Grant Application

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Black Benefactors (BB) is a giving circle based in Washington, DC that has proudly been awarding grants to area nonprofits for ten years. Our mission is to enhance the well-being of Black children, youth and families by encouraging philanthropy, community service and advocacy in the DC metropolitan area.  We accomplish this by grant making and providing in-kind support made possible by our members.

BB is excited to invite applications from the community to apply for a 2017 grant. Grant making focus areas for 2017 are Education, Civic Engagement and Youth Development.  Grants can be made for general operating support, program support, or capacity building support.

Past grant awards have ranged from $500-7,500. Funding requests should not exceed $10,000.


Nonprofits with a current 501c3 status (not pending status) and community-based organizations using a 501c3 as a fiscal sponsor that meet the following criteria:

  • Have provided services for a minimum of two years
  • Annual operating budget of $ 500,000 or less with an active board of directors
  • Provide services in the Washington, DC metropolitan region:  Washington, DC; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; Arlington County, VA; Fairfax County, VA; the city of Alexandria, VA; the city of Fairfax, VA; and the city of Falls Church, VA
  • Serve at least a 50% Black clientele
  • Black board, executive and/or staff leadership
  • In good standing with the IRS (must submit most recent 990 form if applicable)

Priority will be given to Black-led organizations. Previous grantees are eligible to apply, but priority will be given to new applicants.


  • Funding requests for one-time events or sponsorships
  • Building improvements and capital campaigns
  • Individuals

Applications outside of our eligibility criteria and focus areas will not be reviewed.


Requests should not exceed $10,000.  The selected grantee(s) can also receive in-kind support from BB membership, such as group volunteer projects.



We believe that education provides the basis for individual opportunity, economic vitality and social stability. Ideally, applicants will serve underprivileged children, youth and adults who have the capability but not the resources to reach their full potential.

Our education efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • Adult education
  • Early childhood learning and development
  • Higher education access/college preparation
  • K-12 education
  • Tutoring
  • Middle school youth

Your mission should aim to move the needle in one or more of the following areas:

  • Reducing the achievement gap
  • Decreasing the dropout rate
  • Grade-level reading
  • STEM exposure for girls
  • Disrupting the school to prison pipeline
  • Increased post-secondary attainment and success
  • Cultivating and supporting Black educators
  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Increasing self and economic sufficiency for adults


We believe that engaged citizens lead to stronger communities. Ideally, applicants will catalyze civic engagement among students or residents in a community.

Our civic engagement efforts include, but are not limited to:

  • Civic activities
  • Electoral activities
  • Having a political voice
  • Supporting Black social justice organizations

Specifically, your mission or project should aim to move the needle in one or more of the following areas:

  • Civic education
  • Political education
  • Community organizing
  • Promoting volunteerism
  • Voter registration
  • Re-entry support for returning citizens
  • Technology, e.g. apps and websites that bolster civic engagement


We recognize the importance of youth in our society. Ideally, applicants will focus on helping young people stay on a positive path to adulthood.

Broadly, your work should focus on the following:

  • Presenting a framework for adults, neighborhoods, and schools to play a positive role in the lives of young people
  • Interventions to young people who do not have supports or opportunities
  • Leveling the playing field for young people who face obstacles on their path to adulthood

Examples of program types and target populations include:

  • Mentoring
  • Safety/anti-violence
  • Programs that work with immigrant, homeless or disconnected (“opportunity”) youth
  • Sports and recreation
  • Employment readiness/job training
  • Preventing involvement in juvenile justice system
  • Anti-bullying
  • Youth-led projects
  • Healthy food access


We encourage applicants in our focus areas to think about the capacity building needs of your organization for your grant request. Examples include funding requests for:

  • Board and executive leadership training
  • Conference/workshop attendance
  • Staff field trips and incentives
  • Community outreach and communication strategies
  • Fundraising planning
  • Strategic planning


The application period has closed. Applications were accepted from May 19, 2017 through July 14, 2017.  


Semi-finalist applicants will be contacted in late August-early September for a site visit.  The selected nonprofit(s) will be notified in the fall.


Questions should be sent to

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