Grant Guidelines

  • The McLean Foundation empowers communities in the Eel River Valley and Humboldt County by providing funding, leadership and support.  Special consideration is given to requests that directly benefit the communities of the Eel River Valley and Southern Humboldt.


  • Funding educational programs and facilities.
  • Funding programs and facilities relating to health and medical care.
  • Funding programs and facilities to enhance the lives of children and the elderly; (The Foundation looks favorably on public entities, such as school districts, that are willing to match  or contribute toward any funding which may be granted)
  • Funding city and community projects that benefit the residents of Humboldt County.
  • Funding of projects for the arts and humanities.
  • Funding grants for the benefit of faith based programs or institutions


The McLean Foundation seeks to fund a broad range of program areas. It strives to make grants that will have a lasting impact for the people and community of Humboldt County. Only nonprofit  organizations within Humboldt County may apply for funding. The Foundation looks favorably on projects that serve the Eel River Valley and Southern Humboldt but our emphasis does not dismiss our desire to review requests from the larger Humboldt County Community. The Foundation does not have grant cycles.

If after reviewing the Grant Guidelines you believe that your organization’s project qualifies, please login to submit application.

The McLean Foundation has an online Grant management System.  This system will allow an increase in accessibility for our grantees.  With this system, grantees will be able to apply, track current grant process and have access to past grant history.  If you have never applied for a grant before, you will need to set a up a new user name and password.

How it works

A grant applicant creates an account in the Online Grants Manager portal, and then logs on to that account to start a new grant application. Your application can be saved as a draft, and when you log on again it’s easy to return to that draft, make edits, and submit the application. Each account maintains a record of the application history that you can access at any time.
Once a grant is awarded, the Online Grants Manager allows grantees an easy way to see the status of their grant, check due dates, and submit electronic grant reports right from their account.
We recommend that you carefully read the instructions and reference materials found on this page before registering and starting your first application.

Creating your online account

All applicants are required to create an account. At the time of registration you are required to enter the following information:

  • A username that is an email address
  • Your contact information
  • Your organization’s information, including the EIN/Tax ID number (required)
  • Contact information for the organization’s Executive Officer

Managing your organizations online account

The first person to register enters the organization’s information, which creates the organization profile. It’s important to enter this information accurately at registration, because after this point the organization profile can only be edited by McLean Foundation staff. It is possible for an organization to have more than one person associated with the account. For an organization to easily view its full history of grants and requests, we recommend consolidating all applications into one user account. If you are unsure whether your organization already has an account or if you need to be added to an existing account, please contact the office at or (707) 725-1722.

Once your account is set up, your account dashboard is displayed on the screen every time you log in. From the dashboard, you can do the following:

  • Edit your contact information
  • Begin the application process
  • Access application drafts and submitted applications
  • View details and complete the report process for grant awards

A user account can only be connected to one organization at a time. If you are a grantwriter for multiple organizations, please contact or (707) 725-1722.

For the best user experience when accessing our Online Grants Manager, we suggest using one of the following browsers: Google Chrome 14 or higher, Firefox 9 or higher, or Safari 4 or higher. It is fine to use Internet Explorer, but you may encounter some minor technical issues.



The Foundation Will Not Fund the Following (Unless there are extreme special circumstances):

  • Grants to individuals.
  • Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) exemption. (This does not apply to schools, other governmental agencies and some 501(c)(4)’s.)
  • Organizations or projects that are located outside the boundary of Humboldt County.
  • Grants for infrastructure, deferred maintenance or annual operating costs of public institutions, churches, special tax districts, or government except for a single, “one-time” special project.
  • Requests that do not meet the Foundation’s criteria for sound planning, adequate project development, and good management.
  • Projects which violate the laws regulating private foundations or the Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws of the Foundation.
  • Retroactive funding of any kind i.e. expenses for projects/programs which have already been completed.


If you are in a relationship with an organization that is acting as a fiscal sponsor or are considering entering into such a relationship, please read the following information carefully.  Projects, which may be using a fiscal sponsorship, will be evaluated by the McLean Foundation based upon these requirements.  A request may be denied if the foundation feels the project does not adequately meet these criteria.

  • Fiscal Sponsor must be willing to consider your “project” as a part of their overall organizational program; they must take ownership of the project.  Any forthcoming grant proposal would reflect this ownership within the language of the grant.
  • Project must reasonably fit into the mission of the Fiscal Sponsor.
  • Fiscal Sponsor must show documented proof of its Board of Director’s approval in taking responsibility for the proposed project.
  • Fiscal Sponsor must be willing to create a line item within their bookkeeping system to account for the project and any grant monies which may be funded and expended.
  • Fiscal Sponsor must be willing to sign the grant agreement with the McLean Foundation on behalf of the project.
  • Fiscal Sponsor must be a non-profit, 501(c)(3) and must have a current tax determination letter indicating their non-profit status.