Guidelines & Priorities

CBCF 9 Annual Grants 9 Guidelines & Priorities

Annual Grants Process

Coastal Bend Community Foundation (CBCF) awards grants from unrestricted and certain other funds yearly through the Annual Grants process. We welcome applications from eligible organizations/coalitions for projects completed by August 31 of the following year.

All grant requests must be for services that are performed in CBCF’s seven-county service area:
Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio counties.
Applications from Coastal Bend Day of Giving participants will NOT be considered.

The 2024 Annual Grants online application opens August 1 at which time grant writers can apply by clicking on the 2024 Annual Grant Application link. The deadline to apply online is September 15, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (CST).  Paper applications will not be accepted. Through the Annual Grants process, the Foundation expects to award up to $450,000 in 2024 to nonprofits located within or serving individuals and/or families within its seven-county service area. This year grant writers have two grant opportunities to choose from:

  • A grant up to $10,000 to support general operations. Grant requests for general operations cannot be in excess of $10,000. OR
  • A grant from $10,001 up to $25,000 to support expenses associated with a specific program or project serving vulnerable individuals and/or families.

Please note the following:

  • Grants to or for the benefit of a tax-supported college or university must be used solely for direct student support including, but not limited to, student Emergency Funds and Student Food Pantries.
  • Applications from Food Pantries other than college or university based will not be accepted during the 2024 Annual Grants process due to the awarding of $375,000 through the 2023 Annual Food Pantry Special Grant in March 2023 to the Coastal Bend Food Bank and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent benefitting 77 food pantries located across the Foundation’s service area.
  • Applications from animal services organizations will also not be accepted during this year’s Annual Grants process due to a special spay/neuter animal program to People Assisting Animal Control launched in Fall 2022.
  • Organizations that were awarded funding last year must submit their 2023 Initial Grant Report in order to be considered for new funding in 2024.  Upon acceptance of the 2023 annual grant, information was provided via email on how to access the 2023 Initial Grant Report and the associated due date(s).

For more information, please email or call 361-882-9745.


Is my organization eligible?
501(c)(3) organizations are eligible. Also, government and school entities applying for projects outside of their basic/core services are eligible. If you are not a 501(c)(3) or eligible school or government entity, please contact us to verify eligibility before submitting a grant application, regardless of the location of the organization. 

When are grant applications available/accepted?
Grant applications are accepted online at our website from August 1 to September 15 11:59 p.m. (CST) each year. There are no exceptions to the deadline.

Does a nonprofit need to apply separately to different funds at CBCF?
There is only one Annual Grants application process. In addition to its unrestricted funds, CBCF awards annual grants from funds that support the following during this annual grant process:

  • intellectually disabled
  • children’s programs
  • cultural activities
  • historical and ecological preservation projects
  • the elderly

May we submit more than one application?
Organizations may submit only one application unless they are serving as a fiscal agent for a partnership or collaboration, in which case they may also submit an application for themselves. Colleges and universities, including their foundations, may submit a total of three applications.

What is the average grant size?
Most grant awards are between $5,000-$10,000. Awards are based on the stated need and the footprint/impact of the project. As requests for funding always exceed funds available, there is no guarantee of funding, and grant awards frequently provide partial (as opposed to full) funding of requests.

What does CBCF fund?
The following two grant options are available:

  • A grant up to $10,000 to support general operations. Grant requests for general operations cannot be in excess of $10,000), OR
  • A grant from $10,001 up to $25,000 to support expenses associated with a specific program or project serving vulnerable individuals and/or families.  These grants are awarded for new programs/projects or the continuation of existing projects where there is compelling, documented impact and the project is compatible with the nonprofit’s mission. Requests may include existing personnel, equipment, supplies, and other expenses essential to the project. CBCF is not likely to approve applications where it is the sole funder for projects significantly exceeding our average grant size.

Does CBCF award grants for operating expenses?
As mentioned above, a grant up to $10,000 to support general operations may be requested. Please note that salary requests for new employees are generally not considered. 

