Guidelines & Application


The Leighty Foundation is a family foundation incorporated under Iowa law.  Directors and advisors live in Colorado, Alaska, and
California.   We award charitable funds to tax-exempt
nonprofit organizations.   Distributions may be by a formal grant application process or by a contribution.

We are a small foundation, and since we leverage our funds by investing time in some way with most of our fund recipients, we consider only funding proposals that we have solicited, as either grant applications or requests for contribution.

To make initial contact, please e-mail to Nancy Waterman, Managing Director, with a one-page document that includes:

  • mission of the organization
  • need to be addressed
  • intended outcome of the endeavor
  • size of the grant requested

If your organization is invited to apply for funding, you will receive a notice from us.

Grants proceed from an invited, written application, on our form.    Grants are usually made for one year or one project.  A written evaluation of the project is required from each grantee.  The majority of grants are $4,000 – $10,000.

Contributions proceed from an invitation and do not require a formal application.   Opportunities are researched by a Board member or advisor who then requests consideration by the Board.   Contributions are made each year.  The majority of contributions are $500 – $4,000.

Many of our funding decisions are made during our summer board meeting.  However, proposals may be considered at any time during the year.

We generally do not consider funding for capital projects.  However, when we do, we are particularly interested in building design and energy efficiency, land use, and community planning – consistent with our dedication to sustainability and to sprawl prevention.  If you are planning a capital project, please review our “Investing in Capital Projects” paper.

We increase the impact of our grants and contributions by investing in organizations that strategically and effectively engage volunteers to accomplish their mission.  We encourage office operation and personal choices that reduce environmental impacts.

Application:  PDF
Evaluation:   PDF