Grantseeker FAQ

Wiregrass Foundation has three zones of interest — health, education, and quality of life. Because these are the areas of keen interest for us, they may get more of our attention and, we hope, will continue to result in impactful partnerships. However, it does not mean that we will be funding only projects that fall into these three categories.

Another area of interest is capacity building. We believe in the power and potential of our area nonprofit organizations. And, we have heard much feedback about their deep and diverse needs for capacity building. We will be dedicating more staff time and Foundation resources to several new initiatives in this area.

We want to see applications for initiatives important to your organization. Even if some may not be a good-fit for Wiregrass Foundation, we may have some ideas to make the projects stronger. Or we may know of other funders who are working in this space. Every application is given serious consideration by our board of directors. The only application that absolutely will not get funded is the one you do not submit.

We want to know what is going on with area nonprofits, schools, colleges, and government agencies—even if we are not funding something in that area right now. This information may help us to redirect our energies in the future. Come by and talk with us, and invite us to your programs and events. The more we learn, the better we are able to serve our community.

The Foundation’s grant application is completely online and applicants must create an account to access the application system.

Begin Grant Application Process

If you wish to review the information required to complete an application before creating an account, please see the grant application information sheet. If you are ready to begin your application, continue reading to decide the best option for your project. The active link to begin the online application is at the end of this page. Please contact us if you have questions about eligibility or the application process.
An applicant’s first step is to determine eligibility for one of our programs. Basic requirements are that the organization/project is in the designated geographical area and also

  • Is a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is not a private foundation
  • Has been in existence for two or more years
  • Focuses on health, education, and/or quality of life

It is Foundation policy not to fund churches, ongoing operating expenses, political organizations or causes, organizational start-up expenses, grants outside the Dothan area, statewide or national projects, individuals or fraternal bodies, projects extending beyond five years, and fundraisers.
Yes, please take our short eligibility quiz to determine immediately if your organization and project meets our criteria. A link at the end of the quiz will take you directly to the grant application if you are eligible.
Yes, Wiregrass Foundation offers three types of grants: project, micro- and capital improvement. The same eligibility requirements, funding exclusions, and deadlines apply to all three grants.
Project grants are for new initiatives and expansions of innovative pilot projects in line with the applicant organization’s mission. These projects also must clearly connect to the Foundation’s three zones of interest and advance the Foundation’s stated objectives.

Application sections include need and purpose, target audience, expected outcomes, and implementation plan. Applicants must describe the evolution of the project idea, list partners and collaborators, and justify budgets. The application also will include your plans for project evaluation, communication, and sustainability. Projects may be multi-year (with a five-year maximum), though most projects will range from one to three years. If awarded, substantial reporting requirements will be specified at the time of the award.

Micro-grants assist with single issue/single activity projects of $10,000 or less. No multi-year projects are through this program, and organizations may not increase the $10,000/year cap by joining with another agency to submit a cooperative proposal. Projects funded by micro-grants are required to be conducted and completed within the calendar year in which the application was approved. For purposes of this program, a “year” shall mean a calendar year, regardless of the recipient organization’s fiscal year. Minimal reporting is required and will be specified at the time of the award. The Foundation’s investment in education is substantial, therefore, individual schools may not apply for micro-grants.
Receipt of a micro-grant award will not preclude an organization from submitting a request under the regular grant program.
This grant category was designed specifically for construction and renovation projects of buildings and facilities. Additional information not included in the application may be requested if the grant request is part of a major capital campaign.

Capital requests should be tied to new programs or initiatives, and should relate directly to advanced achievements in health, education, or quality of life. Applications for normal operating costs, routine upgrades, and deferred maintenance are not encouraged.

No, current grantees need to fill out a new application by logging onto their existing account.
Organizations are strongly encouraged to consider the amount of their proposed request to the Foundation relative to their historical revenue. It is the responsibility of the applicant organization to ensure the size of a grant from Wiregrass Foundation is proportionate to its other sources of gifts and income. The applicant also must ensure the grant would not cause the organization to automatically convert to private foundation tax status under certain Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Yes, there are are special considerations for grants used for educational purposes. All applications fitting into one of these categories must include written endorsements by the principal(s) and the superintendent of that school and system

  • Operate in in schools
  • Request services from school personnel
  • Involve students during the school day
  • Are held in conjunction with school-sponsored activities

This is done to protect instructional time and respect administrative oversight. The endorsements will not affect the Foundation’s funding decision, but are intended to ensure the school and system are aware of the proposed project.
Lastly, because the Foundation’s investment in education is substantial, individual schools may not apply for micro-grants.

Foundation staff is available to assist you with interpreting the expectations of the application. However, Foundation staff cannot provide any assurance regarding board approval. We are ready and willing to talk with you about possible ways to strengthen your project.
Ex-parte contact or “lobbying” of Wiregrass Foundation’s directors during application review may inadvertently create a conflict of interest and may result in an abstention from voting on the application. Applicants are strongly advised to avoid such communication with our directors.
Please remember that when you put your time and energy into a carefully developed project design, that time is never wasted. Yes, it is distressing to receive a “rejection” letter from a funder. But when you work on projects that are important to the development of your organization, just getting the plans on paper can pay huge benefits. You may realize ways you can implement some or all of the project on your own, or other funder(s) may be attracted to the project. So please talk to us, and apply to us — but write your application based on the needs of your organization.
Because Wiregrass Foundation is a private foundation and not a public charity, it is not able to accept donations.