Grant Guidelines

The Tarrant Foundation awards between 50 – 70 competitive grants annually. Because we believe we can have the most impact by concentrating these funds in Vermont, applications are accepted only from Vermont organizations.

While we acknowledge the many pressing needs facing Vermont, and the many effective interventions targeting those needs, our grantmaking is primarily focused on the following populations and strategies:

Youth: Resilience and Aspiration

Our primary interest here is programs that support school-age youth to develop the dispositions, skills and resources they will need to move productively into adulthood.  Our focus includes: achievement gap, job readiness, mentoring, out-of-school time, financial literacy, emergency & transitional housing, and community–based addiction recovery.

Working-Age Adults: Employment and Financial Independence

We support strategies that promote and facilitate the journey to economic independence, and that ultimately reduce reliance on public assistance.  Our focus includes: job training/retention, financial literacy, homelessness prevention, and community-based addiction recovery.

Seniors: Comfort and Dignity in Aging

We believe in ensuring that seniors’ most basic needs are met, and in community-based supports that promote wellbeing and fight the premature limitation of independence.  Our focus includes: independent living, nutrition, and activity & enrichment.

Communities: Local Resources and Investments

Some small grants are available to complement Vermont communities’ own investments in important local resources and services.  Here we look for programs with evidence of strong local financial and/or volunteer support.

What We Look For

We partner with organizations that have a deep understanding of the community needs they seek to address, and a demonstrated track record of effective strategies and interventions.

As we evaluate proposals, we also look for:

  • Strong leadership
  • An entrepreneurial mindset
  • Efficiency
  • A focus on action and outcomes
  • A balanced blend of funding sources to create greater long term stability
  • Organizations that are committed to maximizing the impact of our investment

We accept proposals for unrestricted or general operating funds from organizations that are able to demonstrate their overall effectiveness and efficiency in one of our target areas.

What We Don’t Fund

While we recognize the great value of many of the programs and activities below, we do not accept applications on behalf of the following:

  • Multi-year grant awards
  • Environmental, arts or medical health programs
  • Schools, classrooms, or school-based clubs/activities (click here for information on the Foundation’s strategic work in the field of education through the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Education at the University of Vermont)
  • Individuals or specific families (including scholarships)
  • Endowments, events, fundraising, or debt retirement
  • Organizations or programs that re-grant funds
  • Political advocacy or pro-choice or progressive political agendas

Qualifying Organizations:

To qualify for a grant from the Tarrant Foundation, the applicant organization must be an IRS approved charitable entity that will assume responsibility for the management of and reporting on the grant. IRS approved organization types include 501(c)(3) public charities, government entities, schools and religious organizations.

Please contact us with any questions regarding eligibility prior to submission.