East Tennessee Foundation

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Kingsport Community Foundation


An Affiliate Fund of East Tennessee Foundation

Kingsport Community Foundation is a philanthropic organization governed by a local board of directors.  Our mission is to help donors maximize their contributions to the community by awarding grants that enrich lives and strengthen the Greater Kingsport Community forever.

General Eligibility

Grants will be made to established organizations located within the Greater Kingsport Community in Sullivan County that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Grants will be considered for new and/or emerging groups that have an established nonprofit organization as a fiscal sponsor.  
  • Under special circumstances, grants will be made to institutions outside the Greater Kingsport Community in Sullivan County for programs that are operated within or provide direct benefit to residents.
  • Applicant organizations must be operated and organized so as to not discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender economic circumstances or other characteristics as identified in East Tennessee Foundation’s Non-Discrimination Policy Statement.
  • Applicant organizations must have Greater Kingsport Community citizen involvement in the organization as volunteers, members or board members.
  • While grantees are eligible to apply for continued support, multi-year funding is not guaranteed.

Areas of Focus 

Successful applicants will propose projects or programs that address one or more of the following issues:
  • Arts/Culture
  • Education/Literacy
  • Health/ Wellness
  • Community Development/Improvement

Examples of Possible Projects

  • Improve the employability and parenting life skills of adults.
  • Support a health/wellness program targeting  underprivileged, low-income children.
  • Organize a camp which instructs children in spinning and weaving, old-time gardening, open-hearth. cooking, beekeeping, and blacksmithing, and other pre-industrial farm life skills.
  • Provide weekly respite breaks for families with children who suffer from severe emotional disturbances.
  • Help English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with their verbal communication, reading and writing skills, in order to improve their life skills and succeed in their jobs.  
  • Engage parents/guardians and troubled youth in equine-assisted therapy to deal with difficult family situations.
  • Develop a team-building program with at-risk students.

Ineligible Activities  

Although each proposal will be considered on its own merits, the following types of requests will normally be precluded from the Fund’s grant program: 
  • Grants to individuals or scholarships;
  • Salaries or administrative support which exceeds 30% of the funding requested;
  • Endowments or general fundraising campaigns or capital campaigns;
  • General operating support (office supplies, utilities and other general expenses), debt retirement, financing or capital improvements (such as purchase of vehicles, furniture, playground equipment or for building renovations); 
  • Projects that have implicit religious content, express a particular religious view or advance a religious purpose; and
  • Travel outside East Tennessee, unless the purpose of the proposed travel is essential for effective implementation of the proposed project. 

Criteria for Funding

Successful applicants will:
  • Foster significant results from a moderate-sized grant; 
  • Develop well-planned approaches to addressing public or community opportunities, problems or issues; 
  • Creatively utilize community resources;
  • Develop solid bases of support, committed leadership, and personnel with training or skills to carry out the work; and
  • Meet the needs of the community and its constituents, so that both the current and future residents of the Greater Kingsport Area may benefit.

Characteristics of a Great Proposal

  • Well thought-out with a good project description and a project budget/narrative that make sense in light of the project;
  • Backed by statistical data, both in terms of needs/opportunities as well as in measurable outcomes at the project’s conclusion;
  • Explained with genuine passion for the project and its potential impact on the constituents served;
  • Creative in the utilization of community resources; and 
  • Described clearly, are well-organized, and are as specific as possible.

Common Mistakes

  • Submission of application packets which are incomplete or late (submitted after the deadline);
  • Conceptual project narratives that lack specific information about “who, what, when, where, and why” of the project;
  • Failure to contact East Tennessee Foundation with your questions about application requirements or the “fit” of your proposed project to grant guidelines, before the application deadline;
  • Submission of proposals which request funding support for ineligible uses of grant funds (e.g. capital improvements, scholarships).

Application Process

Applications must be submitted via the Foundation's online grants management system.  We encourage applicants to read instructions about applying online before connecting to the online application.  The online application will be available October 15, 2013.

How to Apply

Application Deadline

The application deadline is November 15, 2013.

Grant Amounts

Grants will generally range from $500 - $5,000.

Grant Terms

One-year grants are awarded.  

For More Information

Please address your questions to:
Jan Elston
Director of Competitive Grant Programs
East Tennessee Foundation
625 Market Street
Suite 1400
Knoxville, TN  37902
Telephone: (865)524-1223; toll-free (877)524-1223


Thank you for your interest in the Kingsport Community Foundation.