ICF Regional Grant Program

Through the Regional Grant Program, ICF distributes grants throughout the state for a wide variety of projects and programs. There are three cycles per year – one in each region of the state. The program is funded through the generosity of donors who recognize that the needs within communities and among nonprofits are constantly changing, and they have entrusted ICF with the flexibility to meet those changing needs forever.

The application for each cycle is open year round with deadlines in each region as follows:

Northern Region: Deadline February 15. Awards announced in May.
Eastern Region: Deadline June 15. Awards announced in September.
Southwestern Region: Deadline August 15. Awards announced in November.

For questions, please reach out to:

For technical assistance, please reach out to:

Elly Davis, Community Impact Officer
(208) 342-3535

Zach Mars, Systems Specialist
(208) 342-3535

Guidelines and Eligibility

ICF’s Mission: To enrich the quality of life throughout Idaho.

ICF’s Grant Making Goals and Values: To award meaningful grants in all 44 counties in Idaho for projects both large and small that address pressing community needs as defined by the people who live in and love those communities.

Eligibility: The Idaho Community Foundation makes grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit public charities under IRS Code Section 170 and governmental entities including special taxing districts and public schools.

If you are unsure of your tax status or believe that you should be allowed to apply because your proposed project is of a charitable nature, please contact ICF (Elly Davis at 208-342-3535 or edavis@idcomfdn.org ) to determine your eligibility to receive grants.

Northern Region Cycle: Open to applicants from Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Idaho, Kootenai, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce and Shoshone counties.

Eastern Region Cycle: Open to applicants from Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Bonneville, Butte, Caribou, Clark, Custer, Franklin, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, Oneida, Power and Teton counties.

Southwestern Region Cycle: Open to applicants from Ada, Adams, Blaine, Boise, Camas, Canyon, Cassia, Elmore, Gem, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Owyhee, Payette, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington counties.

Grant Award Size: This is a small grants program with a maximum request amount of $5,000. Awards will range from $250 to $5,000 depending upon competition within a cycle and funds available.

Number of Applications Allowed: You may apply for funding through the Regional Grant Program every year, regardless of previous funding or current year funding through other ICF grant programs.

If you are considering submitting more than one application to an individual Regional Grant Cycle, please contact ICF (Elly Davis at 208-342-3535 or edavis@idcomfdn.org) in advance for advice on this practice.

Criteria: The Idaho Community Foundation’s grant making mission and goals are broad by design to allow for maximum grant making flexibility and responsiveness to the wide variety of community needs across the state.

Grants will be made in the following diverse program areas: Arts and Culture, Conservation/Environment, Education, Emergency Services, Health, Libraries, Public Projects, Recreation and Social Services.

ICF will award grants for diverse purposes including program expenses, capital expenses, on-going operational costs and more.

Grant Restrictions: There are several types of projects/organizations that cannot be considered for awards through the Regional Grants Program, including:

Projects which are considered operating expenses or salaries normally paid by a school district (salaries for special projects not normally funded by a school district will be considered)
Religious organizations for the sole purpose of furthering that religion
Political activities or those designed to influence legislation
National organizations (unless the monies are to be used to benefit citizens of Idaho or the organizations are specifically designated by a donor as beneficiaries of the fund)
Grants that directly benefit a donor to ICF or a donor’s family

Favored Activities:
The Regional Grants Program favors activities that:
• Reach a broad segment of the community, especially those citizens whose needs are not being met by existing services that are normally expected  to be provided by private rather than government sources
• Request seed money to realize unusual opportunities to meet urgent needs in the community
• Stimulate and encourage additional funding
• Promote cooperation and avoid duplication of effort
• Help make a charitable organization more effective and efficient and better able to sustain itself over the long term

Less Favored/Low Priority Activities:
The following areas are of low priority to the Regional Grants Program and usually will not receive funding:
• Reduction of debt
• Grants to individuals (except scholarships)
• Fund raising projects
• Travel for individuals or teams
• Attendance at conferences, seminars or other projects
• Endowments
• Programs that fall more appropriately under government funding, such as operating expenses for public schools and police and fire protection
• Capital projects for which the Foundation’s ability to contribute will be only a very small portion of the total budget and, therefore, may have little impact on the success of the project

How to Apply

Grant applications must be submitted via our online application process by the deadline to be eligible for consideration. For fairness reasons, we will not consider late or incomplete applications or applications not submitted through the online process.

Please review the Technical Instructions for Online Applicants here. You must have a username and password to begin an application and registration requests take one business day to process. Plan ahead!

To Begin Your Application

To craft your application, we recommend that you use the Regional Grant Program Application template we have provided for you here. You can type your answers to each application question in to this document and save it as you go. Then, when you are ready, you can cut and paste your final answers into the online application. Please note that the character limits in this document are different than those on our website. When you paste your answers into the online application, you may be required to modify the characters slightly to meet the online limit.

To apply in the Northern Region, click here.
To apply in the Eastern Region, click here.
To apply in the Southwestern Region, click here.

What happens after I submit my application and when will I be notified about the results?

After the cycle deadline, ICF staff will process all applications and provide them to our volunteer Regional Grants Panels in the region in which your organization is located.

The Grants Panels are made up of volunteer community members from each county in the region. They are chosen based on their community knowledge and leadership and their previous involvement in the charitable sector in their individual communities. A current list of our Grants Panelists can always be found on our website.

The Grants Panels meet once per year to review applications and make recommendations for how ICF should award grants. The final award decisions are made by ICF’s Board of Directors at the quarterly meeting most closely following the Grants Panel meeting.

Once the ICF Board’s decisions are final, ICF staff begins notifying each applicant of the outcome of the cycle. These notifications will happen in May for the northern cycle, September for the eastern cycle and November for the southwestern cycle.

What criteria do the grant reviewers use to make their award recommendations?

ICF’s grant making mission and goals are broad by design to allow for maximum grant making flexibility and responsiveness to the wide variety of community needs across the state. ICF seeks to award meaningful grants in all 44 counties in Idaho for projects both large and small that address pressing community needs as defined by the people who live in and love those communities.

As such, the Grants Panels do not use a formal rubric to guide their review or scoring of individual applications. Instead, we ask them to consider the parameters of favored and less favored activities detailed in our guidelines and the following questions:

• Does this application represent a project that is a genuine “greatest need” for the community?
• Does the project improve the lives of people in the community especially the most vulnerable and underserved?
• How many people will this project help and for what period of time?
• What portion of the whole project cost can ICF reasonably cover with a small grant of $5,000 or less?
• Can this project move forward in a meaningful way with only partial funding?

What types of projects have been funded in the past?

For most grant programs, ICF sends a press release to the relevant news outlets throughout the state announcing grant awards. We also publish those announcements on our website and in our monthly E-Bulletin.
For a complete list of past grant recipients, please visit the “Latest News” page on our website.