Regional and Local Impact
The Regional and Local Impact (RALI) grant program is an invitation-only, place-based grant program. We are looking for ideas that are generated with community engagement that address directly one or more of the four Opportunity Gap strategic focus areas. Preference will be given to those projects that can show readiness, capacity, collaboration, knowledge of best practices, and evaluation necessary for their strategy to be successful.
The Opportunity Gap framework for grantmaking has four focus areas:
- College & Career Training
- Community & Economic Vitality
- Early Care & Learning
- Support for Youth & Families
You will see that there are many tactics in each of these focus areas. We welcome questions and conversations in advance of submitting a Project Idea Form or application (if invited).
Frequently Asked Questions
RALI is invitation-only. How does the VCF learn about a project?
To tell us about your project, login to our Online Grants Center to complete and submit a RALI Project Idea Form. The form is a tool for communication between a potential grantseeker and the Foundation's Grants and Community Investments team, as well as a way for Foundation staff to learn about more projects. To help you prepare, preview a sample of the project idea form here and the application here.
What’s the process after a project idea form is submitted?
Once you submit the form, the Grants and Community Investments team will read up on the project and evaluate its relevance to the Opportunity Gap. There may be a need to reach out to you or other partners to learn more. After that evaluation, somebody from the Foundation staff will contact the grantseeker—either to ask more questions, invite an application, or be referred to other potential opportunities.
How long will it take the Foundation to evaluate the project idea form and reply?
Ideally, you will hear from the Foundation within three weeks, either with more questions or with an understanding of project alignment and a request to submit a full RALI grant application. This timeline could potentially be extended, if we need to do additional due diligence with staff or thought partners.
What happened to the Letter of Introduction?
In order to streamline the process and facilitate better communication with nonprofit organizations, we replaced the Letter of Introduction with the Project Idea Form.
What is the VCF looking for in a RALI grant project?
RALI grants fund projects that are designed to change systems affecting Vermonters who experience barriers to opportunity. We are looking for projects that illustrate collaboration and locally grown solutions, but also that utilize best practices and known successful methods. Additionally, we are looking for projects where the impact of the work can be measured, and for projects that involve community members in decision making where possible.
Successful RALI applications will be able to indicate the focus area(s) and the tactics or methods the project will use to serve their community or population. Projects that leverage other sources of capital and show collaboration will be prioritized.
What happens if my organization is invited to submit a full RALI proposal? What happens if it’s not invited?
Invited organizations will be sent the link to an online application form and asked to submit an application. If your organization is not invited to submit a proposal, our hope is to provide you with suggestions of other strategies and references to support your project.