Community-Based Grants Initiative

Each year, the Golden LEAF Foundation invites organizations from counties from a different Prosperity Zone to participate in our $11 million 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 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

To access the information about the currently active CBGI prosperity zones, click the link below: 


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. Each county manager will submit projects for feedback by Golden LEAF and later endorse a slate of up to four projects for consideration. Each county will determine how to identify which projects will be endorsed for this initiative. Only projects that have been endorsed will  be eligible to submit an application 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 entities’ traditional service area

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

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