Annual Funding

On this page, you’ll learn more about our Annual Grant program. Our Annual Grants offer funding in four focus areas, each with their own geographic concentration. We will consider proposals for general operating or project-specific support.

Our Interests

At its core, our approach to grantmaking is about investing in people – enriching the lives of North Carolinians while strengthening the foundations of a free and prosperous society. Since 1987, we have approached this meaningful work by granting funds in four core areas: public policy, education, human services, and the arts.

Each focus area has its own geographic concern. For public policy and education grants, we fund work that benefits North Carolina. Sometimes we’ll consider organizations located outside the state whose work has a clear benefit to our state and residents.

For human services and arts grants, we fund work that benefits Wake and Vance Counties. Sometimes we’ll consider organizations whose work benefits those counties even if they are located elsewhere. If you are a human service or arts organization who doesn’t fit this description, we encourage you to review our Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant program which is open to groups anywhere in North Carolina.

We also encourage prospective new applicants to read more about our grant priorities before submitting a proposal.


We grant funds twice a year. However, we consider each focus area only once per year. For our spring cycle, public policy and higher education proposals should be submitted in February. Decisions are usually made by late May. For our fall cycle, human services and arts proposals should be submitted in August. Decisions are typically made by late November.

Upcoming deadlines are as follows:

  • Public Policy & Higher Education: February 5, 2024
  • Human Services & Arts: August 5, 2024
  • Public Policy & Higher Education: February 3, 2025
  • Human Services & Arts: August 4, 2025
  • The board may consider proposals that fall between meeting times at their discretion. Future deadline dates may be amended, so please check back annually.

The Process

1) Review – We ask that you review this page and our focus areas before submitting your application. We do not require a letter of inquiry to apply for a grant. Additionally, read over Our Policies to ensure your request is aligned with our guidelines.

2) Apply – The Foundation accepts proposals in all four grant priority areas on a rolling basis. See the next box for online application details.

3) Board Consideration – Our board considers grants twice a year. We also have program officers who help review submitted applications. They may reach out to you if they have questions about your application. If you have updates or changes that affect your proposal, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know. 

4) Decisions – We communicate grant application decisions by email. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are not always able to provide detailed feedback. 

5) Grant Reporting – Some organizations may need to submit a grant report for their award. If you are awarded a grant, please keep a copy of your grant agreement on file for reference.

Starting an Online Application

Please use our online portal to submit a grant request. If your application is transmitted successfully, you will 1) see a confirmation page 2) receive an emailed copy of your application. Within two weeks, you will receive an emailed a letter detailing when our board will consider your request.

Please contact us by email at or by phone at 919-871-3329 if you don’t see or receive any application confirmation. Your application may not have transmitted. Also reach out if you never receive an email letter detailing when your board will consider the request.

A save and resume feature is at the bottom the application. Attached documents will not be saved.


The board may meet your request in part or in full. Using information submitted in your application, the Foundation will email an award or declination letter to the organization’s leader. The grant application contact will be cc’d on the email. If awarded, the letter will contain instructions and steps to complete to receive funds. The letter will also explain the basic reporting guidelines for your grant, so please keep it for reference. We will not mail paper copies of decision letters unless they are requested.

If the board does not fund your proposal, you are welcome to apply again.

Grant Reporting

Award letters will detail any reporting requirements.

All grant recipients are required to submit updated financial records during the award year, including the most recent IRS Form 990 and annual audit. An annual report or letter summarizing your fiscal year activities is also required. Some restricted/project-specific grants may ask for additional reporting, but generally we do not ask for extensive data.

Please refer to your signed grant agreement letter to ensure you submit the required information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Through our Annual Grants, we occasionally grant funds to organizations that are physically located elsewhere but are doing work for North Carolina and Wake and Vance County residents.

If the above description does not fit your work, we encourage you to look at our Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant Program. We will consider organizations located anywhere in North Carolina for that grant program.

The Pope Foundation does not respond to letters of inquiry. Interested organizations may apply for the Annual Grants and Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants without any advance work.

We do our best to keep our application succinct, however we do request a few documents including your most recent annual audit and IRS Form 990.

Annual Audit – if your organization does not complete an audit, please prepare a balance sheet and income and expense statement that cover your most recent fiscal year. Please have them signed by your board chair.

IRS Form 990 – If your organization submits a postcard, please submit a copy of the successful submission.

If you have not received a JWPF grant before, please be prepared to share your IRS determination letter that shows your tax-exempt status.

All applicants should prepare a written narrative that details your request. There is no page or word limit. End your written narrative with a list of your current board members.

Financial documents and the written narrative will be uploaded to the application.

Through Annual Grants, the Foundation considers both general operating and project-specific requests. Through the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants, the Foundation considers only project-specific requests. The Foundation does not make direct aid grants to individuals or loans of any kind. All grant recipients must be fully compliant with nonprofit IRS rules and regulations.

Many of the Pope Foundation’s grants are unrestricted and can be used for general operating expenses. However, the Foundation will not provide support for overhead costs at colleges, universities, and similar organizations. Review ‘Our Policies’ page for the full statement.

Each year, we have two deadlines for our Annual Grant program. Organizations in public policy or higher education should apply in February. Organizations in human services, K-12 education, or the arts should apply in August. Specific deadlines are listed in Deadlines box. Deadlines will vary from year to year.

If you are interested in our Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant program you should apply between July 1 – September 15, annually.

We consider all request amounts for the Annual Grant program. The Foundation meets grant proposals in part and in full. You can see our previous year’s grants on our ‘Grant Priorities’ page.

We do not limit the number of times your organization can apply. You are welcome to submit again, and we will most likely consider your proposal during the next applicable grant cycle.

You are welcome to request funding for more than one need. However, we ask that you condense your requests into one proposal package and detail the multiple asks in the narrative section.

The Foundation will only grant funds to IRS registered and compliant nonprofits.

The Foundation will only grant funds to IRS registered and compliant nonprofits.  We are able to consider grants where there is a formal fiscal sponsorship in place.

The Foundation makes all attempts to keep reporting simple. We ask project-specific grant recipients to share the progress of their projects in narrative form. We ask all recipients to share financial information, including both audits/financial statements and 990s, and a copy of the annual report for the year in which the grant is received.


Please read our FAQ section for additional information. If you have further questions, please call us at (919) 871-3329 or email us at