WNC Communities is dedicated to providing a unique forum for leaders in the mountain region of Western North Carolina to convene, collaborate and carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the economy of the agriculture sector. 




594 Brevard Road

Asheville, NC 28806

Office: 828 • 252 • 4783

Email:  info@wnccommunities.org


WNC Communities is pleased to announce the TVA Ag & Forestry Fund is currently accepting letters of intent until February 18, 2015. 

Area of Focus:

TVA Ag & Forestry Fund was created for innovative agriculture and forestry projects that strengthen the agriculture and forestry industries by addressing energy needs, sustainability, education/training, public outreach, economic development, infrastructure enhancement or other projects that meet environmental improvement standards.



The grants program will fund projects based in or directly benefiting the following counties in Western North Carolina:  Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.


In order to be considered, projects submitted must satisfy the following criteria and expectations:

  • Projects must relate to agriculture and forestry as stated above.
  • Projects must be submitted by a North Carolina based 501(c)3 or 501(c)5 non-profits, government or public agency.
    • WNC Communities will not enter into contracts with university systems. 
    • Organization must have been in existence for at least 12 months prior to submission date.  
  • Collaborative efforts are encouraged and may include for-profit entities; however, the project must clearly benefit the mission of the non-profit, government or public agency which will direct, report and serve as the fiscal agent
  • Applicants may request an amount with a maximum of $25,000 per project. Any exceptions are at the discretion of the TVA Ag & Forestry Fund Committee.  
    • Funds requested must not replace existing budgeted funds or reduced government funding.
  • Applicants may propose more than one project; however, each project must be independent with a separate budget and deliverables.
  • Cost share and/or pass through projects will not be considered.


Projects more likely to gain favorable review and award will include the following:

  • Projects that have a multi county impact to help ensure the overall grant program positively impacts eligible counties
  • Proposed project to be completed within 12 months of fully executed contract
    • Exceptions or extensions must be approved in advance by the Committee
  • Applicant has a proven history of managing project(s) similar in topic and/or scope
  • Shovel-ready projects
  • Projects that have a long-term impact as opposed to an expedient temporary solution
  • Demonstration of in-kind contributions, matching funds or volunteer hours to contribute to the success of the project


IMPORTANT:  The application process will be highly competitive because total funding available for the 2015 grant distribution is approximately $175,000.   Funds will be available for projects to begin on or after May 11, 2015.




Deadline:  A letter of intent must be submitted by email to grants@wnccommunities.org by Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by 5:00 pm.  Applicants will receive electronic confirmation of receipt within 24 hours of submission during regular business hours.  If applicant has not received an email confirmation, call 828-252-4783 to ensure the letter of intent was received. 

Letter of Intent Criteria:


Submit by the deadline to WNC Communities a two page summary of your project with project beginning with heading on the top left to include: 

            Contact information (organization, name of lead person, email, phone)

            Project title

            Grant request amount up to $25,000 and total cost of project

               Note: if grant awarded, funds will be available for expenses on or after May 11

            Location of project and area served


Additional narrative to include:

            BRIEF project summary

            Explanation of how the proposed project addresses the

               “Area of Focus for the Fund”

            Summary of project budget (major expenses) & other funding sources

Include an impact statement of your project in measureable terms (For example:      number of farmers, number of acres, amount of additional income, etc.)

            Qualifications & experience of applicant in managing similar projects

            Partners committed to working with applicant


Use the following format:

            MS Word or Adobe PDF (two pages only saved as one document)

            12-point type, single line spacing, 1-inch margins

            Use plain paper instead of letterhead, no salutation or signature necessary