Vermont Grants: Capacity Building


Vermont Grant Program 

This multi-year Capacity-Building grant is available to Vermont-based, Vermont-focused non-profit organizations that are ready to move to the next level of effectiveness as they work to further social justice, protect the environment and/or support sustainable and equitable local food systems in the state of Vermont.  

The application process is highly competitive as only one grant is awarded each year. The grant is for a maximum of $30,000 per year, for up to three years for a total of $90,000 to significantly enhance the organizational capacity of the non-profit. Upon review of submitted applications, the Employee Review Committee will select a small group of Finalists. Finalists will be required to host a site visit for the committee.



To be considered for funding, each applicant organization must:

  • Be located in Vermont
  • Be a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, OR be represented by a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status
  • Have a statewide impact and be working toward broad, systemic change for the betterment of Vermont and Vermonters.
  • Demonstrate a long-term vision, strong leadership and governance, and a proven track record. 
  • Have conducted a Strategic Planning process. 
  • Show how by meeting the organizational needs highlighted in their strategic plan, they would be able to chart their own path to organizational sustainability.  
  • Articulate a clear, well-thought out vision and strategy for how the grant will be used to enhance their organization’s ability to achieve its stated goals. 
  • Submit a funding plan that would allow them to carry out the activities outlined in the proposal, as we recognize that this grant will not be sufficient to cover the complete costs of most organizations’ capacity building goals.

Organizations with budgets under $1 million are preferred.


  • Grant monies may be used for consultation, technology, organizational development, staff development, infrastructure development, and/or staffing. The proposal must be specific as to how the proposed enhancements would advance the long-term viability of the organization and its ability to make progress toward its vision.

Areas Not funded

We will not consider:

  • General operating support or program support
  • Discretionary or emergency requests
  • Schools or programs for schools
  • Colleges or universities
  • Individuals or scholarship programs
  • Research, litigation or legal expenses
  • Capital or endowment campaigns
  • State agencies or government-sponsored programs
  • Businesses or business associations
  • Religious activities
  • Other foundations or regranting organizations
  • Organizations or programs that are focused or based outside the state of Vermont

ApplicAtion Process

carefully review the

Eligibility Requirements

take note of all the items listed above
watch the application system

Tutorial Video


Create an account

or login to your existing account
Complete THE

Eligibility Questionnaire






april 30

Frequently asked Questions

Due to the highly competitive nature of the Vermont Capacity Building Grant program, we encourage potential applicants to discuss their prospective proposal with our Director of Programs, Becca Golden.Potential applicants should review our guidelines and funding priorities, as well as the list of Capacity grant partners to better understand the type of organizations we fund through this program. If, after thoroughly reading all of the information detailed on this website, you would like to set up a time to speak with Becca, please email or call the Foundation directly.

We don’t have a limit on the number of times an organization may apply to the Capacity Grant program, however, if your organization is selected as the Capacity Grant recipient, we would not allow another application under this process in future years. An organization may only receive one grant from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation each calendar year.

No. We will only consider one application at a time across our grant program options, and thus recommend researching each program to ensure your organization applies to the most targeted program for your needs. 

All of our grant decisions are recommended by teams of Ben & Jerry’s employees.

Yes, we will be in touch with every organization to share our decision, funded or not funded. For those organizations that are not moving forward as a finalist, an email will be sent in early July. If your organization is a finalist for the Capacity Award, we will be notifying the organization by a telephone call and email, so that we can plan for a site visit.

We do not accept mailed applications. All applications must be submitted online through our grants management system. You will need to first register your organization before applying online through the grant program.

An organization should only be registered once in our online grant portal. If the organization does not have a record of their login details, please get in touch with the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and we will add you to the list of contacts and provide you with a login. If you have already registered the organization and created an account and are worried that you cannot see the organization history, please contact us and we will connect you to the correct account. Please contact Dana Jeffery at 802-923-2657 or We will attempt to resolve any issues during our usual business hours Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, EST

The questionnaire can only be completed once per year, as such, we encourage an organization to have assessed their own eligibility by reading the details regarding each grant programs’ funding priorities prior to taking the Eligibility Questionnaire. Questions may steer you to a program that has different eligibility criteria than that of the program you are intending to apply to, and therefore it is best to be mindful about which program you are wishing to get support from, as you complete the questionnaire.

If you completed the Eligibility Questionnaire, you can look at your Applicant Dashboard within the grant portal to view your submission. On the Active Requests tab, the top of the list shows your Eligibility Questionnaire, and by clicking on View Eligibility Questionnaire, you will see the responses you selected. If you do see that you answered something incorrectly, you will not be able to edit this questionnaire., but you may reach out to the Foundation to discuss your options.

If you are logged in and cannot see the grant process you had qualified to apply for on the Apply page, it is possible you may have missed a deadline. Typically, we would have the process appear with whether it is Open for submissions, or if the deadline has passed. If the process no longer appears, it has closed and we are no longer allowing access to view the form, or to apply. We do not use a code for grant program applications, even though you may notice there is an option to add a code. We recommend that you review our program schedule prior to applying for a grant.

From time to time applicants come across some browser issues, or experience some errors using the online grants management system. If you are familiar with clearing your cookies and cache on your browser or have tried using a different browser to complete the application and still encounter problems, please review the “Common Issues Addressed” in the (new) Tips & Tricks document tutorial document. If you have attempted all fixes, and continue to have difficulties, please contact Dana Jeffery on 802-923-2657. We will attempt to resolve any issues during our usual business hours Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm, EST.

Grant Partner Highlights

PAST Grant Partners

The documents below feature lists, by year, of the organizations and programs we’ve funded in the past. Not only is it inspiring to see all of the impactful work happening around Vermont, reading through these brief descriptions is a great way to better understand the types of projects that qualify for Vermont Economic Justice Program funding.