Unrestricted Community Grants

Unrestricted community grants are made possible through the generosity and vision of donors who want to empower the Foundation board to meet the needs of today and in the future.

Grants are awarded five times a year and are to support nonprofit organizations serving the greater Hamilton area.

The Hamilton Community Foundation (HCF) makes it easy for you to apply for a grant online. All HCF grant applications are accepted through our online application only.

Click here to access the online grant application system to create your account.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Braswell.

How it works

A grant applicant creates an account in the Online Grants Application, and then logs on and starts a new grant application.  Your application can be saved as a draft, and when you log on again it's easy to return to that draft, make edits, and submit the application.  Each account maintains a record of the application history that you can access at any time.  

NOTE: Users will be logged out of the system after 90 minutes of inactivity, so if you think you will be done working in the system for a while, click "SAVE" to be safe.  

We recommend that you carefully read the instructions and reference materials found on this page before registering and starting your first application.

Creating your online account

All applicants are required to create an account. We suggest creating your account well in advance of the grant deadline to avoid any last-minute issues.  At the time of registration, you are required to enter the following information:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization's information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for the organization's Executive Director/CEO

 Helpful tips when applying

  • For the best user experience when accessing our Online Grants Manager, we suggest using one of the following browsers: Google Chrome 14 or higher, Firefox 9 or higher, or Safari 4 or higher.  Do not use Internet Explorer. 
  • We encourage you to read our FAQ before beginning the application process. 
  • Our grants must be paid to a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit or to a public entity, such as a city, public school or state agency.  All others will need to use a fiscal sponsor.  See form below. 

All applications are due by 5pm on the date of the deadline.  You will not be able to submit your application after that time.

Grant application deadlines: 
    Grant Cycle                                                  Application Deadline                              Board Decision E-Mailed
     February                                                              January 1st                                                 in February
     April                                                                       March 1st                                                  in April
     June –* Capital Requests                                    May 1st                                                      in June
    October                                                                  September 1st                                           in October
    December                                                              November 1st                                           in December
If the application deadline falls on a weekend or holiday then the deadline will be the next business day. 

Capital Grants
In addition to program/project requests at the June meeting, the Foundation will consider capital grants for building construction, renovation and specialized equipment. Decisions are based on Foundation priorities, degree of community need, potential impact, and a determination of whether the Foundation can make a significant difference in the proposed project. Please note: The deadline for submitting your Capital Grant Request is May 1st. Capital grants are reviewed only at the June board meeting.

Grant Publicity and Recognition Guidelines

Grant Publicity and Recognition Guidelines