providing creative educational and experiential opportunities for children that will help meet current academic standards, encourage strong physical and mental health, and/or offer means of artistic expression.

  • Addressing poverty through hunger and homelessness relief, case management, and educational forums.


Applications for Community Grants that address the Foundation’s priorities may include operational costs such as salaries. Collaboration between organizations will be encouraged.

Other Grants

In addition to our priorities, the Foundation will continue supporting organizations that fulfill a wide variety of community needs in the areas of:  Arts and Humanities, Community Development, Education, Environment, Health and Social Services and Youth Services. These requests should be limited to $10,000 or under.


Capital requests of over $5,000 should be discussed with Foundation staff prior to application submittal.


Geographic Limitations

Projects must serve Erie County, Ohio residents.



  • Organizations must be determined to be tax exempt by the IRS under section 501(c)3.

  • Churches, schools, governmental or other entities covered by a group exemption are eligible for funding but must provide a copy of the group exemption letter and documentation of the organization’s inclusion within the group.

  • Generally, grants are not made for advertising or sponsorships; annual campaigns; debt reduction; medical or other research organizations; political purposes or lobbying activities; sectarian religious purposes; tickets or advertising for fundraising events.

  • Grants for the benefit of an individual are made only through Field of Interest Funds for education and health-related needs. Grants are made only to organizations determined to be tax exempt by the IRS under Section 501(c)3, and also including churches, schools, universities, governmental or other entities covered by a group or exemption. Direct payment of a grant to an individual is prohibited; grants will be paid to the sponsoring non-profit organization on behalf of the individual.


Application Information

Our grant applications are available through our online grant portal

Click here for Final Grant Report.

All applications are due by 11:59 PM on the due date, regardless if it is a weekend or holiday. If applying online is a barrier, we encourage you to contact us and we will work with you to ensure you are able to submit a grant request.


There are two community grant cycles with February 5 and August 1 deadlines.  Faxed or mailed applications will not be considered.


Applicant organizations may be contacted for further information or documentation regarding the grant application. However, it is the policy of the Erie County Community Foundation Grants Committee not to engage in discussion regarding outcomes of pending grant proposals.


Final approval of all grants comes from the Foundation’s Board of Directors.


Contact information

Please call Randy Wagner at 419-621-9690 or email for assistance or questions regarding the ECCF grant making programs.

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