Publicity Guide

Publicity Guide PDF

Budget Template

Budget Template

Financial Statement Guide

Financial Statement Guide

Grant Forms

Capacity Building LOI - FY25
Capital LOI - FY25
Outside-of-BHC LOI - FY25
Capacity Building Application - FY25
Capital Application - FY25
Outside-of-BHC Application - FY25
Learn more about BHCGA's grant categories and application process by watching the recorded virtual informational session held in December 2023. 
Printable Slides from Emily's April 2024 In-person Info Session at the Isle

Nonprofit Resources

Links to Community Plans


What’s the BHCGA grant process?

Each grant cycle is four months long with the following stages, all completed through our online portal:

  • Letter of Intent - This is where you give a brief description of your project, the dollar amount being requested, and the project’s anticipated start and end dates. Don’t worry, you don’t have to send us an actual letter–just fill out a short list of questions in the portal. Once we determine eligibility, you’ll receive an email invitation to the full application.*
  • Application - The application allows you to go into more detail about the project. We’ll ask questions about the project impact, budget, and sustainability. Be prepared to provide an income statement and a balance sheet. See the Financial Statement Guide for more information.*
  • Evaluation - Board Members evaluate every proposal then meet to discuss and determine which will move on to the final stage. If your grant proposal moves on, you’ll most likely receive an email with board member questions.
  • Decision - In the final stage, the Board does a second evaluation of the remaining proposals, then meets to discuss and vote on awards. Awards are determined in April, August, and December each fiscal year.

*Staff may reach out with questions to strengthen your proposal between the LOI and application stage, and again before the first Board Member evaluation.

How will my organization be notified that our Letter of Intent and/or application was received?

Once a Letter of Intent or application is submitted, our online grant system kicks out an email letting you know it’s been received. If you don’t receive an email within 24 hours, please check in with staff at 319-433-1153. Don’t forget–you can always log into the grant portal to see your past requests, what’s been submitted for the current cycle, and any follow-ups we’re waiting on from you.

Why do we have to talk to staff prior to submitting a Letter of Intent?

Because your time is valuable! Our staff wants to make sure your project aligns with BHCGA’s rules and funding priorities before you spend time answering the LOI questions. Staff is also available to discuss projects in more detail to answer questions and help strengthen your application.

What if our organization doesn’t have its 501(c)3 yet? Can we still apply?*

No. Applicants must have a valid 501(c)3 or 501(c)19 status under US IRS Code or be a governmental entity to apply for a grant with BCHGA. An applicant’s nonprofit status gets verified through GuideStar.

*If your organization has a new 501(c)3 status, we may request an IRS Determination Letter before moving your LOI on to the application phase.

What counties are in the BHCGA service area?

Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Grundy, and Tama counties. Note: Our primary focus area is Black Hawk County because it’s the Isle Casino and Hotel’s host community. We can only award up to 10% of our revenue to projects outside of Black Hawk.

Does BHCGA fund vehicles?

The Board will occasionally fund vehicles, but only up to 30% of the total cost.

Are matching funds a requirement?

The Board prefers projects that can show fundraising efforts and/or have money available in their budget. For capital requests, the Board requires shared funding with a minimum match of 50%. For capacity-building requests, the Board will review the budget and make a decision on a case-by-case basis. 


Will BHCGA fund multi-year projects?

Sometimes, but at Board discretion. Applicants can not apply for multi-year funding.

Are cost estimates required?

Budget amounts submitted should include verifiable costs, including supplier/contractor estimates or proposals. If those aren’t available with the grant request, the information is required before receiving any funding from BHCGA.


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Waterloo, IA 50703
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