Special Grant Initiative


The Special Grant Initiative (SGI) is a new funding opportunity offered by the Mecklenburg County ABC Board for FY 2024. Through this grant program, selected grantees will be trained in the C. E. Mendez Foundation’s evidence based Too Good for Drugs prevention education program “designed to mitigate the risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) use” (https://toogoodprograms.org/). This curriculum aligns with the purpose of ABC Board grant funding focused on prevention, education, treatment, and/or research of alcohol and/or substance abuse (substance use disorder) per Chapter 18B-805 (h) of the North Carolina General Statutes.

For more information on Too Good for Drugs:

  • Go to the Too Good for Drugs website HERE
  • Download the logic model from the C. E. Mendez Foundation HERE.

The ABC Board is interested in partnering with eligible nonprofit organizations to bring this important programming to children in Grades K-5. Eligible organizations that serve children in Grades K-5 in classrooms, after school programs, summer camps, summer programs, mentoring programs, reading programs, and other similar programs are welcome to apply.

Grants will be awarded up to $25,000 for a one-year project period in FY 2024, depending on and in alignment with the applicant's proposed project and at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Estimated number of awards is 10.

All grantees will receive training and a curriculum kit to implement the Too Good for Drugs curriculum. Training will take place during the summer of 2024. Costs for training and curriculum are covered by the ABC Board and do not need to be included in the grant request.

Eligibility Guidelines

Funding is restricted to organizations that meet the following criteria (note: a fiscal sponsor arrangement will be considered for organizations that do not meet some of the eligibility criteria):

  • Mecklenburg County non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or governmental entities such as the State of North Carolina and its agencies, municipal corporations, and political subdivisions of the State. 
  • 501(c)(3) determination letters located in and serving residents of Mecklenburg County.
  • Demonstrated experience working with children in Grades K-5 (in or out of a classroom setting).
  • Evidence of a minimum of two (2) consecutive years of organization growth/success.
  • Current active NC Charitable Solicitation License (CSL) or exempt status with the NC Secretary of State (NCSOS). Before applying for a grant, please check your organization's status HERE. If you do not have a CSL, exempt status, or your license has expired, please apply, or renew at this time. The ABC Board will require proof of application to the NCSOS to move forward in the grant process. The CSL number or evidence of exempt status will be required to receive a grant award.
  • Demonstration of organizational financial stability though one of these options:
    • Option 1: Two (2) most recent 990-N postcards with corresponding Annual Financial Report Form for Charities or Sponsors submitted to the NCSOS for those same years (Note: likely to need a fiscal agent)
    • Option 2: Two (2) most recent independent financial compilation reports done by a public accounting firm (Note: likely to need a fiscal agent)
    • Option 3: Two (2) most recent 990 EZs (Note: possible to need a fiscal agent)
    • Option 4: Two (2) most recent 990 full versions
    • Option 5: The most recent independent audit completed by a licensed CPA showing year-over-year (2 years) financials

Grant Deadlines

Each organization must have an account in Foundant, the ABC Board’s online grants management system. See below for more information on setting up an account.

Grant Application
Opens: November 30, 2023
Closes: December 31, 2023
Open to all eligible organizations

Application Requirements

  • Agency site visits will be scheduled virtually with applicant organizations as deemed appropriate by the Grants Evaluation Team as part of the grant evaluation process.
  • Only one (1) application to the Special Grant Initiative can be made by an organization for that fiscal year.
  • All grants are for a one-year project period and grantees MUST commit to:
    • Attending the curriculum training – up to two (2) participants may attend.
    • Implementing the curriculum for a minimum of two times during the grant period.
    • Conducting program evaluation that corresponds with the evidence based curriculum.
    • Submitting program evaluation data to the ABC Board in Grant Goal Reports.
  • Matching funds are not a requirement of the Special Grant Initiative.
  • Non-allowable costs include sub-grants, sub-contracts and/or use of funds for general operating support. Definition of terms is as follows:
        • Sub-grant: when a grantee makes grant awards from the funds received through its ABC grant.
        • Sub-contract: when a grantee hires a contractor who then awards a portion of the existing contract to another individual or entity.
        • Operating Costs: expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  • All organizations submitting a full grant request will be notified in writing of their application status by May 31, 2024. Please note this is tentative application status pending Board budget approval.

The ABC Board is Here to Help!

OPTIONAL WORKSHOP - CLOSED: The FY 2024 Special Grant Initiative
Virtual Pre-Grant Workshop was held on November 30, 2023, from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM.

Getting Started

Getting started means getting organized! This will help applicants to prepare a better grant application.

Begin by taking one of these two steps:

  • If your organization is new to the ABC Board, please create an organization account in Foundant.
  • If your organization is a current grantee or previous applicant of the ABC Board, update your organization information in Foundant that may have changed since the last funding cycle. It is important to keep contact information current so that communications from the ABC Board are not missed. DO NOT CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT.

Go to the ABC Board’s online grants management system at Foundant to create or make updates to your organization’s profile.

If you have trouble finding your account reach out to Terry Albanese, Program Officer Consultant HERE.

Project & Technical Assistance

For assistance with the Special Grant Initiative or with Foundant, please contact Terry Albanese, Program Officer Consultant HERE.

Helpful Information

These additional resources may help to answer some of your questions: