Empower Polk Deadline Update:

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Empower Polk submission deadline has been extended until Friday, March 20th.

Apply for Empower Polk 2020


Submit Grant Application

Apply and report on Empower Polk grant funding. Watch video tutorial.


Empower Polk 2020 Guidelines

Start by reading the application guidelines

What is Empower Polk?

Empower Polk is an annual competitive grant program of the GiveWell Community Foundation with the goal of empowering local nonprofit organizations to become more efficient and sustainable. The GWCF grants committee reviews and advises on awards with final approval by the GWCF board of directors.

Empower Polk began in 2018 with a focus on infrastructure support, helping nonprofits get the additional training, tools, or technology they need to execute their mission. Empower Polk may change areas of focus year to year.

How Can You Support Empower Polk?

Funding for Empower Polk comes from contributions made to the GWCF Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund. Anyone can contribute to this fund, and 100% of all contributions go directly towards Empower Polk grants. GWCF donor-advised fundholders may request a grant from their fund to Empower Polk. Online donations can be made using the link below.

Who Can Apply?

The Empower Polk grant cycle is currently only available by invitation only to nonprofits organizations who have established an agency fund within GiveWell Community Foundation.

How to Apply and Report?


Empower Polk Guidelines

Start by reading the Empower Polk Application Guidelines


Apply & Report

Use the Nonprofit Portal to apply for and report on Empower Polk funding


Video Tutorial

Learn how to use our Nonprofit Portal to apply for funding


Project Budget Worksheet

Create a project budget with this Excel worksheet


  • Open application process begins March 2, 2020
  • Full applications must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2020 March 20, 2020.
  • Final grant award notices will be sent in May 2020

Previous EP Grants

Empower Polk 2018

25 local nonprofits received a total of $110,699 in Empower Polk 2018 funding from the Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation. Each nonprofit received between $1,500 and $5,000.

  • All Saints Academy to develop innovative teaching practices.
  • Alliance for Independence for technology improvements.
  • Cornerstone Hospice for community outreach and support.
  • Central FL Speech & Hearing Center for technology improvements.
  • Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales for marketing and outreach improvements.
  • Florida Dance Theatre for marketing improvements.
  • Gospel, Inc. for video creation.
  • Imperial Symphony Orchestra for strategic planning.
  • Junior Achievement of Polk County for staff training.
  • Lakeland Choral Society Inc for strengthening choral groups and youth choirs.
  • Lakeland Kiwanis Charitable Foundation for leadership training.
  • Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine for marketing and development improvements.
  • Meals on Wheels of Polk County for technology and website improvements.
  • Noah’s Ark of Central Florida for board development and staff training.
  • Parker Street Ministries for marketing and website improvements.
  • Polk Education Foundation for marketing improvements.
  • Santa Fe Catholic High School for technology improvements.
  • The Schools of McKeel Academy for strategic planning.
  • SPCA Florida for bilingual marketing improvements.
  • Strings in Need to provide instruments for students.
  • Talbot House Ministries for board development and strategic planning.
  • Theatre Winter Haven for marketing improvements.
  • Volunteers In Service To the Elderly (VISTE) for technology improvements.
  • Women’s Resource Center for staff training.
  • YMCA of West Central Florida to better secure check-in/out for camp and childcare participants.
Empower Polk 2019

25 local nonprofits received a total of $101,066.17 in Empower Polk 2019 funding from the Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation. Each nonprofit received between $1,500 and $5,000.

  • Achievement Academy
  • Alliance for Independence
  • Bonnet Springs Park
  • Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center
  • Circle of Friends Ministry, Inc.
  • Cornerstone Hospice Foundation
  • Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales
  • Gospel Inc.
  • Imperial Symphony Orchestra
  • Lakeland Choral Society Inc
  • Lakeland Community Theatre, Inc.
  • Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine
  • Learning Resource Center of Polk County
  • Lighthouse Ministries, Inc.
  • Meals on Wheels of Polk County
  • Parker Street Ministries, Inc.
  • Peace River Center
  • Polk Education Foundation
  • SPCA Florida
  • Talbot House Ministries of Lakeland, Inc.
  • Theatre Winter Haven
  • Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE)
  • Women’s Resource Center of Florida, Inc