Community Grant Program Guidelines

What is Keep Durham Beautiful?

Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc. (KDB) is a nonprofit, volunteer organization working in partnership with the City of Durham’s General Services Department and the County of Durham to bring private businesses, citizens and community organizations together to conserve and enhance the appearance and environment of Durham through cleanup events, beautification projects, and educational activities.

What is the KDB Community Grant Program?

The KDB Community Grant Program is designed to support, enhance, and expand KDB’s mission to engage and inspire individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. Businesses, schools, organizations, neighborhoods and individuals may apply for grant money that they will use to promote KDB’s mission.

Who is eligible for a grant?

Residents, community organizations, schools, garden clubs, and businesses in Durham that need help covering costs for projects or activities focused on litter prevention, recycling & waste reduction, beautification & community greening, are welcome to apply. The work of the project must be performed by volunteers and, where applicable, there must be a method for sustaining the project after the grant money has been used.

What are the grant amounts?

Grants will be awarded up to $500 on a competitive basis.

What are the selection criteria?

Projects will need to meet one of more of the following criteria. Projects will not be expected to meet all criteria, but the more you can cover with your program the more favoriably it will be viewed.

  • Impact: Impact of the project on the community
  • Community involvement: Volunteer participation
  • Partnerships: Involvement of local businesses and other partners to leverage or match grant funds
  • Sustainability: Sound ecological principles including native landscaping, re-used and recycled materials, etc.
  • Innovation: Creative solution to a community challenge
  • Community building: Project brings the community together in some way
  • Uniqueness: Utilizes local artists or artisans, references local history or culture, uses local materials, etc.

When are grants awarded?

Grants will be awarded twice a year. Applications must be received by the dates below to be considered:

  • January 31st for Spring and Summer grants
  • July 31st for Fall and Winter grants

How do we apply for a grant?

You can apply for a grant two ways:

1. You can apply online. We recomend that applicants review these guidelines and prepare their answers in advance so you can just copy and paste into the application.

2. Request a printed copy of the form from Keep Durham Beautiful, 919-354-2729, or via email to We will send the application to you and you can return the answers to us via mail or bring them into our office at 2011 Fay Street.

What must be included in the “Description of the Project”?

Please provide a description of what you plan to do, how you will accomplish it, how it will help improve the community and when you expect to finish the project. No project can be completed by a single individual; you will need help from friends, family, neighbors, local schools, garden clubs or businesses. Talk to everyone who would be interested and work together on a plan that you all think will work. We are looking for the what, where, when, why, how of your project. The more we know about your project the more helpful we can be in connecting you with additional resources.

What is the Post Project Report?

Each grant recipient will complete a Post Project Report that lets KDB know when the project took place, how many volunteers participated, how much you spent and on what, and how you measured the project’s success. This report is very important to us. It helps us engage our sponsors and allows us to generate support for future grants! This report, your original reciepts and photos of the event are necessary to get your reimbursement.

What kind of photos do you request?

We would like to have before, during, and after shots. Lots of picutres of people having fun, doing work to keep Durham beautiful! We put these pictures on our website, we show them to sponsors, and we try to highlight grant projects at our fundraising events. Photos are important!

What if we need more than $500?

Our grants only go as high as $500. But, we are happy to support projects that have multiple funding sources, so tell us how much the total cost of the project will be and what you would like our grant to pay for. Tell us about other grants you have received, or are applying for and how they will be applied to your project. You may find that we can help connect you to other groups that could help, or other options for your needs. The more you tell us the more we can help.

Do you still have more questions or need further information?

Please contact our office with further questions or to talk through the details of your project. Register as a volunteer for Keep Durham Beautiful and we will put you on our mailing list, so you can recieve periodic information about our program and additional opportunities. You may contact us directly by calling 919-354-2729 or via email at