Grant Guidelines



To receive, administer and disburse funds for such charitable or educational purposes as will, in the discretion of the Board of Directors, make for the mental, moral, intellectual, and physical improvement, assistance and relief of the inhabitants of Hamilton County, Nebraska, regardless of race, color or creed.  Effort is made to solicit and support charitable projects and organizations throughout all areas of HamiltonCounty.


Without limiting or restricting the forgoing paragraph but rather as an enlargement and extension thereof, the Foundation will consider grants for the following purposes:


A.  For assisting charitable institutions (including educational institutions not

operating for profit) whether supported by private donation or by public


B.  For the care of children and care of sick, aged and helpless.

C.  For providing facilities for recreation.

D.  For the encouragement of sanitation and measures for the prevention

or suppression of disease.




There are many worthy organizations eligible for grants.  The Foundation’s income has never been sufficient to meet all their requests for funds.  To better manage our resources, the Hamilton Community Foundation, Inc. Grants Committee has formulated a set of general guidelines to help in the allocating of funds.  These are not rigid, and occasionally exceptions are made under unusual circumstances.


Generally speaking, any organization planning to apply for funds can get some idea of the likelihood of a favorable reply by studying the Grants Committee guidelines:


Preference is given to grant requests that have the following characteristics:

  • Offer a broad benefit to the greatest number of Hamilton County residents.
  • Funding for the project is limited or unavailable from other sources. (i.e. taxation, budget, etc.)
  • Request has a “direct” impact on the lives of Hamilton County residents. (i.e. tutoring, care for disadvantaged, seniors and children, etc.)




Ordinarily, the Committee considers requests only from organizations which have operated successfully for at least one year, and demonstrated their ability to enlist financial support from the public.  We prefer organizations with a tax exempt status under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.




If the Foundation is asked to grant funds to initiate a new organization, study or demonstration project, satisfactory answers to the following should be given:


1.  Is there serious and definite need for this new service in the community?  To what extent would it duplicate existing services?


2.  If the request is for funds to cover operating expenses for a limited demonstration period, does the proposed new organization or program have a definite source of income after the Foundation’s grant has been used?


3.  Has the organization received a letter from the IRS indicating that it is tax exempt under section 501 (c) (3) or the Internal Revenue Code?


4.  We do not make grants to businesses operated for personal gain or profit.




Generally, the Foundation does not provide funds to pay normal operating expenses.  Routine maintenance such as painting, roof repair, and routine building repairs necessitated by wear and tear or neglect are considered to be a part of operating expense, and therefore not eligible for Foundation grants.  However, consideration may be given to grant requests for repairs that are prompted by unusual and unforeseen circumstances.  Consideration will be given on a per case basis.




The Foundation provides funding for expenditures incurred after formal grant approval.  We will not liquidate obligations already incurred for the grant project.





As a general rule, the Foundation does not grant funds to municipal agencies or departments supported by taxation, except that funds are sometimes grant to finance surveys or studies, fund demonstration or pilot projects, or to match grants of other donors, including governmental agencies.


Grant requests from support organizations for the benefit of municipalities or schools will generally be considered at no more than a 50% match.


Generally speaking, the Committee does not grant funds to public school systems or municipalities if that request appears to a usual part of the curriculum and/or the budget and can be budgeted as such.  Exceptions may be considered on a per case basis.




Regarding grant recipients with an “open” approved grant

  • Generally,      a “new” grant request      from an organization that has a previously approved but unpaid grant, will      not be considered.  The intent is to      manage one grant per recipient at a time.


Regarding Community Group Matching Grants

  • As a      general rule, we will encourage and match fundraising efforts by various      community groups, for eligible charitable projects.  This match can be provided in the form      of labor, materials or fundraising efforts.


Regarding grant re-application guidelines

  • A      maximum of two grants may be approved to any one organization in a      calendar year.  We prefer that no      more than one grant is approved in any six month period.


Generally we do not provide funds for capital campaigns or multi-year pledges.


The Committee does not grant funds for sectarian or religious organizations operating primarily for the benefit of their own members.


The Foundation does not make loans of any kind.


We do not make grants to individuals other than scholarships.




Many trusts and bequests left to the Hamilton Community Foundation, Inc. are unrestricted.  Such unrestricted trusts make maximum use of the prime advantage of a community foundation which is its flexibility, uniquely suited to assessing the changing needs of the community and making timely and well placed grants to meet those needs.


In some cases the donor will indicate his charitable preferences and ask the Grants Committee “to consider the needs of ________________.”  The Grants Committee annually reviews all such trusts and diligently carries out the wishes expressed by the donor.  This accounts for some grants that are in apparent contradiction to these stated Foundation policies.


Persons considering leaving funds entrusted to the Hamilton Community Foundation, Inc. are encouraged to contact the Foundation directly or through an attorney with any prospective donor’s philanthropic intentions.




The Hamilton Community Foundation is a public foundation which is considered a

501 (c) (3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.  This designation allows taxpayers to deduct from their taxable income as a charitable deduction, amounts given to the Hamilton Community Foundation that are within the limitations of the Internal Revenue Code. In this way, contributions to the Hamilton Community Foundation are beneficial to the contributor as well as to the inhabitants of HamiltonCounty,


Contributions to the Hamilton Community Foundation can be in many forms.  Cash is the most common form, but also, securities such as stocks and bonds, life insurance contracts, real estate, or personal property may be contributed.  Contributions of appreciated assets can provide substantial tax advantages for the contributor.  Contributors should seek competent tax counsel regarding deductibility of contributions.