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please review grant guidelines below

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2024

Okoboji Foundation Grant Guidelines

What We Fund

We fund VITAL CAPITAL PROJECTS, such as buildings, equipment, or physical property that will be available for many years of use in our Lakes communities. We want to help develop communities where people want to live, work, visit, and play


Organizations must meet the following criteria in order to apply for a grant: 

  • Be classified as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization or be a government entity.
    • For groups, projects, or initiatives that do not meet the above eligibility requirements the Okoboji Foundation will consider your requests if submitted through a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsor must be classified as a 501(c)3 or a government entity.
  • Be current with all state and federal reporting requirements, such as filing of 990 forms.
  • Must not have any outstanding grant awards with the Okoboji Foundation.

How To Apply

Applications must be submitted online. At this time, applications must be submitted in one sitting. We encourage applicants to print off the PDF version of the application, located on the Okoboji Foundation website, to assist in answering questions and then submit your final answers online. If you need to make changes to an already submitted application please contact the Okoboji Foundation staff prior to the deadline.

Requirements & Restrictions

  • As a governmental body public schools are eligible to apply. However, applications must clearly demonstrate regional community benefit.
  • Late, incomplete, or hard copy applications will not be considered.
    • Applicants must provide a complete organizational AND project budget.
  • Projects should be visible, available to a large portion of the public, and have a long lasting impact in the Iowa Great Lakes region.
  • Requests for the following are not eligible for funding:
    • Organizational operating costs such as salaries, stipends, fees for participation, travel, room & board, other forms of compensation or recurring operational expense
    • Fundraising/feasibility studies, marketing activities, programs, special events or projects that have already been completed
    • School uniforms of any nature
    • Projects with a short-term impact
  • Professional signage should be included on structures and larger physical property funded by grants to highlight the Okoboji Foundation partnership. The Foundation will provide an official style guide and logo for signage production.

Funding Levels & Grant Requirements

  • Leadership Grants – Grant requests of $25,000 or more will be reviewed by the Okoboji Foundation grants committee. The committee may request an in person follow-up presentation by the nonprofit. Projects should be completed and request reimbursement with receipts totaling amount of grant award within three years of the award notification.
  • Community Needs Grants – Grant requests under $25,000 will be considered by the Youth In Philanthropy student led committee. Any unfunded grants in this category will then be reviewed by the Okoboji Foundation grant committee. Projects should be completed and request reimbursement with receipts totaling amount of grant award within one year of the award notification.

Note: Regardless of grant request amount, a grant submitted by an area school will only be reviewed by the Okoboji Foundation grant committee.

Okoboji Foundation Grant Divisions

Community Needs Grants:  requests of $500 to $24,999

Reviewed by the Youth in Philanthropy* and Grants Committee.

Leadership Grants:  requests of $25,000 or more

Reviewed by the Okoboji Foundation Grants Committee. The Committee may request a short presentation by nonprofits requesting larger Leadership Grants.