CBGI – Western Prosperity Zone

Each year, the Golden LEAF Foundation invites organizations from counties from a different Prosperity Zone 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 CBGI is currently active in the Western Prosperity Zone.

The counties in the Western Prosperity Zone are Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, and Transylvania.

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 economicagriculture, and workforce preparedness.


County managers serve a key role in the process. Each county manager will submit a slate of up to four projects for consideration. 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. Awards are limited to no more than three projects per county and will total no more than $1.5 million per county. Not all proposals will be funded and not all counties are assured to have funded projects.

To kick off the CBGI, 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. For more information, please visit the Rural Center’s website.


Golden LEAF launched CBGI in the Western Prosperity Zone in January 2021. 

Stage 1 Applications were due by noon on Thursday, September 30th.

The Golden LEAF Board reviewed and invited Stage 2 Applications in December 2021 to be submitted by February 10, 2022 for consideration by the Golden LEAF Board in April 2022.


Please see the links below to recordings and presentations from information sessions and workshops held earlier this year.

January 2021 Launch — Access the recording and download the slide presentation for a high level overview of the CBGI process.

February 2021 Kick Off — Access the webinar, download the kick-off training PowerPoint, and download the 2021 CBGI Western Region Timeline for a deeper dive into developing projects.

March 2021 Priority Area meetings — Access the recordings by clicking on the following interest areas: job creation and economic investment; agriculture; workforce preparedness; community competitiveness, capacity, and vitality; healthcare and a general session. Download the interest area meeting PowerPoint by clicking here.

June 2021 Workshop — Access the recording of the workshop, which included additional detail on the application process.

For more information on the Community-Based Grants Initiative, email [email protected] or call 252.442.7474.

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