CBGI – Southeast Prosperity Zone

Counties from the Southeast Prosperity Zone are invited to participate in our Community-Based Grants Initiative (CBGI). The process is competitive, but organizations from all counties within the Prosperity Zone will have an opportunity to apply. 

The counties in the Southeast Prosperity Zone are Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, and Wayne.

The CBGI is designed to identify projects with the potential to have a significant impact. It is a focused process with grants targeted toward investments in the building blocks of economic growth. Funds are limited to projects that address job creation and economic investment, agriculture, and workforce preparedness.

Available Funds

A total of $11m is available to support projects in the region. Awards are limited to no more than three projects in any county and may total no more than $1.5 million in any county. Not all proposals will be funded and there is no assurance that there will be a funded project in every county. Funds may also be awarded for regional projects (see information below), which will not count toward the limit of projects in a county, but regional projects are funded through the overall $11 million program budget.

Eligible Entities

Applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations or governmental entities (county and municipal governments, community colleges, universities, etc.) Funds do not have to be administered or implemented by the county government.


County managers serve a key role in the process. The county manager endorses a slate of up to four projects to apply to Golden LEAF in this program.

Golden LEAF Feedback/Project Worksheet
Prior to choosing which projects to submit an application, each county manager may submit project ideas to receive feedback from Golden LEAF.

If a county manager elects to submit projects to Golden LEAF for feedback, the project information will be provided using the project worksheet template linked below. For more information on the worksheet and the process, check out the slides presented in April at this link.

Project Endorsement
Each county will determine how to identify which projects will be endorsed for consideration by the Golden LEAF Board of Directors.

Regional Projects

Eligible entities may submit regional projects for consideration. Regional projects are not subject to the county manager endorsement process but must reach out to discuss with Golden LEAF staff to ensure the project meets the eligibility requirements for regional projects. 

Regional projects must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Collaboration of entities in at least three counties 
  • Collaboration outside of traditional service area


Golden LEAF has partnered with the NC Rural Center to provide training and coaching for project teams. This available resource will help broaden the region’s leadership base, enhance community and regional collaborations, and develop strategic, innovative projects to transform the economy. Entities interested in receiving coaching should contact Golden LEAF.

Upcoming Events


Click through the timeline for information on upcoming events.

August 2022

Mandatory workshop for applicants

October 2022

Applications due

February 2023

Applications reviewed by the Golden LEAF Board of Directors


Golden LEAF held two mandatory application workshops on August 16 and August 26. Please visit this link to access the presentation slides and video.

Golden LEAF held a gathering workshop on April 19. Please visit this link to access presentations from this training.

Golden LEAF held a kickoff training on March 29. Please visit this link to access presentations from this training.

Download an Overview of Key Dates

County Contacts

County Contact Information
Onslow Sheri Slater, Glenn Hargett, and Kevin Reopelle
[email protected] 
Pender Travis Henley, Planning Director
[email protected]
Wayne Berry Gray, Planning Director
[email protected]

For more information on the Community-Based Grants Initiative, contact Programs staff.

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