Grant Application Guidelines


The first step in applying to the Washington County Riverboat Foundation is to acquaint yourself with our funding guidelines, areas of interest, and ineligible uses of funds.  The second step is to consider submitting a Notification of Intent to Apply.  The third step is completing the full application.


Community Development and Beautification

A high priority is given to community development projects that encourage neighborhood revitalization and create more livable neighborhoods.  Proposals that improve the quality of life and enhance the image and/or appearance of our communities will be seriously considered.

Economic Development

An important goal is to retain or create family wage jobs that will result in increased economic self-sufficiency for area families and residents.  The Foundation’s primary economic development role is to serve as a catalyst by building the capacity of the public and the nonprofit sectors to effectively plan and manage economic development projects.

Education and Arts

The Foundation has an interest in new and innovative programs that promote life-long learning, academic performance, and workforce preparation.  Education programs, including early childhood education, that address underserved age groups and serve children from economically and educationally disadvantaged families will be considered.

Human and Social Needs

The Foundation places a high priority on innovative programs that strengthen families, address the needs of underserved youth, provide services to senior citizens, and help all citizens reach their potential.  The retention of young adults in our communities is an important goal of the Foundation.  In addition, the Foundation has an interest in quality daycare programs for our youth.


At least one of the following code sections may describe the applying organization:

  • IRC Section 170c(2),Section 170c(1) – Governmental units such as cities, counties, schools, community colleges, hospitals, etc.
  • IRC Section 501c(3) – Charitable, religious, or educational organizations
  • IRC Section 501c(4) – Social welfare organizations and local associations of employees
  • IRC Section 501c(6) – Business leagues, such as Chambers of Commerce
  • IRC Section 501c(19) - Veterans Organization

To enhance the impact of its grant making, the Foundation is especially interested in leveraging its grant awards; therefore, applicants are encouraged to secure other sources of funding in order to complete a project in addition to funding requested from the Foundation.

The Foundation has a special interest in funding innovative programs that address community needs and in funding facilities and physical improvements that will have a lasting positive impact on the community’s image and quality of life.

The Foundation will consider grant applications covering a wide range of community needs with a focus on community development and beautification, economic development, education, and human and social needs.  Every effort will be made to maintain a reasonable balance in awarding grants to various areas of need.

The Foundation will remain flexible enough to respond to unique challenges, ideas, and projects that lie beyond its established focus areas, as long as these projects fulfill our mission to improve lives and strengthen communities.

Grant applications, including additional materials, become public documents upon submission.

Grant recipients will be required to complete and return a Grant Award Agreement in a timely manner after notification of their grant award.  Recipients may also be required to submit periodic project updates and/or progress reports during and following the grant cycle as stipulated by the approved grant.

The Foundation reserves the right to change its grant funding guidelines at any time, for any reason.


In reviewing applications, the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee and Board of Directors carefully consider the following criteria:

1.         The relevance of the proposed project or program to the Foundation’s mission and four focus areas.
2.         The extent to which the proposal addresses a community need, demonstrates broad-based community support, and provides benefits to the community-at-large.
3.         The ability of the proposed project to leverage funding and support from other sources.
4.         The extent to which the proposal maximizes community resources through cooperation and collaboration with other organizations in the community and eliminates redundant services, programs, or projects.
5.         The capacity of the applicant’s organization and staff to achieve the desired result.
6.         The sustainability of the proposed project without additional long-term financial commitments from the Foundation.
7.         The level of planning for the project within the organization.
8.         That the application is submitted on-time, and with the correct documentation requirements.


1.         Benefiting specific individuals, such as an individual applying for funding to pay for their education, a fellowship, etc.
2.         Participating in, or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
3.         Supporting any specific or individual private for-profit enterprise.
4.         Replacing an organization’s existing, long-term source of funding.
5.         Funding operating deficits or providing long-term operating support; however, the Foundation will consider support for the start-up operating expenses directly associated with a new program or project that is consistent with our focus areas.
6.         Supporting any organization that is not in compliance with the terms and purposes of any prior grant awarded by the Foundation.  If the organization has violated the terms of any prior grant, the organization will be considered ineligible until such violation has been resolved.
7.         No grant application will be approved that is inconsistent with the tax exempt status of the Foundation.


1.         Applicants may complete and submit a one-page Notification of Intent to Apply anytime in the month prior to the application deadline.  This is not a required step and is not part of the grant review process, but it can be helpful to both the applicant and the Foundation.
2.         Applicants must complete and return the signed original and 15 (fifteen) complete copies of the Grant Application and all supporting materials, and e-mail a word copy of the application to, by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 to:
Washington County Riverboat Foundation
205 West Main St.
Washington, IA  52353
3.         Non-profit organizations (excluding governmental bodies and schools) must submit the following supporting materials with the original signed application (not the 15 copies):
·         If the organization files a federal IRS 990 tax return, a copy of the first page of the most recent year’s return should be submitted.
·         Federal IRS Non-Profit Determination Letter. This letter should show  the tax exempt status under 501c(3), 501c(6), etc. IRS code.  (If you do not have one, call the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 to request a free copy be sent to you in the mail.)
·         Iowa Secretary of State “Certificate of Standing” from within the last 2 years should be submitted.  Iowa requires that incorporated business and organizations update their status every two years.  (to get one, call the SOS at 515/281-5204 to request a copy.  There is a nominal charge for this service.)
4.         Applications submitted showing other funding sources must be accompanied by letters or documentation of confirmed matching funds on the letterhead of the funding source.  If Foundation funding will be used to leverage other funds that have not yet been committed, please include a detailed description of the process or plan to receive those funds.
5.         If your organization is applying for funds for any program/project which involves property that is not owned or operated by the applicant, the applicant must provide authorization from the owner or operator of the facility.  If the program/project will take place on city, county, or school property, or with their equipment, then the project must be included in an authorizing resolution from those governmental bodies.  The authorizing resolution must be approved prior to the application deadline.
6.         The Foundation Board of Directors and its Grants Review Committee will evaluate each application based on the Grant Review Criteria (Section C above).  Applicants will be notified of the Foundation’s funding decision.
7.         The Foundation Board of Directors reserves the right to request additional information prior to making its decision on funding.  Such information may include, but is not limited to:  the organization’s budget and financial statements, bylaws, governing body, etc.
8.         Applicant must also be prepared to make an in-person presentation to the Board, if requested.