What are the focus areas?
As a community foundation, CBCF awards grants in many focus areas that benefit all citizens of the Coastal Bend:

  • Arts and Culture- including performing arts/music programs, museum exhibits/classes
  • Education – including library services, GED and adult literacy, youth programs
  • Environment – including animal welfare, park improvements, conservation
  • Families and Children – including family, youth, and elderly programs
  • Health – including medical and patient services programs, diabetes programs
  • Human Services – including counseling, drug programs, food pantries, and shelters
  • Public Good – including disaster relief, housing, and community development

Within the funded areas, high funding priorities include:

  • Programs that measurably raise the quality of life in the Coastal Bend
  • Disadvantaged youth, elderly, and families
  • Education and job creation projects that bring people out of poverty
  • Projects that are not easily accomplished without Foundation funding
  • Projects that result in increased funding from additional sources

Low funding priorities include:

  • Start-up funding for new organizations
  • Publications, videos, etc.
  • Projects that stray from the nonprofit’s mission

Factors that increase funding chances:

  • Practical solutions to community problems
  • Leveraging of additional resources
  • Collaborative efforts that decrease duplications of service
  • Strength and sustainability of both the nonprofit and the program

What requests are typically denied and/or are prohibited spending of CBCF grants?*

  • Specific requests for salary for staff
  • Indirect or overhead costs
  • Large requests that drastically exceed the typical grant size
  • Large requests where the Foundation is the sole funder
  • Annual fund drives
  • Underwriting/sponsorships for special fundraising events
  • Academic or scientific research projects
  • Religious activities of religious organizations or programs that require participation in religious activities
  • Private school scholarships or projects that do not impact the community at large
  • Funding for individuals, specific schools, school groups, or athletic teams
  • Travel or transportation expenses
  • Office, playground or other equipment, unless for efficiency or safety
  • Brick and mortar projects – new construction, renovations, etc.

How do I print my application?
Applications can only be printed once they have been submitted.

1. Access the application by logging into the submission portal and clicking the application tile in the lower left corner of the page.

2. Complete the application and press the GREEN SUBMIT BUTTON in the upper right corner of the page.

3. The button should change to indicate “This has been submitted”. Click VIEW BUTTON in the lower right corner of the page.

4.  AFTER clicking VIEW BUTTON the user should be redirected to another
page to view the application.

5. Click the DROPDOWN ARROW next to 2024 ANNUAL GRANT APP in Upper Left Corner of page and select PRINT FORM.

6. AFTER clicking PRINT FORM the user should be redirected to a webpage that can be printed. You can print the application by selecting the appropriate option to print the webpage based on the internet browser that you are using.

* These are generalities and are true in most grant-making situations. However, CBCF will make exceptions when appropriate and after discussion with the applicant agency.


The Mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Coastal Bend by building community endowment and addressing social, educational, environmental, and cultural needs through the awarding of grants and scholarships.

The Foundation’s Vision is to provide the Coastal Bend with:

  • Efficient gift options to meet donors’ charitable wishes
  • Effective grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to students
  • Ethical leadership to promote and enhance area philanthropy


Frequently Asked Questions

About Grants


Please check the “Guidelines and Priorities” page for information about grant focus areas, eligibility, deadlines, etc. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Should I contact someone in your office before submitting a grant?

If you have questions about the application or your organization’s eligibility, please call us.

What is the criteria for selecting grant recipients?

Our board looks for strong nonprofits with projects and programs that are likely to strengthen the Coastal Bend well beyond the requested period of funding. High priority is given to requests that are collaborative and focus on new solutions to old problems.

Will your grant policies remain the same in future years?

Our grant policies are reviewed annually and may change in future years. Current grant guidelines are always posted to this website.

Can my organization apply for grants from named funds at the Foundation?

No. All funds that have monies available for competitive grants are included in the Annual grant process.