Community Care Fund

A man holds and points to a CEF sign

The application window for 2020-21 funding is February 3 – March 5, 2021

Through the Community Care Fund, employees can support competitive grants for diverse nonprofits working to make a difference across the Triangle. Nonprofits apply for funding annually, and a review team of Duke employees award grants of up to $5,000 to organizations with strong and innovative proposals.

Apply for Funding

Triangle nonprofits can apply for Duke Doing Good funding through the campaign’s Community Care Fund competitive grant making program. Since the fund was created in 2009, dozens of nonprofits have received grants for projects meeting significant community needs.

As Duke employee contributions to the Community Care Fund grow, so does the reach and impact of this grant program.

Annual Grant Cycle

The application window for 2020-21 funding will be February 3 – March 5, 2021. This year, applications will be reviewed in March and grants decisions will be announced in April.

For grant recipients, a status update should be submitted by June 30, 2021 and final grant reports will be completed by September 1, 2021.

Award Amounts

Grants range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Eligibility Criteria

In the spring of 2017, Duke Office of Durham & Regional Affairs staff consulted subject matter experts as well as researched community priorities set by Durham County, Wake County and Orange County governments to form Community Care Fund themes. The themes are:

  1. Affordable Housing – Working toward a vibrant, safe and stable community for Triangle residents of all income levels and diverse backgrounds.
  2. Child Development & Education — Providing enrichment and learning for Triangle children starting at infancy through eighth grade, with a special focus on children living in poverty.
  3. Environment & Sustainability – Organizing programs that strengthen community awareness, advocacy or stewardship for environmental issues and sustainable, “green” behaviors.
  4. Food Access & Education — Helping Triangle residents access affordable and nutritious food and creating a culture of healthy eating.
  5. Healthy Communities — Supporting health and wellness initiatives that positively promote the physical and mental well-being of individuals and their communities. Projects must address one of the following issues:
    – Chronic Illnesses
    – Mental Health
    – Obesity
    – Sexual & Reproductive Health (maternal health, sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy)
    – Substance Abuse
  6. Young Adult Empowerment & Education — Developing enrichment, empowerment and training programs to help high school students as well as 18- to 24-year-olds achieve economic resilience and a fulfilling social and civic life.

All projects and organizations must also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The project, key partners and benefits must be located in Durham, Orange or Wake counties.
  • The project must be aligned with one of the Community Care Fund themes above and its description.
  • The grant applicant must be a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or must have the consent of a 501(c)(3) organization to serve as fiscal agent. Written confirmation by the 501(c)(3) organization of its willingness to serve as fiscal agent is required. At this time, individual schools (public, private, charter or otherwise), school systems and parent-teacher or booster organizations may not apply.
  • Beginning with the 2017 grant cycle, organizations can only receive a Community Care Fund grant three years in a row, take one year off, and then reapply. This will not retroactively affect organizations that have received funding in recent years. All grant recipients started with a clean slate in 2017.
  • The proposal must not fund deficit or emergency funding, debt reduction, loan repayment or retirement, or project costs incurred before the effective date of the grant.
  • Funding will not be awarded to reimburse program staff or volunteers for travel mileage.
  • The proposal must not fund political programs or activities to support, change, lobby, or otherwise influence legislation and/or ballot measures, candidacies for public office, or other political issues.
  • The proposal must not fund any organization that discriminates on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, or political affiliation. The fund may support organizations and projects that target groups that have been subject to historical discrimination.
  • The proposal must not fund religious activities; however, religious institutions may apply for funding for nonsectarian projects.
  • The proposal must not fund the purchase of real estate or long-term real estate rental(s), lease(s), or sub-lease(s).
  • The proposal must not fund the purchase of alcoholic beverages, or any activity that primarily consists of a banquet or meal.
  • The proposal must not exclusively benefit Duke University or Duke University Health System employees or students.

How to Apply

View a Sample Proposal.

View the application review questions used by Community Care Fund Review Committee members.

Review Committee

Each grant proposal is reviewed by the Community Care Fund Review Committee. The 2019-20 Review Committee will again be comprised of 18 Duke employees who represent a variety of departments from across the university and health system.

Have a question? Get in touch today.