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Grant Categories

There is a chart behind my desk, which I frequently refer to, titled “Grant Categories.” This chart, developed by The Foundation Center, lists seven categories within which the Sonora Area Foundation awards grants and a description of eligible activities under each of the categories. As the Board and staff prepare for another grant month – June is one of six grant making months throughout the year for our competitive grants program – I thought that I would provide you with that category listing that I keep close to my desk.

Human Services – Includes grants for: public protection (crime and delinquency prevention, legal administration, legal services); employment/jobs; food, nutrition, agriculture; housing/shelter; public safety; disaster preparedness and relief; recreation, leisure, sports, athletics; youth development; and human services-multipurpose other.

Education – Includes grants to: all formally constituted educational institutions and organizations or activities that administer or support those institutions; libraries; archives; organizations whose primary purpose is to provide opportunities for supplementing and continuing education outside the framework of formal education institutions; and organizations that provide educationally related services to students and schools.

Arts, Culture, Humanities – Includes grants for: organizations or activities that promote enjoyment or understanding of the visual, performing, folk or media arts or the humanities; communications organizations; and organizations that promote the appreciation or understanding of historical events, including historical societies and genealogical or heredity based organizations. Includes museums and halls of fame, etc.

Health – Includes grants for: health – general and rehabilitative services; mental health, crisis intervention; health multipurpose associations/services associated with specific diseases/disorders/medical disciplines; medical research.

Public/Society Benefit – Includes grants for: civil rights, social action, advocacy; community improvement/capacity building; philanthropy, voluntarism and grant-making foundations; science and technology research institutes/services; and public/society benefit multipurpose and other. For example, organizations or programs that focus on promoting the effective functioning of government, public administration, and public officials.

Environment/Animals – Includes grants for: pollution control and abatement; natural resources conservation and protection; botanic/horticulture activities; environmental beautification and open spaces; environmental education and outdoor survival; animal protection and welfare; humane societies; wildlife preservation and protection; veterinary services; zoos and aquariums; and specialty animals and other services.

Other – Can include grants for: science and technology, social science and other.

As I take a look back over the past year of grant making by the Foundation, grants have been awarded in each of the seven categories and for many of the activities listed within them from donor funds held by the Foundation or through our competitive grant program.

If you are working on an idea and may want to pursue grant funding from the Foundation, take a look at our website at and tap on the “Grant Making” button on the left side of the home page. After you have reviewed this information and still have questions, give Lin, Cathi or I a call at 533-2596 and let’s schedule some time to meet and further explore whether the Sonora Area Foundation is a funding option for you.