Our Grant Process: What You Need to Know

Thank you for your interest in pursuing grant funding from the Portage Foundation. Please note that we award discretionary grants only for services provided in Portage County.

Grant Writing Workshop for Small and Volunteer-Run Non-Profits

Are you are a part of a small non-profit that could benefit from grant funding but intimidated by the process? Interested in learning about the annual grant cycle funding opportunities at the Portage Foundation? Then join us on Saturday, June 8th, starting at 9:30 AM at the Reed Memorial Library Haymaker Room for this Grant Writing Workshop.

Our Grantmaking Process

The Portage Foundation provides grant funding to nonprofit organizations of all sizes, including projects from genuine grassroots groups.  Grant applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Grants and Scholarships Committee, which includes members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and other community members. While the foundation had previously held grant cycles twice a year, we now will hold a single application cycle in the Fall. 

The next regular grant cycle application period opens June 1. 

Application and Information

The next regular cycle begins June 1. Applications will remain open until August 31. The Portage Foundation may consider applications as part of our Rapid Response Fund at any time for emergency situations, natural disasters, etc, that create urgency in need. Use the link below to apply.


Our Funding Priorities

The Portage Foundation has nine priority funding area for our grants process:

  • Animal Welfare
  • Arts and Culture
  • Children’s Programs
  • Education
  • Environment 
  • Economic Development
  • Health
  • Human Services

Click to learn more about our Priority Funding Areas and learn about some of our current funds.

How to Apply

Grants are accepted by pressing the button at the top of the page and applying for the grant. Please complete all required fields. Grants must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the due date. If applying online is a barrier, please contact us at info@portagefoundation.org or call 330.470.8950 and we will help you submit a grant request.

Funding Eligibility

  • Organizations must be located in or provide services to residents of Portage County. Grant seekers outside Portage County must provide information on services provided and individuals served in Portage County.
  • Grants will be made only to nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) charities by the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Grants are not made to any group that discriminates on the basis of age, color, race, national origin, gender identity, marital status, sensory, mental or physical ability, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
  • Reporting requirements from prior grants must be fulfilled before submitting a new application.

Project Funding Types

  • Projects that support capacity building in the areas of governance, management, service delivery and financial sustainability.
  • One-time, non-recurring expenditures for start-up efforts or special projects; specific capital needs; and program-related expenses are given equal consideration.
  • Collaborations among two or more organization are encouraged; If an application is being made for a collaborative effort, it must include letters of support from the boards of all organizations involved.
  • Projects that address the underlying cause of a problem.
  • Part of a nonprofit’s general operating budget ONLY if the applicant can demonstrate compelling need.
  • Typical grants range between $500 and $2,500.
  • Grant approval is based on an evaluation of the significance of a project, its purpose, its likelihood of success, and its potential benefit to the Portage County community. We also consider the strength and stability of the applicant organization and the availability of funding from other sources to fulfill the goals of the grant.

Ineligible Projects

  • Grants will not be made to individuals or for debt reduction, loans, for-profit businesses, research, special event tickets or sponsorships, annual appeals, political campaigns or religious activities.
  • We do not fund school curriculum.


The Portage Foundation helped fund Safer Futures’ and Kent Social Services/Center of Hope’s holiday distribution, the flags flying at Freedom House, the basic needs giveaway for SSVF, a tutoring session at Skeels Community Center and a our summer event for Skeels-Mathews & King Kennedy Community Centers. Thanks so much!

Heather Laliberte, Director of Grants and Development, Family and Community Services, Inc. 

Thanks to the support of The Portage Foundation, the kids were able to write and perform an original radio play podcast, “Duck, Duck, Goose”. Thanks again to The Portage Foundation for your support!

Jeff Ingram, Executive Director, Standing Rock Cultural Arts

We really appreciate the support of The Portage Foundation and are proud to bring these programs to our community with your help. Thank you!

J. Andrew Rome, Market Manager,  Haymaker Farmers’ Market

Many deep thanks to The Portage Foundation for their generous award for our Peaceful Patch garden project!

Julie Morris, Coordinator, Kent Cooperative Housing

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