Home   FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Appalachian Community Fund’s Grantmaking


If you don’t see the answer to your question here, please don’t hesitate to call the office for more information: 865.523.5783.

Is my group in Central Appalachia?

Please click here to see a map and listing of the counties in the four-state region in which ACF funds.

What if my organization is based in another state, can I still apply for a grant?

The work or the project of the program for which you are seeking funding has to be taking place in an Appalachian county and have Appalachian people involved before it meets the first funding criteria. If you need clarification about geographic eligibility, please give us a call.

Does ACF make grants to small businesses or to start-up businesses?

The Appalachian Community Fund does not make grants to businesses or individuals.

What is a 501(c)(3) organization?

This is a designation of non-profit, tax-exempt status by the Federal Internal Revenue Service. The designation is given once an organization fills out an application and submits the required paperwork.

If we don’t have our 501 (c)(3) IRS tax-exempt letter yet can we still apply?

Your group can submit a proposal to ACF with a letter from a 501(c)(3) organization which is willing to act as your sponsor. We would need their tax exempt letter from the IRS as well as a letter from them stating their willingness to be your sponsor.

Our organization is just forming. We’re all volunteers and are not sure we understand how to prepare an application or where to go for help?

ACF will be happy to try and help you. Just give us a call. You may also want to attend a pre-application workshop. Visit the training and covenings section for a list of dates and locations.

How much grant funding can we request?

Each program has separate guidelines for maximum grant awards (please check visit our funding opportunities section for more information about each grant program).

Is our organization required to have an audit in order to apply for ACF funding?

No. However, if your organization has an audit done, we request a copy with your application. Not every organization completes an audit, and if that is the case with your organization, you can note that in your application to us. The ACF board does look at budget information (detailed in the General RFP) and requests a financial statement in whatever form your organization uses. Financial reports and budget information are critical elements in planning and carrying out work as well as informing proposal reviewers about the organization’s financial capacity and skills.

Our organization doesn’t have a bookkeeping system and we need help submitting financial reports and balance sheets, can you help us?

We will try to assist you in preparing an application as much as possible, so feel free to call the office if you have any questions or doubts whatsoever about applying.

What is the final deadline for submitting proposals?

The deadline for the General Fund is listed on the request for proposals. Please note that this is not a postmark date proposals for this program must be in the ACF office by 5:00 pm on the day of the deadline. This in-office deadline is set so that we know we have received all of the proposals and can begin to process them promptly.

The Technical Assistance and Seize the Moment programs have no deadlines and may be requested at any time during the year. However, please allow at least three weeks to process the request.

How are the decisions made about which proposals will be funded?

The General Fund Program grant applications are read, evaluated, reviewed, discussed, and decided upon by the Appalachian Community Fund’s Board of Directors. Beginning with the fall deadline each year, proposals are reviewed to be sure they are complete and then distributed to reading teams made up of board members for review and discussion. The ACF Board meets in early winter to discuss and make decisions about funding recommendations. Following this meeting, the next few weeks are spent obtaining additional information, preparing funding dockets, and finalizing the list of awards. Announcements are made in the spring each year, and grant funds are released once we have received signed agreements and any outstanding reports on previous ACF grants.

How can I improve my organization’s chances of receiving a grant?

Reading and thoroughly familiarizing yourself with our funding criteria, grant guidelines, definition of social change, and the type of work we fund, should help your understanding of what we are looking for in a grant application. Thoroughly reviewing and following the application process, answering the questions and submitting all the required documentation is always advisable for any grant seeker. If you still have questions regarding our requirements or grant process, please don’t hesitate to call the ACF office at 865.523.5783.

If our organization receives a General Fund award can I also apply for a Seize the Moment, Technical Assistance or other funding initiative?


If our proposal is not funded can we reapply?

Yes, but it might be helpful to you to inquire of ACF why your proposal was turned down.