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 all youth, particularly the underserved and 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 & Habitat: To protect and restore vital ecosystems and their resident wildlife for the long-term with the 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. 
                       See How to Apply for guidelines.

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


What We Believe

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 Support

  1. A wide variety of sports programs and equipment for both boys and girls where youth populations are underserved.

  2. We are especially interested in supporting girls’ sports.

  3. Limited investment in facilities that are used primarily by youth.

  4. After school and off-hours sports programs making better use of existing facilities.

  5. Programs that get younger children introduced to the value of sports.

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



What We Believe

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 Support

  1. Active participation of young people in music, art, dance, literature, especially projects where youth are engaged in the production of an art form or event.

  2. Projects that celebrate the heritage and cultural diversity of a community.

What We Do NOT Support

  • Admission subsidies or purchase of tickets for events

  • Trips to conferences

  • International exchange programs

  • Passive participation by youth

  • Artists in residence programs



What We Believe

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 Support

  1. Programs in or out of the classroom, after school, weekends and summer.

  2. Student-directed or inquiry-based learning where students have a clear role in designing and evaluating projects and learning activities.

  3. Programs that promote skills for critical thinking, problem-solving and applied learning including but not limited to inquiry-based science, technology, engineering and environmental education.

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



What We Believe

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 Support

  1. Projects that are part of an established or larger design addressing ecosystem health and resilience.

  2. Projects that protect and preserve freshwater, marine and estuarine resources.

  3. Projects that support wildlife migration corridors and critical habitat.

  4. Projects that demonstrate a direct link between grant and benefit to be derived for wildlife species.

  5. Projects that bring together and actively engage stakeholders in wildlife and habitat preservation.

a. Only those organizations whose missions are dedicated to preservation, protection or perpetuation of wildlife and/or habitat are eligible to apply in this category.

b. Environmental education projects should generally be submitted under the education category unless the applying organization can meet the above requirement.

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


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