Hills and Hollows Fund

The Hills and Hollows Fund was established at the Vermont Community Foundation in 2003 to support educational opportunities, children and families, and efforts that foster the future sustainability of Poultney and its nearby communities.

What We Fund

Through its grant programs, the Hills and Hollows Fund aims to promote sustainable, healthy, vital and democratic communities. Grant funding is available to support existing services, provide seed money for promising new projects, and enable organizations outside of Poultney to expand their outreach to include area residents.

Examples of eligible program areas include:

  • Educational opportunities;
  • Services for children, elderly, and family health;
  • Food security;
  • Community organizations that nurture, preserve and interpret the area's unique cultural, built and natural environment;
  • Programs that address the use and abuse of limited natural resources, including responses to climate change; and
  • Programs that encourage community engagement and a stronger sense of connection and belonging.

The Hills and Hollows Fund seeks to encourage collaborative programs and projects that take full advantage of available resources, such as colleges and existing programs and services (i.e., food shelves, rescue squads, schools, historical societies, clubs), or special individual expertise and experience. The best projects will stimulate participation and build bridges within the community.

What We Don’t Fund

The Hills and Hollows Fund does not fund capital campaigns, endowments, deficit funding, or expenses that have already been incurred. If you have questions about project eligibility, please contact VCF staff. Please note that programs and events must take place in spaces that are ADA accessible in order to be eligible for funding.

Who May Apply

Eligible applicants must be schools, municipal entities, or nonprofit organizations whose service area includes Poultney or its nearby communities.

Community groups or individuals who do not have 501(c)(3) status may apply for grant awards if atax-exempt organization, school, or municipality acts as a fiscal sponsor. 

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation. 

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

Grant Size

The Hills and Hollows Fund includes two programs that make grants of different amounts. 

Hollows Grants ($250 - $1,500)

These modest grants support educational and enriching activities for children, youth and families conducted by schools or community groups. Academic field trips, afterschool activities, classroom programs or special events at the Poultney Library, for example, will be considered. Schools and community groups needing help with one time unforeseen needs, unique opportunities or transportation expenses will be considered also. Teachers and other interested individuals are encouraged to apply in partnership with eligible nonprofits, schools, or municipal groups. Programs that encourage community engagement and a stronger sense of connection and belonging are of special interest.

You may preview the Hollows application questions by clicking here.

Hills Grants ($1,501 - $7,500)

The larger grants from the Hills Program consider projects that address long standing local needs as well as immediate situations.  We encourage fresh ideas that engage Poultney residents in their planning and implementation. Special attention is given to proposals where our grant will leverage additional dollars and resources for the project from the community.

You may preview the Hills application questions by clicking here.

Deadline and Notification

The Hills and Hollows Fund has no deadline—you may apply anytime. The Hills and Hollows Fund review committee evaluates all applications and makes funding recommendations as they are received.  Notification is usually made within six weeks of submission. Please plan accordingly when submitting your proposal—if your proposal is time sensitive, contact Foundation staff in advance of submission.

Application Process

The Hills and Hollows Fund is using an electronic application form that is available through the VCF Online Grants Center. Please register here with VCF and work through the application process.  If necessary, we will entertain an application by mail with advance notice.

If you have questions about applying to the Hills and Hollows Fund, please contact Lauren Bruno, Program and Grants Manager, at 802-388-3355 ext. 222 or lbruno@vermontcf.org.

Apply for a Grant