Who can apply for a grant from the John William Pope Foundation?

To be eligible for a grant, an organization must be tax-exempt under IRS Code Section 501(c)3.  The Pope Foundation cannot and does not make contributions to action organizations or to individuals.  Organizations must have obtained their official tax-exempt status in order to receive funds from the Pope Foundation.

What are the Pope Foundation’s core areas of giving?

The Pope Foundation’s core areas of giving include arts, human services, education, and public policy nonprofits.  Please review our list of grantees and our stated mission to see if your organization and project fit with our giving focus.


What is the geographic scope of the Foundation’s giving?

The Pope Foundation is open to considering any proposal though there are some general geographic guidelines the Foundation traditionally follows when considering requests:

Human services, arts, and K-12 giving: Wake and Vance Counties with a limited amount of giving extending into the Triangle and/or beyond.

Education (Higher education and student development): Primarily the Triangle with a limited amount extending into other parts of the Carolinas.

Public Policy: Primarily North Carolina or national organizations with a North Carolina research or program focus.

What are typical request amounts? What should my nonprofit request?

There is no magic number or ideal request — the Foundation prefers to consider the actual needs of an organization.  However if you would like additional information, you can review our previous year’s giving on our ‘grants’ page.

When should an organization apply for a grant from the Pope Foundation?

Traditionally, the Foundation considers grant requests twice a year.  Urgent needs and projects that fall between meeting times may be considered at the discretion of the board.  Soft deadlines are offered to encourage plenty of review time for staff and board.  Please contact us if your application may stretch beyond our requested date.

Spring Meeting (soft deadline February 28, 2017): Public policy and higher education grant requests considered.

Fall Meeting (soft deadline August 21, 2017): Human service, K-12 education, and arts grant requests considered.

The Pope Foundation accepts applications for the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants in the Arts and Human Services once each year (late summer/early fall).  The application window for the 2018 Joy W. Pope Grants will open on July 1, 2017.

How should an organization apply for a grant and what information should be submitted?


If possible, we ask that organizations use our online portal.  Please be prepared to fully complete the application, as there is no ‘save and return’ feature.  The online application will request the following information:

To be entered by the applicant

  • Organization contact information (address, website, phone, fax)
    • Mission (500 character maximum)
    • History (1800 character max)
  • Application contact information (name, title, email, phone, fax, mobile)
  • CEO contact information (name, title, email, phone, fax, mobile)
  • Amount of request
  • Summary of proposal (200 word maximum)

To be uploaded/attached to the online application as separate documents

  • Long proposal (Please include information about your project or organization’s goals/objectives and measurements — i.e. how will you define success?)*
  • IRS Form 990 (organization’s most recent)*
  • Audited financials (organization’s most recent)*
  • Official tax exempt affirmation letter*
  • Additional supporting documentation (if applicable)

* These items are required in order to receive a grant from the Pope Foundation.  Please reduce the size of your attached files if possible.  Attachments cannot be larger than 50 MB.)

At the end of the grant application process, you will receive an email confirming that we have received your proposal.  If you have problems uploading attachments, please submit the application without them and mail a hard copy of the requested documents to: John William Pope Foundation, 4601 Six Forks Rd, Ste, 300, Raleigh NC 27609.

Begin your online application here.


Should you need to submit a paper application, we ask that you download this guide.  Mail a hard copy of the requested documents to: John William Pope Foundation, 4601 Six Forks Rd, Ste, 300, Raleigh NC 27609.

Begin your paper application here.


While we strive to reply to all proposals we receive, we occasionally may need additional time to review your proposal.  We thank you in advance for your patience as you wait for a reply.  You will be notified if your proposal will be presented for consideration at one of our two annual meetings.