Under our charter, Golden LEAF’s funding priority is to provide economic impact assistance to economically distressed or tobacco-dependent regions of North Carolina. In determining whether a proposal fits these criteria, we look at a variety of factors.
Golden LEAF has budgeted $43.5 million for new awards for fiscal year 2023-2025 in existing grant programs, not including scholarships.
Golden LEAF may also fund awards in new programs during the year not reflected in the list above.
There is no minimum grant amount. Most awards in the Open Grants Program will be for $200,000 or less. For projects that possess some of the additional characteristics described below, Golden LEAF may make awards of up to $500,000 from this program. There are no maximum grant amounts in the Economic Catalyst program. For information on other initiatives, please contact Golden LEAF program staff.
Governmental entities and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations may apply for grants. Funds must be used for charitable, scientific, educational, or tax-exempt public purposes. Golden LEAF does not make awards to individuals or for-profit businesses.
Why are individuals and businesses ineligible to apply for Golden LEAF grants?
The Golden LEAF Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charitable foundation. To maintain tax-exempt status, Golden LEAF’s funds must be used for charitable purposes.
Golden LEAF encourages applicants to use the open door policy to learn more about grant programs and to discuss proposal ideas with Golden LEAF staff.
Learn more about priority areas and which program is the best fit for your project by navigating to the priority areas page.
If you’re not sure which program is best for your project idea, contact Golden LEAF program staff.
Learn more about Golden LEAF scholarships by viewing the scholarships section of this website.
The Golden LEAF Board makes all decisions whether to fund projects and the appropriate level of funding. (Golden LEAF staff may deem an application ineligible for Board review if the applicant is not eligible or does not follow required processes.)
If the Golden LEAF Board chooses to make an award for a project, it may do so in an amount different from that requested.
There’s no requirement that you contact Golden LEAF staff before submitting a proposal, but Golden LEAF has an open door policy, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss project ideas at any time.
For an overview of each Golden LEAF priority area, as well as a listing of low priority projects, please visit this page.
Yes. Golden LEAF also encourages declined applicants to use the open door policy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of a proposal. In the Open Grants Program, an organization may not resubmit a proposal for a previously declined project for six (6) months after the declination. An eligible entity that has had a project declined may submit a proposal for a substantially different project at any time.
Yes. Golden LEAF encourages past grantees to call Golden LEAF staff to discuss proposal ideas.
Golden LEAF makes decisions on a regular timeline. Applicants are generally notified of the Board’s decision the day of the Board’s meeting. Each program follows a slightly different process. For more information, please visit each program’s page on our website.
Click here for a detailed explanation of exceptions to the required disclosure of public records and confidential information.
Yes. As long as an organization completes the required steps to apply for funding in excess of $200,000, the applicant is not obligated to follow Golden LEAF staff recommendations regarding the amount of funding to request.
No. The maximum award in the Open Grants Program is $500,000. Applicants seeking funding in excess of $500,000 may consider applying in one of Golden LEAF’s other grant programs and may contact staff to discuss other opportunities with Golden LEAF or other funders.
No. Golden LEAF will consider a variety of factors when determining whether to award funding for a project and the appropriate level of funding. Examples include the capacity of the organization to implement the project and how closely the project aligns with Golden LEAF’s strategic priorities. For other examples of some factors Golden LEAF considers, please see this link to Characteristics of Competitive Proposals.
Yes. An eligible organization may apply for funding for a project that does not include Golden LEAF priority outcomes; however, funding for those projects is unlikely.
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