Looking for the application? Apply here →

Looking to report on your project? Fill out the reporting form

Our Community Grant Program

What is it?

Our community grant program provides $500 on a competitive and reimbursement basis to volunteer-based projects hosted by community groups, individuals, and more that are interested in furthering our mission of litter prevention, recycling and waste reduction, and/or community greening. 

when are grants awarded?

Deadlines for applying for grants are January 31st for spring/summer grants and July 31st for fall/winter grants. 

Grant Timeline

Application Deadline - July 31st

Funding Decision - Mid-September

Contract/Agreement - Mid-September

Implement Project - September-January

Grant Report Due - February 31st

Application Deadline - January 31st

Funding Decision - Mid-March

Contract/Agreement - Mid-March

Implement Project - March-July

Grant Report Due - August 31st

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 selection criteria?

Projects will need to meet one or 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 favorably it will be viewed.

  • Impact: Impact of the project on the community (e.g., number of people affected)
  • Community involvement: Volunteer participation
  • Partnerships: Involvement of local businesses, organizations and other partners to assist in designing, executing and promoting the project
  • Environmental sustainability: Sound environmental stewardship principles including native landscaping, re-used and recycled materials, etc.
  • Innovation: Creative solution to a community challenge
  • Community building: Project brings the community together and involves input at various phases from conception to execution to long-term maintenance
  • Project maintenance: Provide a plan demonstrating project continuance beyond the duration of the grant period
  • Uniqueness: Utilizes local artists or artisans, references local history or culture, uses local materials, utilizes creative solutions, etc.
  • Matching: Involvement of local businesses, organizations, other partners, donors, to assist in matching grant funds through monetary or in-kind donations

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 keepdurhambeautiful@durhamnc.gov. 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 detailed description of what you plan to do, how you will accomplish it, its impact on the community, and when you expect to complete 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. Please provide as much detail as you can, including numbers where possible, so we can better understand your project and how it will impact the community environment.

KDB funds may not be used for:
Expenditures not approved in project budget
Hiring private contractors or paid labor
Food and beverage costs
Operating expenses (i.e. utilities, routine/ongoing maintenance)


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 receipts and photos of the event are necessary to get your reimbursement.

Fill out the form here

What kind of photos do you request?

We would like to have before, during, and after shots. Lots of pictures 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! Email photos to info@keepdurhambeautiful.org

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 receive periodic information about our program and additional opportunities. You may contact us directly by calling 919-354-2729 or via email at info@keepdurhambeautiful.org.