Community Fund

The Doing Good – Community Fund supports projects that help address significant community needs. Initially created as the Community Care Fund in 2009, more than 100 local nonprofits have been awarded grants for projects meeting significant community needs. The themes addressed are Affordable Housing, Young Adult Empowerment & Education, Child Development & Education, Food Access & Education, Healthy Communities, and Environment & Sustainability. The competitive grants are funded by Duke employee donations to the Doing Good employee giving campaign.


Apply for 2021-22 Funding

Duke University’s Office of Durham & Community Affairs is now accepting applications for its 2021-22 Doing Good – Community Fund.

The Doing Good – Community Fund supports projects that help address significant community needs. Eligibility criteria, themes, and timeline, as well as an application sample, are available below and in the application.

Annual Grant Cycle

The application window for 2021-22 funding is Sept. 21 – Oct. 18, 2021. The review process runs mid-October through mid-November and applicants will be notified of decisions in late November. Recipients must submit final grant reports by July 30, 2022.

Award Amounts

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


Doing Good – Community Fund Themes

In the Spring of 2017, Duke Office of Durham & Community Affairs staff consulted subject matter experts and researched community priorities in Durham, Wake, and Orange Counties to form Community Fund themes. Expand to see themes.
  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.

Eligibility Requirements – Criteria

All projects and organizations must meet Doing Good – Community Fund eligibility criteria. Expand to see the criteria.

• The project, key partners and benefits must be located in Durham, Orange or Wake counties.

The project must align with one of the Doing Good – Community Fund themes described above.

• 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.

• Organizations may only receive a Doing Good – Community Fund grant three years in a row. Organizations that have received grants three years in a row must take one year off before reapplying.

• 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, lease, or sub-lease expenses.

•  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

To start an application go to our online application portalCheck first to see if your organization has an account. If you do not have one or are new to the site, please create an account. Note the video tutorials that are located on the login page. Once you have created an account or you have logged in, click on the “Apply” menu at the top of the page. Applications cannot be edited after submitting. Please carefully review the application before submitting it. If you need to update your organization’s contact information in the online portal or if you have any other questions, please contact Sandra Martinez-Zuniga.

Submit completed applications and supporting materials by Oct. 18, 2021.


Review Process

Each grant proposal is reviewed by the Doing Good – Community Fund Review Committee. The 2022 Review Committee will be comprised of Duke employees who represent a variety of departments from across the university and health system.

View a Sample Proposal and Sample Budget.

View the application scoring rubric used by Doing Good – Community Fund Review Committee members.

Review the list of previous Community Care Fund grant recipients.

Have a question? Get in touch today.