Hills and Hollows Fund

The Hills and Hollows Fund was established at the Vermont Community Foundation in 2003 to support educational opportunities, children and families, and efforts that foster the future sustainability of Poultney and its nearby communities.

What We Fund

Through its grant programs, the Hills and Hollows Fund aims to promote sustainable, healthy, vital and democratic communities. Grant funding is available to support existing services, provide seed money for promising new projects, and enable organizations outside of Poultney to expand their outreach to include area residents.

Examples of eligible program areas include:

  • Educational opportunities;
  • Services for children, elderly, and family health;
  • Food security;
  • Community organizations that nurture, preserve and interpret the area's unique cultural, built and natural environment;
  • Programs that address the use and abuse of limited natural resources, including responses to climate change; and
  • Programs that encourage community engagement and a stronger sense of connection and belonging.

The advisors of the Hills and Hollows Fund encourage collaborative programs and projects that take full advantage of available resources, such as colleges and existing programs and services (i.e., food shelves, rescue squads, schools, historical societies, clubs), or special individual expertise and experience. The Fund advisors believe these types of projects have the maximum potential to not only achieve their specific goals but also continue to build the bridges, synergies, commitment and participation of and between all residents, organizations and town governmental functions that are necessary for healthy and vital communities. 

What We Don’t Fund

The Hills and Hollows Fund does not generally fund capital campaigns, deficit funding, or expenses that have already been incurred. If you have questions about project eligibility, please contact VCF staff. Please note that programs and events must take place in spaces that are ADA accessible in order to be eligible for funding.

Who May Apply

Eligible applicants must be schools, municipal entities, or nonprofit organizations whose service area includes Poultney or its nearby communities.

Community groups who do not have 501(c)(3) status may apply for grant awards if another tax-exempt organization, school, or municipality acts as a fiscal sponsor. 

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available (meaning any funds having a competitive application process) by the Vermont Community Foundation, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Foundation. 

Grant applicants must employ staff and provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability.

Grant Size

The Hills and Hollows Fund includes two programs that make grants of different amounts. 

Hollows Grants ($250 - $1,000)

These modest mini-grants support educational and enriching activities for children, youth and families. Funding will be considered for such things as academic field trips, after school activities, or classroom enrichment programs and materials. It is hoped that these grants help schools and community groups meet one-time unforeseen needs or take advantage of unique opportunities, such as adding a special element such as a speaker or entertainer to a larger activity or program.  Although individuals are not eligible for funding, teachers and other interested individuals are encouraged to make applications in partnership with eligible nonprofit, school or municipal groups.

Hills Grants ($1,000 - $5,000)

The larger Hills Program considers projects that address significant local needs and that engage Poultney residents in their planning and implementation. Special attention is given to proposals where grant funding will have a greater impact by leveraging additional dollars and resources for the community. It is hoped that these grants will enable the town, the schools, and the community to move ahead with new good ideas and to address some long standing needs. 

Deadline and Notification

The Hills and Hollows Fund has no deadline—you may apply anytime through our Online Grants Manager. The Hills and Hollows Fund review committee, made up of donor advisors to the fund, evaluates all applications and makes funding recommendations to the Foundation.

Notification is usually made six weeks to two months after submission. Please plan accordingly when submitting your proposal—if your proposal is time sensitive, contact Foundation staff in advance of submission.

Application Process

The Hills and Hollows Fund has converted to an electronic application form that is now available via the Online Grants Manager. Visit our Online Grants Center to learn about the online application process, including registering for the first time or accessing your organization’s existing account in the Online Grants Manager.

If you have questions about applying to the Hills and Hollows Fund, please contact Lauren Bruno, Program and Grants Associate, at 802-388-3355 ext. 222 or lbruno@vermontcf.org.

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