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WIN Grants Process

The Basics

  • Potential grantees:
  1. must be certified 501(c)(3) organizations
  2. must not restrict any programs or activities to members of a particular faith and must not promote a specific religious doctrine.
  3. must operate in and serve New Hanover County
  • WIN grants typically range from $2,500 to $25,000.
  • Projects or programs should demonstrate measurable impact and a commitment to building the organization for the future commensurate with the scale of funds requested.
  • WIN values innovative and collaborative proposals with other area nonprofits, as these often benefit a wider, more diverse population.
  • WIN uses our Grounded Giving statement as a guideline for choosing grantees.  Potential grantees are encouraged to read this important, foundational document.
If you have a question about the current WIN grant cycle, please email

The goal of WIN is to have a positive impact on our community, and that impact begins with the grants WIN makes to local organizations.  WIN members bring their collective experience of both giving and receiving to the process of identifying where an extra resource can have a meaningful impact. 

Sign Up for WIN Grant Cycle Notifications!

Our mailing lists are not shared outside of WIN for any reason, commercial or otherwise. 





The WIN grant cycle begins in September of each year, when WIN announces the specific Area of Giving topic for that year’s grants. 

The Area of Giving topics for the next four years are:

Environment (2024)(current)

Arts & Culture(2025)

Education (2026)

Health & Wellness (2027)

September- February 

From September 2023 through February 2024, WIN organizes events aimed at educating WIN members on the current Area of Giving topic by, 1) identifying the needs and resources of our community specific to that topic, 2) understanding how philanthropy can be most effective and, 3) maximizing the impact of a grant.  Events can include a panel discussion comprised of local expertise, small group discussions, film screenings, field trips, etc.

Nonprofits associated with, or with projects that align to, the current Area of Giving may start to prepare their grant submissions.


In early January, the Letter of Intent (LOI) form goes live on the WIN website!

Remember, the grant proposal topic must match the Area of Giving.    


The Grants Committee starts reviewing the LOIs.  The Committee members score the LOIs based on the proposed project’s relevance to WIN’s Grounded Giving and WIN members’ feedback on areas of highest interest.

N.B. Any potential conflicts of interest amongst the grant committee members are flagged and reviewed: members with conflicts are recused as necessary.

The deadline to submit LOIs is early March.  Don't wait to submit at the last minute! 

Review WIN's Grounded Giving statement to understand the types of projects which are viewed most favorably. 


The Grants Committee advises those nonprofits with the strongest LOIs to submit a full grant application no later than mid-March.

Nonprofits will be notified around mid-March if they have been chosen to submit a full application.


The Grants Committee starts reviewing, vetting and evaluating the full applications and chooses the finalists. 

The deadline for submitting the full application closes late-April.


The Grants Committee invites the grant finalists to a Q&A session with the Grants Committee.  All WIN Members are also encouraged to attend. 

If your organization is chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to attend a Q&A session in early May with Grants Committee members.


In early/mid May, Grants Committee members identify the recommended grant recipient(s) which are then submitted to the WIN membership for a final vote.  Voting ends in mid May.  The votes are tallied and the Grant Recipients are announced.

Grant Recipients are notified in mid-May.o fill space


The Grant Recipients are honored at the WIN Grant Celebration in mid/late May.  Grant Recipients are awarded one half of the grant in May. 


WIN Area of Giving Circle members review the status of the year's grants and determine if the second half of the grant should be awarded. 

WIN Grant Recipients are asked to provide an update on the status of their project. 

Read about WIN's Previous Grant Recipients

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