Program Areas

To advance our mission, the Charlotte Martin Foundation focuses grantmaking in two areas and in support of the following goals:

  • Youth: To ensure opportunities for youth, particularly youth of color and the economically disadvantaged, to develop their skills in education, creative and cultural expression and athletics in ways that ultimately promote their habits of lifelong learning and their ability to make strong and lasting contributions to their respective communities.
  • Wildlife & HabitatTo protect and restore vital ecosystems especially in the face of a changing climate with the long-term aim of preserving biodiversity in the region.

Please note that there are certain types of programs/projects that we do not fund:

  • Production of professional films, videos, books
  • Travel costs and lodging for conference or event attendance

  • Fitness, wellness, nutrition, health are not included in our definition of athletics.

  • Education on behavioral issues, bullying, domestic and sexual violence, drug and alcohol abuse do not meet our definition for education funding.

  • Rental or purchase of buses

  • Capital projects

  • Hardware, technology

  • Rental of facilities

  • Marketing

  • Pass through funding

  • Stipends, paid internships

  • Children’s testing or test preparation

  • Pre-kindergarten programs

  • Curriculum development

  • Programs for college students

Please also review the individual Program Area guidelines below for Program-specific funding guidelines.

Please Note

The Foundation accepts online applications only.

How to Apply

YOUTH – defined as ages six to eighteen.  Projects must focus on young people as the primary participants or beneficiaries. 

Youth Athletics - Guidelines

Description of Athletics


Athletics include a wide range of individual and team sports, with an emphasis on the value of sports for lifelong participation. School-sponsored intramural and after school sports programs have been greatly reduced, and middle-school aged youth have been most affected. After school athletics can be the incentive that gets kids involved in programs that also have educational and cultural components. Demand is increasing for athletics programs and facilities in rural areas and inner cities. More girls are getting involved in sports, requiring additional programs and space. Coaches are key to a positive experience for young people, and good coaching requires training.

What We Do NOT Support

  • Large capital investment projects (e.g. track renovation, swimming pools, tennis courts, lockers, gymnasium renovation, bleachers)

  • Transportation to tournaments

  • Fitness equipment and activities (e.g. treadmills, weight rooms)

  • Playgrounds or playground equipment

Youth Culture - Guidelines

Description of Culture

Culture includes art, music, dance, literature, theater, ethnic and regional heritage. Positive experiences in culture are essential in educating the whole person and should be an integral part of the lives of youth. Young people can use cultural experiences as creative resources to build self-esteem, promote personal growth, and preserve traditions. Arts and culture programs in the schools are being reduced or eliminated, and many communities, both urban and rural, have limited access to cultural resources.

What We Do NOT Support

  • Admission subsidies or purchase of tickets for eventsboyspainting

  • Trips to conferences

  • International exchange programs

  • Passive participation by youth

  • Artists in residence programs

Youth Education - Guidelines

Description of Education


All young people should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Education, in and out of school, happens best when youth direct their learning and engage in compelling problem-solving and critical thinking. Educators need support to play a vital role in assisting youth to investigate their passions and explore new interests. Rural schools often have less access to resources and curricula than urban schools. Both public and private schools need support.

What We Do NOT Support

  • Children’s testing or test preparation

  • Purchase of computers or textbooks

  • Passive participation by youth

  • Programs whose goals are primarily social services

  • Pre-Kindergarten programs

  • Curriculum development

  • Programs for college students


Wildlife and Habitat - Guidelines

Description of Wildlife and Habitat


As development pressures increase, the stewardship of vital ecosystems is critical for protecting wildlife populations and habitat. The effort must be based on solid conservation biology, recognizing the resilience, complexity and interdependence of all life. Conservation of critical habitat and species requires comprehensive strategies and collaboration among partners working in the region, recognizing the limitation of funds available. Stewardship is the shared responsibility of empowered citizens, engaged scientists, collaborating foundations, informed business and property owners, and an accountable government. Healthy and diverse wildlife populations and habitat must be preserved through sound government policies and a range of creative conservation approaches. The principle of sustainability requires that environment, economics and equity are considered together to protect the quality of life at every level.

What We Do NOT Support

  • Organizations whose mission statement does not  include wildlife and habitat preservation

  • Preserving of small isolated parcels of land

  • Preservation of land solely valued for recreational purposes

  • Projects primarily in urban areas

  • Wildlife rehabilitation

  • Captive breeding

  • City parks

  • Zoos and aquarium