Apply for a Grant

Grantmaking is at the hub of what we mean when we say 
“We’re in it for GOOD.”  

Giving good back to the community through grantmaking is how we fulfill our mission. BGCF and its affiliates award more than $400,000 competitive grant making dollars each year to organizations serving the needs of communities in Central and Appalachia Kentucky. 

Below is a list of annual grant opportunities made possible by various funds at Blue Grass Community Foundation.  Please contact Kristen Tidwell with any questions. 

To stay updated on BGCF grant opportunities, sign up for GrantStation Insider – a free, weekly e-newsletter with links to national and local grant opportunities, as well as useful, current news for Kentucky nonprofits.   

Blue Grass Community Foundation is pleased to launch its new Grant Application Online Portal.  All applicants will need to register with the new system to apply for grants.  

Click here to access the Applicant Guide for help on registering and navigating the new portal. Please note that if you submitted a grant application through BGCF’s former online application platform, your previous login credentials will not work with the new system. 



BGCF365 is a giving circle made up of emerging philanthropists and civic leaders who have a desire to create change in Lexington. BGCF365 members contribute to a charitable fund and meet annually to review nonprofit proposals and vote on nonprofit grant recipients. Each year the grant focus is different.

This year, the BGCF365 grant focus is Youth Development and Wellness. BGCF365 recognizes the critical need to support children and youth in Fayette County who face various challenges, including the impacts of the pandemic, poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, community violence, trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences, discrimination, and systemic racism. With funding from members of BGCF365, Blue Grass Community Foundation seeks to support initiatives that foster the resiliency, safety, connectedness, physical health, mental health, and overall wellbeing of children and youth (birth to age 22) in Fayette County. Priority will be given to proposals that specifically address the disparities of resources for and conditions of youth in Fayette County due to socioeconomic level and/or race and ethnicity.

This is a competitive grantmaking process. Grant applications will be reviewed by the BGCF365 Steering Committee and narrowed to three finalists. Representatives from the top three grant applicants will be required to present a short (maximum 12 minutes) presentation to the members of BGCF365 at their annual meeting in April 2023. Grants in the amount of $15,000, $7,500, and $2,500 will be awarded based on membership votes.


Early Childhood Education & Literacy Grants 

With funding from the MacAdam Early Childhood and Literacy Fund, Blue Grass Community Foundation seeks to increase equitable access to pre-K education, early childhood care programs, and/or literacy programs for students in Central Kentucky.   BGCF has the goal of narrowing the achievement gap by supporting those organizations/programs specifically serving low-income students, students of color, English-learners, and students with special needs. 

Qualified charitable organizations serving Central Kentucky are eligible to submit grant proposals that focus on early childhood teaching and learning; professional development for early childhood educators; parent engagement; and literacy-specific programs for learners of all ages, including adults.   Proposals for project support, general operating support, and multi-year funding will be considered. 

The application for this grant opportunity is typically made available in May of each year.  Please continue to check back for updated details regarding the 2023 grant cycle.

Support for the Aging Community in Central and Eastern Kentucky 

With funding from the Beulah S. Mays Charitable Endowment, Blue Grass Community Foundation seeks to provide support to nonprofit organizations that are directly serving older adults in Central and Eastern Kentucky.  

The Community Foundation is focused on supporting organizations that specifically serve individuals impacted by the challenges of aging and age-related diseases. Special consideration will be given to those organizations addressing the needs of older adults suffering from dementia-related diseases and their caregivers; as well as those organizations whose services benefit underserved populations, including low-income individuals and people of color. This opportunity is made available exclusively to those nonprofits and agencies whose primary mission is focused on the aging community, dementia, and other age-related issues. 

Proposals for project support, as well as general operating support, are typically considered.

The application for this grant opportunity is typically made available in early Spring of each year.  Please continue to check back for updated details regarding the 2023 grant cycle.


Hudson-Ellis Grants 

Qualified charitable organizations serving Boyle County are eligible to apply for funding for projects for the good of Boyle County. Funding priorities for this grant opportunity include public education and services for disadvantaged and/or disabled youth and adults. Successful proposals will address community needs through projects and programs that demonstrate sustainable impact and measurable outcomes. The Hudson-Ellis competitive grantmaking program is made possible through the generosity of Lottie B. Ellis and other donors who established funds through bequests for the good of Boyle County. Grant request amount should not exceed $10,000.

The application for this grant opportunity is typically made available in May of each year.  Please continue to check back for updated details regarding the 2023 grant cycle.

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