Community Impact Grants

These are competitive grants designed to stimulate and help launch new programs and projects; help focus, enhance and/or expand an organization’s existing programs and services; or as an investment in a large capital project which is a critical enhancement to the mission of the nonprofit organization. There will be a preference for projects or programs that support marginalized members of the communities we serve.

These grants focus on community impact. Your application must articulate the IMPACT your request has on the community you serve. If you have questions about this critical component of the application, contact Debbie Cahoon at 843.681.9100.

Impact grants are restricted to organizations that serve people who live and/or work in the Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island or Greater Bluffton area.

Grant terms are typically 12 months and have a request budget greater than $10,000.


To be eligible for funding an organization must:

  • Be a nonprofit organization with a tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code, and are not classified as a private foundation;
  • Serve the people who live and/or work in the Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie Island or Greater Bluffton area;
  • Attend an Impact Information Session at the Community Foundation (within 12 months of the application due date);
  • Complete and submit a profile on GuideStar or The Giving Marketplace;
  • Have a social justice statement in place;
  • Receive an Access Code with application instructions from Community Investment staff.


We generally will not consider requests for the following:

  • General operating support
  • Sectarian or religious activities
  • Political activities or organizations
  • Grants directly to individuals
  • Endowments
  • Annual fundraising campaigns
  • Special events or fundraisers
  • Scholarships for students of any age
  • Staff positions

"Grants from the Community Foundation have allowed us to build our organizational capacity to best meet the needs of victims of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault by helping to ensure the sustainability of our organization. Additionally, these grants have helped us provide critical services to hundreds of victim/survivors including therapy and case management."

- Kristin Dubrowski, MNM, Chief Executive Officer, Hopeful Horizons

How to Apply

The first step in the application process is to attend a Impact Information Session to learn more about our grantmaking process and determine which programs would be suitable for your organization.

Selection Process

Community Impact Grants follow a fixed schedule. Reviewing, considering and awarding grant proposals requires considerable time and attention and we encourage organizations to plan accordingly.

Our Grants Advisory Committee reviews the requests, conducts site visits and makes recommendations to our board of directors. A determination on the committee’s recommendations is made by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors approximately eight weeks after the application deadline.

We have moved from a three-times-per-year grant cycle to a twice-a-year grant cycle. Deadline dates for fiscal year 2024 are:

  • Cycle 1: October 2, 2023 (LOI due 9/26/23)
  • Cycle 2: April 1, 2024 (LOI due 3/25/24)

* Decisions are made approximately 45 days after the grant deadline date.

Please contact Debbie Cahoon at 843.681.9100 to discuss your grant request and determine the appropriate grant type.