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New round of Golden LEAF grants available

Surry County has announced the Golden LEAF Foundation is conducting another round of its Community-Based Grants Making Initiative for the Piedmont Triad Prosperity Zone, which includes Surry County. The total budget for the initiative is $11 million.

This program is focused on possible investments in the building blocks of economic growth. It is a competitive process among all counties in the prosperity zone. Awards are limited to no more than three projects in any county and may total no more than $1.5 million in any county.

Projects must align with Golden LEAF’s FY2022-2026 Strategic Priorities and Priority Funding Areas, which can be found at

Eligible applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or governmental entity. Eligible uses of funds must be charitable, may not be used for purchase of land or buildings, and may not be used for grant administration.

Surry County Manager Christ Knopf is responsible for endorsing up to four projects through this initiative. A local process for soliciting projects from eligible applicants has been created to assist the county manager in identifying those for endorsement.

The local schedule for identifying projects to endorse is as follows:

– May 17 and 18: Interested applicants meet one-on-one with the Knopf.

– May 25: Gathering Event, Guilford Tech Community College Conference Center.

– June 28: Deadline for submission of projects to the county manager.

– July 1 – 31: Review by county manager, Golden LEAF.

– August 10: Endorsed projects submitted by the county manager to Golden LEAF.

Interested applicants should contact Knopf’s office to schedule a meeting to be held on May 17 or May 18 to discuss their projects.

Knopf recommends that interested applicants have a representative attend the Gathering Event, hosted by Golden LEAF, on May 25, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Guilford Tech Community College Conference Center. This event will provide attendees with training on submitting projects and on Golden LEAF’s priorities.

In 2016-17, during the last round of this initiative, the Knopf endorsed two projects, one for the City of Mount Airy and one for Surry County Schools. Both were awarded grants by Golden LEAF. The Surry County Schools project submittal was the Next Generation Career Academy, which is now known as Surry Yadkin Works. This project shows the value of endorsing projects that align with Golden LEAF’s priorities.

Established in 1999 as a means by which to funnel tobacco settlement money back into rural and distresses communities, the Golden LEAF Foundation has helped to building economic opportunity across the state “through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship.”

Since inception, “The foundation has provided lasting impact to tobacco-dependent, economically distressed and rural areas of the state by helping create 67,000 jobs; $720 million in new payrolls and more than 95,000 workers trained or retrained for higher wages. Golden LEAF has awarded 2,088 grants worth over $1.2 billion.”

Questions can be directed to the county manager’s office at 336-401-8201 or



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