grant guidelines

Sherwood Trust Grant Investment Strategies

We believe that our region’s greatest assets are its people, and we seek to invest in local people working together to solve local problems.  We contribute our resources to support area residents committed to building a stronger community and creating a higher quality of life for all.


Sherwood Trust frames its grantmaking by the investment strategies described below.  Sherwood Trust seeks to be catalytic in its funding, making investments that will be transformative to the organization or our community, not merely transactional.  Competitive grant proposals will fall into at least one of these categories:

  1. Resilient Organizations – supporting nonprofits that have a track record of strong executive and board leadership and sound management of all nonprofit resources (financial, physical, and human resources), or that are determined to further develop these internal capacities, with proposals to enhance their organization’s sustainability.
  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – initiatives to promote and strengthen cross-cultural and inclusive engagement in our region to build a more cohesive community, including support to organizations led by underrepresented groups or support for organizations determined to build their internal capacity to implement DEI best practices.

    Sherwood Trust values each individual and their diversity of perspectives and life experience.  In a thriving region, all lives have equal value with a voice at the table to support and care for one another and the well-being of the whole community.

    Sherwood Trusts seeks to improve equity by promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions and systems and their distribution of resources.

    Sherwood Trust promotes inclusion to ensure individuals with different perspectives and backgrounds are welcomed and able to participate fully in achieving a thriving region.
  3. Community Collaboration – support for groups seeking to work together on a common project or grant requests that are the result of an inclusive collaboration, particularly those that would have widespread benefit to the region, meet an unmet community need, or benefit an underserved population.  Requests will need to demonstrate a goal of addressing a discrete, tangible problem and set achievable, measurable goals that lead to solutions.  Co-applications are welcome.
  4. Civic Engagement – initiatives that help people be active participants in building and strengthening their communities, whether defined as a place or a shared identity or interest.  Requests should promote the values of transparency, nonpartisanship, and participation and create agency and power in people, particularly those most affected in a community or by an issue.  Requests may include advocacy activities in accordance with applicable IRS regulations; contact us for more information.


Sherwood Trust oversees three grant programs. Each have their own timelines, processes, and guidelines, as noted below.  In 2018, the deadline for all grant types is Thursday, March 1 at 12:00 p.m.

  1. Core Grants – Requests over $20,000. Applications due March 1 at 12:00 p.m. Awarded in June.
  2. Impact Grants – Requests between $5,000-$20,000. Letters of Interest due March 1 at 12:00 p.m. Awarded in May.
  3. Operating Awards – By invitation only. Due March 1. Awarded in March.

Please download the "Grant Guidelines" file at the top of this page for more information on criteria and application requirements, and email us to request the 2018 Core Grant application.