General Grants

Frequently Asked Questions

Before applying for a General Grant, you must first read through and understand the following questions and answers. Please take a few moments and click on each header to find the answers to each question below.

Who can apply for a General Grant?


Applicant must be an IRS-approved tax-exempt non-profit as described in the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) or equivalent tax-exempt status. Organizations are not allowed to share or borrow a 501(c)(3) status with another organization. The name on the application must match the name on the IRS-issued letter.

A copy of the current IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter must be submitted with each copy of the application, as applicable. Government entities and sub entities must provide their IRS determination letter of tax exempt status.

The organization must be in compliance with the terms and purposes of any prior grant from the Worth County Development Authority. If the organization has violated the terms of any prior grant, the organization will be considered ineligible until such time as the violation has been cured.

What is the WCDA's geographic focus?


The WCDA’s geographic focus is Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota. The primary focus is Worth County, with a secondary focus on surrounding counties.

What types of projects are favored?


The focus of the grants will be in the following areas community development, emergency services, health and human services, tourism, and culture, arts and recreation.

To maximize the effect of our granting, WCDA will favor grants that leverage partnerships with other organizations, governmental entities, and fund matching.

Grant recipients will use Worth County vendors when feasible.

Can Educational organizations apply for a General Grant?


In our effort to evenly effect all areas, education is not included in an area of focus for the general grants. This is due to the fact WCDA awards a substantial amount to Education in the form of Scholarships and Grants to local and surrounding schools.

Daycares, preschools, PTO/Booster Clubs, Post Prom, School Clubs, etc are not allowed to apply as they fall under education. Please work directly with local school boards to help shape where those Grants are directed.

How are the applications graded?


In reviewing applications, the WCDA Grant Committees and Board of Directors carefully consider the following criteria:

The relevance of the proposed project to WCDA’s mission and our areas of focus. The extent to which the proposal addresses a community need, demonstrates broad-based community support, and provides benefits to the community-at-large.

Ability of the proposed project to leverage funding and support from other sources.

Extent to which the proposal maximizes community resources through cooperation and
collaboration with other organizations in the community and the elimination of redundant services, programs, or projects.

The capacity of the applicant’s organization and staff to achieve the desired result.

The sustainability of the proposed project without additional long-term financial commitments
from the WCDA.

Who grades the applications?


The total amount available for granting shall be allocated through two separate funding pools as follows:

25% of the WCDA grant funds shall be allocated through the Worth County Township Fund.

Up to 25% of the WCDA grant funds shall be allocated through the WCDA Fund.

What is the Worth County Township Fund?


The Worth County Township Fund allows the Township Trustees to influence how grants are awarded to organizations located within the borders of Worth County.

What is the WCDA Fund?


The grants awarded through the WCDA Fund are determined solely by the WCDA board and can be added to the Worth County Township Fund projects, or can be used for additional projects located inside Worth County or any of the surrounding counties.

Must an applicant provide matching funds?


All organizations outside of Worth County, which are awarded General Grants, shall be required to obtain, from sources other than WCDA, funds for the organization’s specific project equal to 25% of the total project cost.

In-kind contributions of labor or land toward the specific grant shall not qualify toward the 25%. However, In-kind material contributions will qualify.

Is there any type of grant that will not be awarded?


The following applications will not be considered for a General Grant:

Participating in, or intervening in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office (within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the IRC.)

Carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(1) of the IRC).

Influencing the outcome of any specific public election or carrying on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive (within the meaning of section 4945(d)(2) of the IRC).

Undertaking any activity for any non-charitable purpose or to the extent that use of grant funds would constitute a taxable expenditure (within the meaning of section 4945(d) of the IRC) or in any other manner which would jeopardize or cause the WCDA to lose its status as an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC.

Discriminating against any individual or group based on race, religious beliefs, ethnic or national origin, or otherwise legally impermissible criteria.

Benefiting for-profit businesses.

Supporting private foundations as described in IRC 509(a).

Funding projects outside of Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota.

Benefiting church-affiliated organizations for religious purposes (however, support may be provided to non-religious programs like child care, hunger centers, etc. Churches applying must include a letter stating that the application is approved by the church council members.)

Providing support for benefit and fundraising events, such as galas or athletic tournaments.

Hospitals, medical facilities, assisted living projects, nursing homes, independent care, daycares and extended care facilities are not allowed to apply.

Educational organizations such as schools, daycares, preschools, PTO/Booster Clubs, Post Prom, School Clubs, etc

Funding medical research.

Financing publications, films, books, seminars, symposia, conferences, field trips, etc.

Applications which request funds to retire an organization’s debt.

Applications which request funds to make up for deficit spending.

Grants will not be made to individuals, including scholarships.

Grants will not be made to support endowment funds.

Debt incurred or purchases made prior to WCDA grant award notification.

Salary or operating expenses.

Use of any form of weapons (guns, etc).

What should I include in the application?


No more than a total of 15 single-sided pages will be allowed.

No binders.

Please include first page only of tax exempt status.

Please include most recent financial statement.

Please include detailed vendor estimates.

Two bids are required on any grant application over $10,000.00. Include only the estimates from the chosen bid.

When should I apply?


Spring Grant submission dates:
January 1st – February 1st – by 4:00 PM

Fall Grant submission dates:
August 1st – September 1st – by 4:00 PM

When are the grants awarded?


Spring Grant award date:
April 15th

Fall Grant award date:
November 15th

If awarded, what must I do to get the money?


Grant recipients have 1 year from awarded date to complete projects. If not completed all funds will be required to be returned to the WCDA.

Before receiving grant money, a receipt or invoice, and project photos, must be provided.

Grant recipients will use Worth County vendors when feasible.

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Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions above. If you have any questions, please Contact Us for more information.

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