Welcome to Black Hills Area Community Foundation

Connecting People Who Care to Causes that Matter.

The BHACF provides philanthropic leadership to build community endowments to invest in people and solutions that positively impact the Black Hills area.




Applications for the Capacity Building Grant will be accepted on a rolling basis.  You will first submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) to explain your organization’s capacity building need.  The BHACF Grants Manager will review your LOI and contact you with questions and/or an invitation to submit a formal application.  Decisions about grants will be made twice a year: March and October.  You can only submit a request for support once a calendar year unless you are specifically invited to apply for a second round of support. 

Applicants must be an IRS 501(c)3 public charity, school, government entity or religious organization. Requested support must be for organizations or activities that take place in one or more counties in the geographic focus of BHACF: Oglala-Lakota, Fall River, Custer, Pennington, Meade, Lawrence and Butte.

What Types of Projects Are Funded?
Requests for support must be addressing one or more of the following categories of capacity building: Measurements and Evaluation, Partnership Development, Strategic Planning, Board Engagement/Development, Marketing and Donor Engagement, Technical Support and Staff Development/Retention. Please do not submit any requests of support for capital campaigns.  Requests must address the long-term sustainability of the organization.  For example, BHACF would not consider a request to support payment for 3 months of utilities but would support a request to hire a consultant to improve financial management or donor relations. 

What Types of Projects Are NOT Funded?
Grants will not be awarded to support religious activity, political activity, fundraisers or benefits, debt retirement, or organizations working to primarily influence legislation. Supported organizations and activities may NOT discriminate against any individual or group based on race, gender, gender expression, age, disability, religion, ethnic or national origin, or otherwise legally protected groups. BHACF will not serve as an applicant for sponsored programs. Funding for multi-year projects or support will not be considered. Please do not submit any requests of support for capital campaigns.

Grant Review Criteria
In reviewing applications, the Foundation’s Grantmaking Committee will consider the following criteria:

  • Does the organization and its related efforts improve the quality of life and meet identified needs in the Black Hills region?
  • Does the organization maximize community resources through cooperation, collaboration and shared learning?
  • Will the developed capacity improve the operational and programmatic functions of the organization?
  • Will the proposed capacity to be developed improve the long-term sustainability of the organization?

Other Considerations
The maximum allowable grant designated within this opportunity is $5,000.  BHACF will not take solicited requests for additional support beyond the 1-year grant period.  However, organizations needing additional support beyond the designated grant period may receive an invitation to apply for a second round of funding. 

Grantmaking Process and Timeline
The BHACF Grants Manager will review all Letters of Inquiry and will work with the requesting organization to craft a formal request for support that fits with the impact needs of the organization and BHACF.  All formal applications will be reviewed by the BHACF Grantmaking Committee twice a year: March and October.  Grants will then be recommended to the Board of Directors for approval.  Notice of grant decisions will be communicated to all applicants within a reasonable amount of time after the BHACF Board has made their decisions.  Those organizations chosen to receive a grant will be asked to sign a grant agreement within a week of being notified of their grant award and will be responsible for coordinating at least one site visit with the Grants Manager.