Strategic Partnership Grant Program

The Strategic Partnership Grant is currently closed



December 15, 2023

Grant application period opens

January 8, 2024

Virtual information session 1 at 10:00 am (Recording)

January 19, 2024

Virtual information session 2 at 1:00 pm

February 2, 2024

Grant application period closes at 5:00 pm

February 16, 2024

Submit presentation recording by 5:00 pm

February 19-March 3, 2024

Evaluation panel reviews applications and video presentations

March 19, 2024

Staff present funding recommendations to Equity & Engagement Committee for approval

April 9, 2024

Staff present funding recommendations to City Council for approval

April 10, 2024

Award notices sent to all applicants

April 15-May 31, 2024

Staff work with recipients to develop and execute agreements

Supporting Documents

Grant Program Information

Application Information & Example Documents

Evaluation Information

Agreement Information & Example Documents


Strategic Partnership Grant Program funding is intended to support program outcomes of nonprofit organizations that are in alignment with Asheville City Council’s 2036 Vision of an equitable and diverse community by eliminating the opportunity gap in our school system and increasing access to quality schools and other educational resources and by fostering economic mobility.


To be eligible for a Strategic Partnership Grant, an organization and project must meet the following criteria:


    1. Applicants must be nonprofit organizations, classified as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service, in active operation as an incorporated nonprofit for a minimum of two (2) years.
    2. Organizations must provide services to close the opportunity gap in Asheville. However, attendance at Asheville City Schools is not a requirement.
    3. If an organization does not meet these criteria, it may partner with another organization to serve as a fiscal agent that does meet the above criteria for the purposes of administering grant funding.


Funded projects must align with the focus of the Strategic Partnership Grant program of eliminating the opportunity gap in Asheville for school-age youth from low- to moderate-income households. This focus area is in alignment with Asheville City Council’s 2036 Vision of 1) an equitable and diverse community and 2) a thriving local economy by eliminating disparities in our school system, increasing access to quality schools and other educational resources, and fostering economic mobility.

  1. Applicants will be asked to specify the focus area and category that best fits their project.
    • Providing access to educational opportunities
      • Examples include: Tutoring, literacy, language, STEAM activities, computer skills, etc.
    • Building networks and readiness for success
      • Examples include: Internships, apprenticeships, mentorships, field trips, cultural events, financial literacy skills, etc.
    • Providing access to support services and resources 
      • Examples include: Access to mental health services, health services, college prep assistance, food security, device provision or equipment loan programs (like tablets or computers), internet connectivity support or activities, etc.

Public Purpose.

Projects must meet a public purpose and fall within City authority to fund per NC General Statutes, to be affirmed by review by the Asheville City Attorney’s Office prior to grant award. Applications with language that does not comply may be considered ineligible or may be asked to resubmit, resulting in a possible rejection or delay.

  1. North Carolina General Statute 160D-1311 allows municipalities to disburse funds to support community development activities that serve a public purpose that the entity would otherwise be able to provide and that persons served are of low and moderate-income.
  2. Section A2 states that it allows for “programs concerned with employment, economic development, crime prevention, child care, health, drug abuse, education, and welfare needs of persons of low and moderate-income.


Organizations must submit a grant application before the application deadline of February 2, 2024. No late applications will be accepted.

Deadline: Applications are due by 5:00 on February 2, 2024. Organizations are encouraged to apply online through the google form, which can be accessed at the website:

Prerecorded Presentation: A prerecorded presentation is due 5:00 pm February 16, 2024, This presentation should be no longer than three (3) minutes in length and serve to introduce the evaluation panel to both the organization and program at a high level. Presentations may be submitted through the google form, or by emailing

Information Session: Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of two information sessions. The purpose of the session is to provide in-depth information about the grant and agreement process for applicants and potential applicants. A recording will be posted online after the session. Contact Charles Savage at to register for a session.


What is the Strategic Partnership Grant Program (SPG)?

The Strategic Partnership Grant program is a City of Asheville grant locally paid from the City’s general fund. The program provides funding for nonprofit organizations that serve Asheville residents. Available funding and priorities are determined by the Asheville City Council. The current scope of the SPG program is to address the impacts of the opportunity gap by supporting school-aged children from low- to moderate-income households in and outside of the classroom. The Equity and Engagement Committee makes its funding recommendations to City Council.

2022 Strategic Partnership Grant Pilot & Program Relaunch

The Strategic Partnership Grant (SPG) has funded nonprofit organizations that serve Asheville residents linked to City Council Strategic Priorities. After a three-year pause in funding, the grant program was relaunched in June 2022. Through feedback from the Housing & Community Development Committee (HCD), community members, and staff from multiple departments, the program pilot refined the scope of the SPG program to address the impacts of the opportunity gap by supporting school-aged children in and outside of the classroom.

To test recommendations before finalizing the SPG program’s comprehensive restructuring, the City of Asheville implemented an SPG pilot in Fiscal Year 2022-2023. This pilot provided much-needed financial resources to the community at the start of the July 2022 – June 2023 budget year while providing necessary data to finalize long-term program refinement. 

Find more information about the pilot program here.

Contact Information

Charles Savage, Economic Development Specialist | 828-747-8893