Responding to the Needs of Jefferson County

There are two sides to philanthropy: generous donors who care about their communities and the organizations and people they are trying to help.

The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors and Grants Committee oversee all grant-making activity to ensure the funds entrusted to us are fulfilling the donor’s wishes and being used for the betterment of the community.

Funding the Future

Since 1991, the Community Foundation has been able to make a significant impact on programs and projects in Jefferson County, Indiana. Thanks to the generosity of donors, grants of all sizes have benefitted a variety of causes including animal welfare, health & safety, education, youth development, veterans services, basic living needs, historic preservation, and senior citizen welfare, just to name a few. There are 3 main grant types that help us accomplish our work as you can see below.

Types of Grants

  • Designated
    • These grants go directly to a specified organization. These grants are made annually in March.
  • Donor Advised
    • These grants are selected by the representatives of Donor Advised Funds. These grants are made throughout the year as donors respond to the needs of organizations or programs that they care about.
  • Competitive Cycle
    • These grants utilize the Foundation’s Flexible Community Funds and Field of Interest Funds. These grants are awarded once a year following an application process. More information on the competitive grant cycle can be found below.
2022 Grant to the Madison-Jefferson County Animal Shelter
2021 Competitive Grant to Madison Police Dept.

Grant Cycle Information

All communications from grant seekers are to be directed to Kelly Miller or Bill Barnes. To reduce miscommunications and to uphold the ethical standards of the Foundation’s grant-making program, no representative, either staff or volunteer, from a grant-seeking organization is to contact members of the Foundation’s Grants Committee or Board of Directors regarding grant related information. Volunteers and staff report all deviations from this policy at the grant review meeting. 

It is expected that grant application budgets will be accurate for project proposals. In the event that not all funds received for the grant request are used per the submitted grant budget, the following applies: if less than 10% of funds granted are unused for the project, they may be used for a related purpose without further approval by the CFMJC (however, a report on the use must be submitted to the CFMJC); if the amount unused for the project is 10% or more, the grantee organization must seek approval from the CFMJC for a related use.

  • Competitive grants will be made only to organizations whose programs benefit the residents of Jefferson County, Indiana
  • Grants from the Community Foundation of Madison & Jefferson County (CFMJC) must meet legal and tax requirements as to purpose and may be made only to nonprofit organizations and government agencies, specifically 501(c)3 charities and 509(a) agencies
  • Grant recipients must show that their financial affairs are being properly administered and may be required to submit audited balance sheets and operating statements
  • No grants will be made to support political parties or political campaigns
  • No grants will be made specifically for sectarian religious purposes, but can be made to religious organizations for general community programs
  • No grants will be made exclusively for endowment creation or debt reduction of the recipient organizations
  • Generally grants will not be made for programs and/or equipment that were committed to prior to the grant application being submitted
  • Grantees agree to complete the Community Foundation’s final program and financial report for the project. The timeliness and quality of the final reports will be factors in evaluation of the grantee for future funding. All requirements for past grants must be current in order to be eligible for another grant
  • If grant applicants are turned down for a specific grant application request, they may not re-apply for the same, or similar, request in the next grant cycle unless suggested by CFMJC 

HIGHER PRIORITY (in no particular order)

  • One-time projects
  • Highest percentage of population reached
  • Preventative rather than remedial
  • Examines and addresses the underlying causes of local problems and issues
  • Attracts volunteer resources and support
  • Encourages collaboration among organizations
  • Organizational capacity building
  • Offers new services to the community
  • Capital needs beyond an applicant’s capabilities and means
  • Seed money for pilot projects
  • Demonstrates the greatest benefit per dollar granted

LOWER PRIORITY (in no particular order)

  • Normal operating expenses (except start-up expenses)
  • Computer hardware and software equipment
  • Funding to organizations that have received a CFMJC grant in the previous year

ABSOLUTELY NOT FUNDED (in no particular order)

  • General group or individual travel/lodging expenses
  • Annual giving/membership campaigns
  • Individuals
  • Political purposes
  • Promotion of the teachings of a particular church, denomination, or religion
  • Debt – new or existing – or endowment creation

The Competitive Grant Cycle annually opens on June 1. The 2024 Competitive Grant Cycle deadline to submit applications will be Tuesday, August 6, 2024 at Noon.


  1. Click the “Apply” link provided on this page to be taken to our online grant application system. 
  2. You have the option to preview the application to determine if your organization is eligible. To start an application, click the “Log On / Create an Account to Apply” button in the top right corner of the page.
  3. Follow the instructions on the log-on page.
  4. Once you have your account created and your login credentials established, you will be taken to your applicant dashboard.
  5. Click the “Apply” icon located in the top menu of the dashboard to see available applications.
  6. Click the dark blue “Apply” button to the right of the open grant opportunity to begin your application.
  7. Please read all directions and complete all sections. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the application process. Save your work often. You can save your work and login and logout of the application as often as you’d like. 
  8. Applications must be submitted by NOON of the displayed deadline date to be considered. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. The online system will not accept any changes to your application after the Noon deadline time, even if you are still logged into the system at that time.
  9. If you have questions regarding the online application, please contact Kelly Miller at [email protected] or 812-265-3327.
  10.  Be sure to add “[email protected]” to your email client’s Safe Sender List as this is the email that we will use to communicate with you about your online application.

Competitive Grant Application Due In:


Apply Today

The online application for the CFMJC Competitive Grant Cycle will open on June 1, 2024. Online applications must be submitted by Tuesday, August 6, 2024 at Noon.

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Past Competitive Grant Awards