Grant Guidelines

  • Primary Mission: Grants will be for capital projects and for specific programs and projects of an educational, historical, or charitable nature. The primary interests of the Foundation are historic preservation and local history.
  • Eligible Recipients: Grants are made only to recipients that are qualified charitable organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Entities that are not Section 501(c)(3) organizations, individuals, and governmental units or agencies are not eligible.
  • Geographic Scope: Preference is given to organizations and projects located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Nature of the Project or Need for a Grant: Projects involving the restoration or preservation of structures, sites, or materials of historic note or interest are given priority. While programs of a temporary nature that do not concern tangible, lasting assets will be considered, they are not as compelling.
  • Possible Impact: The Roller-Bottimore Foundation hopes that its grant will have a direct impact on the recipient and the success of its project. As a result, grants rarely are made to national organizations or drives, projects already enjoying or seeking broad mass appeal, or applicants with considerable financial resources of their own.
  • Demonstrated Commitment to the Project: The recipient must be a serious, credible organization with a track record of beneficial work. The project and its use of the grant funds must clear, well-planned, within the organization’s mission and capabilities, and show a reasonable likelihood of success. Commitment of some of its own funds shows the organization’s belief in the merits of the project, as does the amount of funds already raised or committed from other sources. A proposal where the Roller-Bottimore Foundation is asked to provide all or the majority of the funding is unlikely to be approved.
  • Size of Grants: While there is no limit on the amount an applicant may request, grants from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation typically have ranged from $10,000 to $150,000. In many instances where the project is especially worthy, the grant awarded may exceed the amount requested.
  • Matching or Challenge Grants: Grants are made on a challenge or matching funds basis to encourage giving by others and with the understanding that terms of the match will be met within a specific time frame, usually no more than 18 months from the date of the commitment. Normally the grants represent no more than one-half of the funds required for the project and are paid in full when the project is underway.
  • Activities Not Eligible for Consideration: The Roller-Bottimore Foundation will not award grants concerning the following:
    • The operating expenses of an organization;
    • Annual campaigns or fund drives;
    • Endowment funds;
    • Scholarship funds, individual scholarships, or scholarship programs;
    • Debt retirement;
    • Events or social activities;
    • Hardship or disaster relief;
    • Lobbying, political campaigns, political action committees, or any organizations or activities of a political nature or involving candidates for public office;
    • Religious or missionary activities (apart from the preservation of historic church structures or assets);
    • Social services;
    • An organization with a history or current involvement in political causes or any unlawful or discriminatory activity; or
    • A purpose that does not serve the primary mission of the Roller-Bottimore Foundation.
  • Frequency of Grants to the Same Recipient: An organization receiving a grant may not apply for another grant within three years of the prior grant. The Board has discretion to assign additional funds during that period to a previous recipient when the Board determines it proper to do so.

Grant Process

The Board of Directors of the Roller-Bottimore Foundation reviews applications and makes allocations in June and December of each year.