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Parks & Recreation Grant Information

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Nonprofit Recreation Grants Application

Application is now open!!
Deadline is: 5 pm, Friday, May 24.,2019

The Chatham County Parks & Recreation Department awards small grants to local nonprofit agencies to support recreation opportunities in the county. 

Grants for Town Recreation

 Town Recreation Grants.  Click here for more information.

Step 1:  Understand the county policy. The county is subject to requirements put in place by the state to govern local government funding, so all grant awards are governed by the county's Nonprofit Grant Policy revised in January 2019.  However, please note that we expect an upcoming revision that could allow groups to apply for both  nonprofit and recreation grants, as long as they are not the same program. We are not sure when this change might be made.

Recreation grants to schools does not include charter schools since they must receive funding through the school system. Funds must be used in compliance with the NC State Constitution's public purpose requirement, which means that grants can be awarded for items that the county can legally fund on its own. 

Funding priorities for recreation grants will be recommended by the Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department and the Recreation Advisory Committee. Recreational needs may be based on the most recent United Way Community Needs Assessment, the most recent Chatham County Public Health Department Community Health Assessment and the Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department goals and objectives. Funds should be used to:

1. improve or construct parks and recreation facilities
2. implement parks and recreation programs/projects
3. purchase recreation equipment and
4. provide a match for other grants

Step 2: Make sure you have fully read the grant application instructions and are certified to apply for a grant. Click here read.  Staff is available to assist agencies with completing certification requirements.

Here are some samples of certification forms and other guidance::

    Sample statement of no conflict of interest
    Sample statement of non-discrimination
    Balance Sheet Instructions
    Financial Analysis Procedures

Step 3:  Use the budget template. Click here to view and save.    

Step 4:  Complete the grant application.  The application form is through a new portal this year, which should be easier to use. You will have to create an account the first time you use it. You will be able to upload attachments at the end. Note that you can SAVE and come back. Look for the icons at the bottom of the screen to SAVE, PRINT, etc.  If you choose these options, you will be asked to create an account, if you did not do this last year.   CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!  

Grant applications are reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, and agencies may be invited to attend a meeting of the committee to discuss the grant request.  The Advisory Committee makes grant recommendations to the County Manager and the Board of Commissioners.  Agencies are notified of awards by letter and will be required to sign a contract or memorandum of understanding before funds can be released.


  • Late April: Grants are announced and grant applications are available.
  • May: We will announce the specific deadline later this year. 
  • June: United Way and County staff review certification documentation and conduct a simple financial review to ensure that agencies are eligible to receive county funds. Agencies are notified of any missing documentation, and given the opportunity to obtain whatever is needed.
  • July: The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meets to review applications and make recommendations.
  • August:  The County Manager and the Board of Commissioners review and approve the recommendations.  Agencies are notified by letter of their grant awards.
  • September:  Grant contracts are sent to agencies.  Funds are released when the signed contract is returned to United Way and all certification documentation is complete.

The NC Secretary of State provides FAQs that explain what the state requires of nonprofit corporations, including the solicitation license.  This is important information that agencies will find helpful.

If you have questions about the grant process, please contact Chatham County United Way at (919) 542-1110 or Chatham County Parks and Recreation at or by phone at (919) 545-8555.