The Clay County Community Foundation distributes funds to non-profit organizations in Clay County each year, thanks to support from the Iowa Legislature and local donors. As a result, applications for CCCF Simple, Standard and Impact Grants are accepted from non-profit organizations and local governmental entities for projects that positively impact quality of life in Clay County.

Clay County Community Foundation funds can be used for broad, flexible purposes, including: assisting arts and culture, economic development, education, environment, health and human services, recreation areas and supporting high-impact community opportunities. Funds are intended for new projects or for the enhancement or expansion of existing services, programs or facilities. PLEASE NOTE: On-going operational expenses of an organization are not eligible for grant funding.

Grants will only be accepted November 15 to January 15 each year.

Types of Grants Available

Simple Grant

Grants $3,000 and under

Applicants seeking amounts under $3,000 will use the Simple Grant Application form.

Apply NowView Guidelines

Standard Grant

Grants from $3,001 to $10,000

Grant requests may range from a $3,000 minimum to a $10,000 maximum. Applicants will use the Standard/Impact Grant Application Form.

Apply NowView Guidelines

Impact Grant

Grants from $10,001 to $25,000.

Please contact the Clay County Community Foundation at for current information regarding the application process before submitting a letter of Intent.

These requests may range from $10,001 to $25,000. The application process for this grant begins with a Letter of Intent to Apply, submitted to the CCCF by November 15. Letter should be submitted electronically to the CCCF via its email address at In this letter, (a maximum of 2 pages) the following items should be included:

  1. Description of the organization applying
  2. Description of the project
  3. Overview of funding sources and the grant amount requested
  4. Impact the project will have on Clay County communities
  5. Contact information for person in charge of the project.

Applicant may be required to attend an interview with the CCCF Board of Directors during the review process. Notification of approval to move forward will be received in early December. If selected as a finalist for an Impact Grant, applicants must complete the Community Betterment/Impact Grant Application Form. Applicants may not apply for a standard Community Betterment Grant at the same time they are being considered for an Impact Grant. If not approved to move forward with the Impact Grant, applicant may then submit an application for a standard Community Betterment Grant during the current grant cycle.

Apply NowView Guidelines

Application Process And Deadlines

Standard and Simple Grant Applicants Must:

  1. Electronically submit a completed Standard Grant Application or a Simple Grant Application and required supporting documents (see page 3 for list) online through the CCCF website at by midnight on January 15th.
  2. Submit PRINTED application form (either Standard or Simple) and required supporting documents to the CCCF Administrative Office, c/o Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, postmarked by January 15th.

Impact Grant Applicants Must:

  1. Submit a letter of intent online at by November 15th. (see above for letter format)
  2. If accepted as a finalist, applicant will complete the Impact Grant application online at and submit, with required supporting documents, by January 15th.

Application Deadlines

If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, both electronic submission and postmark deadlines are the first working day after January 15.

If you have questions, please send an email to


Eligible CCCF Simple, Standard or Impact Grant applicants must be 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations OR units of local government. If neither of these applies, applicant may utilize an eligible Fiscal Sponsor. Generally, CCCF will not consider grants for religious purposes, political activities, endowment, annual fund drives, individuals, capital campaigns, budget deficit or general operating expenses.

CCCF Prioritized Needs (in no particular order)

Economic Development/Quality Job Creation – Focus is on innovative non-traditional economic development activities, i.e. youth entrepreneurial development programs, artist entrepreneurship programs, microenterprise lending programs, etc. and creation of new jobs or expansion of existing jobs.

Activities (Cultural, Recreational, Social and Educational) – Special emphasis is placed on activities that bring people together throughout the county, and that bring people to the county.

Parks and Outdoor Recreation Facilities – This includes trails, campgrounds and other recreational facilities.

Utilize and Support Existing Organizations, Resources, Services and Facilities that Contribute to Quality of Life – Includes projects to more effectively market or make services and programs more fully available to people, whether through better marketing or through efforts to accommodate employed parents schedules, or the scheduling preferences or requirements of senior citizens, youth individuals with special needs, etc.

Health and Human Services – This includes projects offering mental health, medical or dental services and those providing other assistance resources to the community or efforts to help residents find those resources.

Review Of Grant Applications

Applications for funding will be reviewed on a 50 point scale based on the following criteria:

Need and Impact

60% of total score or 30 points maximum

Why is a CCCF Community Betterment Grant needed to make this project happen? What will be the result of this project? Describe individuals impacted by this project. How will Clay County communities be enhanced or improved by this project?

Applicant's Ability to Carry Out Project

20% of total score or 10 points maximum

Is this a start-up project or service? Does the applicant have a record of effective service? Is the applicant qualified and prepared to take on the project?

Funding Sources

10% of total score or 5 points maximum

Has the applicant secured matching or in-kind funding? Is the budget realistic? Will the project be possible without CCCF funding?

Evidence of Broad-based Community Support

10% of total score or 5 points maximum

Does the applicant have financial or volunteer support for the project?

Grant Application Checklist

Simple Grant Application Checklist

  1. One completed online Grant Application
  2. One completed, PRINTED copy of the Grant Application and mailed to:
    CCCF Administrative Office
    c/o Community Foundatin of Greater Des Moines
    1915 Grand Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50309
  3. Both submissions must include a current copy of the IRS Determination ruling letter

Standard/Impact Grant Application Checklist

Make sure you have completed/included the following:

  1. One completed online Grant Application with supporting documents (see below) via CCCF website at
  2. One completed, PRINTED and mailed copy of the Grant Application, along with the required supporting documents to:
    CCCF Administrative Office
    c/o Community Foundatin of Greater Des Moines
    1915 Grand Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50309
  3. Supporting Documents include:
    • Current copy of IRS Determination ruling letter, unit of local government verification letter or Fiscal Sponsorship Agreement form
    • Names and titles of organization leadership, including trustees, directors, board officers and key staff personnel
    • Organization's current operating budget, including a list of principal sources of income
    • (Optional) Any attachments that will help clarify organization's project