Millstone Fund


Grants Portal Access

Millstone Fund awards grants two times per year: March and September.

Standard Grant Cycle Timelines

March Awards

September Awards

Portal opens early August *No access code needed

Portal opens early February *No access code needed
LOI Deadline Oct 1 LOI Deadline April 1

Application invitations sent in Nov 

Application invitations sent in May

Application Deadline Dec 15 Application Deadline June 15
Grants awarded in March Grants awarded in September


Eligibility, Priorities, and Considerations

Eligible organizations include non-profit organizations with active 501(c)(3) status and that directly benefit residents of greater Cincinnati in the areas of health, education, and/or arts.


  • Millstone Fund is committed to inclusion, equity, and a sense of belonging for all people in our community. Requests should reflect the ways in which programming aligns with these values.
  • Before submitting an LOI or reaching out to the Grants Director, please review our priorities in health, education, and arts.
  • Millstone Fund typically expects an organization to complete a full grant cycle, including an evaluation follow-up report, prior to submitting a new LOI for the same need.
  • Currently, unsolicited grant awards, especially those for operating/program support, will average $20,000-$30,000. Unsolicited grant requests, operating/program support requests (unless approved by board), and/or requests from organizations new to Millstone Fund should not exceed $50,000. Requests will generally not be considered for less than $10,000.
  • The Board of Directors takes many factors into consideration when determining whether to award grants and at what level, including:
    • alignment with Millstone Fund strategies and priorities;
    • the quality of the application and promise to address a problem or advance work integral to the mission;
    • the full scope of need and commitments in the grant cycle including other requests received, Millstone Fund investments in collaborative initiatives, and any funds already committed to funder-initiated Request for Applications (RFA);
    • the request amount relative to the organizational and program budgets; and
    • additional funding resources outside the request.
  • Any request in excess of $50,000 requires communication and approval from Millstone Fund staff prior to LOI submission.
  • We welcome innovative ideas! We encourage these written innovative ideas to be shared for feedback and/or discussion as time permits prior to LOI submissions for these projects.
  • Our responsive grantmaking is only a portion of the entire Millstone Fund grantmaking portfolio. These awards require a competitive review process. Due to limited responsive grantmaking funds, some well-aligned requests may not be awarded.
  • We recognize that indirect costs are important in keeping an organization strong and do allow for a percentage of overhead commensurate with the unique circumstances of the request, organization, and other support.
  • We strive to provide strategic funding. Millstone Fund continues to evolve as engaged funders by building strategic investments with well-aligned organizational partners, collaboration efforts and larger projects.
  • Multi-year awards will be by invitation only or in response to a specific Request for Applications (RFA).

Please see Who We Support for additional details on funding priorities.

Requests are not considered for:
  • Organizations with a mission to advance a specific religion or specific religious practices. This includes support for schools with a religious affiliation.
  • Endowments (larger campaign requests which include endowment funding in the proposal scope should specify that no funds will be used towards the creation or sustaining of endowment).
  • Organizations with a primary mission to support animal causes.
  • Organizations outside the United States.
  • Political campaigns
  • Sponsorships
  • Loans to individuals
  • Reducing organizational debt

Grant Process

Letter of Inquiry deadlines: October 1 / April 1
  • Submit an LOI here.
  • Millstone Fund Review Committee will review LOI to determine whether an application invitation will be offered.
  • Organizations offered the opportunity to complete a full application will be notified of next steps.
Application deadlines: December 15 / June 15
  • If a grantee has questions regarding the application process, eligibility criteria or their organization’s alignment with Millstone Fund, please contact Elle Folger, Grants and Partnerships Lead, Millstone Fund, at