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Brown-Forman Grant Guidelines and Criteria

I. GRANT GUIDELINES

A vibrant and thriving community is core to Brown-Forman Corporation’s (“Brown-Forman”) purpose of enriching the experience of life. Brown-Forman believes it is vital to invest in Louisville, Kentucky and other locations where Brown-Forman operates around the world by thoughtfully deploying time, talent, and resources: this is why Brown-Forman created the Brown-Forman Foundation (the “Foundation”). This approach to community relations reinforces the Foundation’s culture of caring in ways that reflect the values of Brown-Forman’s stakeholders.

The Foundation partners with organizations that are aligned with its strategic focus areas:

  1. Enhance Intellectual and Cultural Living
    • Increase access to vibrant, diverse, and educational arts & cultural experiences.
    • Fund education initiatives that provide opportunities for lifelong success.
  2. Ensure Essential Living Standards
    • Support social services that improve well-being and strengthen communities.
    • Improve the quality of life in Brown-Forman’s headquarters’ home of West Louisville.
  3. Empower Responsible and Sustainable Living
    • Invest in initiatives that encourage moderation and reduce alcohol-related harm.
    • Protect the environment and conserve natural resources vital to our communities and business.

To be considered for funding, organizations must complete the online application at brown-forman.egrant.net.

Online Grant Application Submission Deadlines – May 1, August 1, November 1, February 1

Organizations may apply once each fiscal year, using the same quarterly submission deadline each year. Multiple requests may be included in the annual application.

An application should be submitted a minimum of three months before the start date of your project or event.

Applications will be reviewed quarterly and notification on funding decisions will be communicated by mail or email (typically 60-90 days following the submission deadline).

All applications will be screened for completeness by a representative of the Foundation. If a proposal requires further clarification, the Foundation may request a one-time re-submittal of the proposal from the organization.

Questions about the process or issues with the online portal should be directed to Carly Launius at [email protected]

In addition to the grant narrative, the following documents are required for each submitted application:

  • The organization’s leadership team and Board of Directors.
  • Copy of the IRS determination letter confirming your organization’s status as a 501(c)(3) organization that is also a public charity.
  • W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification completed within the same year as the application.
  • Audited financial statement from the most recently completed year, showing actual expenses.
  • A complete copy of the most recently filed IRS Form 990 tax return.
  • Organization budget for current year, including income and expenses.
  • Detailed project/event budget, including income and expenses.
  • List of corporations/foundations from which you are requesting funds.
  • If the request includes event sponsorship, a list of sponsorship levels.

Reporting

Organizations approved for funding are required to submit an online grant report within one calendar year of the grant award date. Once a grant application is approved, a grant report template will be populated in the online portal (brown-forman.egrant.net) under the organization’s login account. The Foundation will not review a new request from the organization until the online report is submitted for the year prior. Click here for a sample report.

II. GRANT CRITERIA
To be considered for funding, organizations and their programs should meet the following conditions:

  • The organization (or fiscal sponsor) must be determined by the IRS to be a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and a public charity described in Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Code, that is operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, or educational purposes.
  • Priority is given to organizations located in Louisville, Kentucky and its surrounding areas.
  • The organization’s mission and project outcomes must align with one or more of the Foundation’s strategic focus areas.
  • Proposals must be received by the submission deadline to be considered for that grant cycle.
  • Proposals must provide a sound basis of measurement toward project goals and outcomes.
  • Requests for salary support, travel expenses, and consultant fees will not be considered.

 

Types of grant requests that the Foundation will consider include:

  • Operating support (Unrestricted)
  • Program/project support (Restricted)
  • Event or performance sponsorship
  • Scholarship programs of a public charity applicant
  • Multi-year requests of over $25,000
  • Capital support

Requests for capital support that meet the following criteria will be considered on a case-by-case basis:

  • Project alignment with the Foundation’s strategic focus areas and grant guidelines
  • History of Foundation support
  • Significant community financial support
  • Clear evidence that the project goals are achievable

 

The following are ineligible to apply for grants from the Foundation:

  • Individuals
  • Public schools (K-12)
  • Group tours
  • Athletic teams, or athletic leagues
  • Requests by foreign organizations
  • Religious organizations such as churches and synagogues
  • Any organization that is not a public charity described in either Section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Third parties seeking donations on behalf of nonprofit organizations – donations must be made directly to a nonprofit rather than, for example, to a business partner making a request on behalf of an organization
  • Political organizations or for political campaign purposes
  • Requests to carry on a voter registration drive
  • Grant requests for projects that include lobbying, propaganda, or other attempts to influence legislation
  • Organizations that lack non-discrimination policies or have a history of discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disability or any other legally protected status
  • Past grantees of the Foundation that have failed to provide a completed grant agreement, grant report, or other required documentation
  • Requests to satisfy the personal pledge of a Foundation or Brown-Forman director, officer, key staff person, or family member thereof
  • Requests that, if granted, would provide a personal benefit to a Foundation or Brown-Forman director, officer, key staff person, or family member thereof, other than naming or similar publicity