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.

All applicants to programs at the Vermont Community Foundation must meet these guidelines.

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 herePlease note that this is a PDF sample and not the actual application. 

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 herePlease note that this is a PDF sample and not the actual application. To view and begin working on the application, login to the Online Grants Manager (OGM), which can be accessed at www.vermontcf.org/OGM.

Deadline and Notification

The Hills and Hollows Fund accepts applications each year on a rolling basis between January 1 - November 1. Applications must be received by 5PM on November 1 in order to be considered. Applications submitted from November 2 through December 31 will not be considered. 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

All applications must be submitted electronically. Visit our Online Grants Center page to learn how and to register for a new account. Or click here to access your existing account.