WCMA GRANTS GUIDELINES
The Walnut Cove Members Association (WCMA) consists of Cliffs at Walnut Cove property owners who are interested in supporting local nonprofit organizations through membership in the WCMA. The WCMA raises money through dues, an annual charity golf tournament, and a variety of other means. At the end of each year, the money in this fund is distributed to local 501(c)(3) charities, based on recommendations of the WCMA
Grants Committee to the WCMA Board of Directors. Any member who is actively involved with a charity as a volunteer, committee member, or board member can act as a sponsor and submit a grant request on behalf of the organization as long as the organization meets the Board’s eligibility requirements.
It is the WCMA’s responsibility to be good stewards of members’ dues and generous donations by fairly distributing the funds to member-sponsored, local charitable organizations. This is the founding principal of the WCMA. By donating to the WCMA, members can collectively support these local charities and also our friends and neighbors within the community who generously give their time and support to these organizations. It offers members the opportunity to solicit support from their neighbors without having to initiate individual fundraisers and unites our membership in its effort to simultaneously show appreciation for its volunteers and for the local community.
Mission: The Grants Committee analyzes applications for grants, selects charities following the policies adopted by the Board of Directors of the WCMA, and recommends specific grant amounts to the WCMA Board. The Board makes the final determination and distributes the funds at the end of each year.
Focus Areas: WCMA grants will support programs that benefit communities in western North Carolina. Funding priority will be given to service projects that clearly relate to one of the following four focus areas:
Human Services: Support of programs that offer food, clothing, shelter or basic needs to underserved individuals.
Healthcare: Support of programs that provide healthcare services to those in need.
Education: Support of programs that enhance the educational success and advancement of deserving students.
Natural and Cultural Resources: Support of the region’s rich cultural resources, with an emphasis on education in the arts and environment.
While the WCMA recognizes that many strategies are important to improving the lives of people in western North Carolina, its membership wishes to focus on the four areas as defined above.
For all grantees, project objectives should demonstrate:
1. An identified need that will be met by the grant,
2. A significant impact on the community with an emphasis on the number of
3. Evidence that there is community support for the project,
4. Specifically stated objectives,
5. Financial sustainability of the grantee organization,
6. Adequate resources to implement the project, and
7. Oversight of the grantee organization by a Board of Directors or other entity.
Nonprofit organizations in western North Carolina that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code are eligible to become applicants. These charitable organizations must not only be recommended by a WCMA member, but must also be an organization with which at least one member of the WCMA is actively engaged.
Furthermore, the organization must be based in western North Carolina. Any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, national origin, physical ability, or any other characteristic protected by law will not be considered.
Applications for the following requests are discouraged and are unlikely to be funded:
– Capital improvements
– Individual scholarships
– Sectarian purposes
– Deficit funding
– Private schools
– Private clubs
– Sports teams
– Salaries and other administrative expenses (except those used to implement the specific project funded by WCMA)
– Re-granting organizations; i.e., an organization that is not executing the specific program but using the grant money to fund another nonprofit organization
Organizations may not submit more than one WCMA grant application per year. The Grants Committee may make an exception if the money will be used for two entirely different projects within two different departments.
Grant requests should not exceed $5,000 per application.
Based on the amount of money we have in our general fund each year, the WCMA maynot be able to fund all applicants.
All correspondence and questions should be addressed to Karen Spacek: 1590 Country View Way. Home 828-676-2842 and Cell 901-490-5757. Email: email@example.com.
- Who decides what organizations receive a grant? The Grants Committee reviews all the applications and then makes a recommendation on funding to the WCMA Board of Directors. The WCMA BWho oard either approves the recommendations, or if they choose, makes modifications to the grant amounts.
- What does the committee look at when it evaluates an application? There are several standards that the committee uses to evaluate an application. First we ensure that it is a local 501(c)(3) organization and that the organization meets all the eligibility requirements in our guidelines. We also take into consideration whether any of the funding restrictions that are listed in the guidelines apply to the organization. Next we look at who, and how many, will be helped by our donation – we want our dollars to effectively impact as many people as possible. And finally, we look at how active the sponsor is with the organization; we want our dollars to not only support the organization, but the volunteering member, as well. At the end of the evaluation process, the seven-member committee votes on the final recommendations.
- How many applications can I submit? We will most likely not have enough funds every year to fully satisfy all requests. Therefore, we ask that members use some discretion in submitting multiple applications. If you submit more than two requests, please prioritize them for us in terms of their importance to you.
- Does an application have to be for a specific project? The more specific the project or program, the better. This is because it is important for the committee to understand exactly how our dollars will be used and to evaluate how many people will be impacted by our donation. If you would like to sponsor an organization, you should clearly define how the money would be spent, either for a specific project or for a specific program.
- What is considered active involvement with an organization? There are a variety of ways a member can be active within an organization. A member can serve on a board, serve on a committee, or volunteer their time with the organization. Financially supporting a charity without volunteering in some capacity with the organization does not constitute member involvement. Also, a paid employee of an organization is ineligible to act as a sponsor.
- Do all grant requests receive at least partial funding? Applicants that do not meet our eligibility requirements will not be considered. However, when a grant request meets all of our criteria, every effort will be made to provide at least partial funding.
- Why does an organization get funded one year and not the next? It depends upon the project, the amount of funds available, and the number and quality of other grant submissions in any given year.
- Can I submit a grant request electronically? The form that is filled out by the sponsor and the form that is filled out by the organization do not need to be returned together as long as they are both submitted by the deadline. Both forms can be found on the walnutcovemembers.com website.
- How and when are we notified of the results of our submission? Members will be notified by December 1st and checks will be cut by the end of the calendar year. We encourage sponsors to personally deliver the checks to their organization.
- Can I submit an application on behalf of my church or synagogue? The committee will only consider a request on behalf of a religious institution if it is for a specific outreach program that does not discriminate on the basis of religion or promote specific religious beliefs. For example, we would consider funding a local soup kitchen run by a church if it is open to all members of the community.
- Can I submit an application for a political candidate or action group? No, the committee will not consider a request for a political candidate or action group. We want our funds to be applied toward causes that the entire membership can support, such as social services. Also, as a 501(c)(3), we are not allowed to support political candidates or action groups.
- What are capital improvements? This refers to enhancements to the “brick and mortar” of an organization, i.e., an addition to a building. Capital improvements are on our list of potential funding restrictions as stated in the guidelines.
- Does the committee make site visits? Because it would not be fair to visit the sites of some applicants without visiting all of them, it is the policy of the Grants Committee to not accept invitations to personally visit the organizations. The committee relies on the sponsor to provide all the necessary information needed to evaluate the application.
- If I am a member of the Cliffs at Walnut Cove, am I automatically a member of the WCMA? Your membership in the WCMA is separate from your club membership.
- Are my contributions to the WCMA tax deductible? Because the WCMA is a 501(c)(3) organization, dues and additional contributions are tax deductible.
- Why should I contribute funds to the WCMA in addition to my dues? Donating to the WCMA serves a dual purpose. Not only will you be helping those in need within our community, but you will also be supporting your friends and neighbors who are committed to these worthwhile causes. Having donated over $600,000 to a variety of charities within just nine years, we have made Walnut Cove a valuable and respected part of Asheville. Each year we receive a larger number of applications and we would like to support the community and our membership as effectively as possible. What really enables us to do that is the money we receive in addition to the dues and the money raised through the charity golf event, our two main sources of income. The WCMA is made up entirely of volunteers who are committed to making sure that all the funds go to reputable organizations while incurring minimal expenses.