Community Grants


Heaven Hill Brands has a longstanding legacy of giving back to the communities where we work and live. From Louisville to Bardstown, and beyond, Heaven Hill supports a broad range of non-profit organizations and initiatives, both locally and on a larger scale globally. From financial support to hands-on Volunteerism, Heaven Hill is providing critical resources for those in need. Today, our Spirited Neighbor Fund along with its companion grant program, uplifts spirits, enriches lives, and fosters unity in the vibrant communities where we work, live, and engage, to help build an enduring legacy of support, compassion, and responsible leadership. As part of the Heaven Hill Brands Spirited Neighbor Initiative, we have committed $800,000 over the first five years in the California neighborhood where we operate our Bernheim Distillery, and more broadly in the communities that residually impact the California community. Our Spirited Neighbor Community Grant Program provides grants to organizations helping our communities transform and thrive.


  • The Spirited Neighbor Fund has invested in five long-term community partners. These partners are leading initiatives to support education, mental health, and economic development.
  • The Spirited Neighbor Community Grant awards approximately $50,000 each year through grants of $500 to $5,000. Grants are for specific projects led by local non-profit organizations that make up the fabric of the West End community to support a sustainable, thriving California neighborhood now and for future generations. Applications are welcome from organizations that serve the California neighborhood.
  • We also consider requests for sponsorship of events serving the California Community. If you would like to send a sponsorship request for a community event for the California Neighborhood, please email proposal details to

The Spirited Neighbor Fund offers potential applicants the opportunity to learn about the Community Grant process and how to create a strong application before applying for the Spirited Neighbor Community Grant. In the future, we may offer peer-learning and networking opportunities to grant recipients to learn from each other as we strengthen collaboration and unity.

Heaven Hill employees are proud to serve our shared community through volunteer hours. Organizations serving the California Neighborhood may request volunteer support as part of their Spirited Neighbor Community Grant application or by contacting our community relations team through email at


The following organizations are eligible to apply.

  • Nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations;
  • Churches that meet the section 501(c)(3) requirements even though the church has neither sought nor received IRS recognition that it is tax exempt.
  • Individuals;
  • Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent (an organization must apply directly on its own behalf and cannot act as a pass-through entity);
  • For-profit entities;
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or disability;
  • Religious organizations seeking support for programs to which access is restricted by religious affiliation or programs that promote a particular creed;
  • Organizations whose primary purpose is to carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation or political campaigns.

Organizations that have had their IRS status revoked or who are not in good standing with the Secretary of State are not eligible to apply for a grant. Tax-exempt status must be current at the time of application. Late or incomplete applications are considered ineligible, and will not be considered for funding.


Organizations will share a detailed narrative describing their proposed project and the project’s budget. All applications must be submitted electronically using this link. The application is simple and should take about 1-2 hours to complete.

Please see the sample application for step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the application and offer tips for strong answers.


The Spirited Neighbor Community Grant Program offers two application cycles each calendar year.

  1. APPLICATIONS OPEN: September 1st
  2. APPLICATIONS CLOSE: November 30th
  3. RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED: December 31st

Funds for awarded grants are generally released 30-45 days after recipients have been notified.


Organizations may submit multiple applications for a Spirited Neighbor Community Grant per application cycle. Please submit a separate application for each project you’d like us to consider for funding.
Grantees must complete all project activities within the Period of Performance. For spring applications, this is July 2024 to June 2025. For fall applications, this is January to December 2025.

Grants range from $500 to $5,000. Grants do not require a cost share/match from the grantee.

The review panel will evaluate applications based on review criteria which include the applicant’s ability to carry out the project. Please keep your organization’s size and capacity to perform the project in mind when deciding how much to request. Selecting a grant amount is solely the decision of the applicant.

The Spirited Neighbor Fund reserves the right to limit support of a project to a particular portion of the project or amount.

The activities and costs listed below are not allowable and should not be included as part of your project or budget.

  • General operating support.
  • Direct grants to individuals.
  • Commercial (for-profit) enterprises or activities, including concessions, food, T-shirts, artwork, or other items for resale. This includes online or virtual sales/shops.
  • Lobbying, including activities intended to influence the outcome of elections or influence government officials regarding pending legislation, either directly or through specific lobbying appeals to the public.
  • Voter registration drives and related activities.
  • Subgranting or regranting.
  • Cash reserves and endowments.
  • Costs for the creation of new organizations.
  • Gifts and prizes, including cash prizes as well as other items (e.g., electronic devices, gift certificates) with monetary value.
  • Contributions and donations to other entities.
  • Fines and penalties, bad debt costs, deficit reduction.
  • Marketing expenses that are not directly related to the project.
  • Rental costs for home office workspace owned by individuals or entities affiliated with the applicant organization.
  • Costs incurred before the beginning or after the completion of the official period of performance.
  • Research involving human subjects.


Applications are reviewed by a panel of Heaven Hill employee volunteers that score these main criteria:

  • The proposed project’s alignment with the goals of the Spirited Neighbor Fund to uplift spirits, enrich lives, and foster unity while encouraging the California neighborhood to thrive
  • The strength of the project proposed, the project’s feasibility, and its potential positive impact on the California neighborhood
  • The applicant organization’s capacity to perform the project for which funding is requested
  • The applicant organization’s financial health, ties to the community, and general good standing as a nonprofit organization at the state and federal level

We have provided a sample application with tips for strong responses to application questions. In this sample application, we disclose how each item is scored by our review panel.


If selected, the organization will enter into a grant agreement with (Heaven Hill). The agreement will outline the terms and conditions of the award. Grantees must comply with all requirements in the grant agreement, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Grantees are required to carry out activities consistent with the original application as approved for funding.
  • Changes to funded activities must be proposed in advance and require prior written approval from the Spirited Neighbor Fund. Requests for changes are considered on a case-by-case basis; approval is not guaranteed.
  • Complete surveys/requests for feedback developed and provided as part of the grant program.
  • Use of the Spirited Neighbor logos/wordmarks as provided by the Spirited Neighbor Fund on all printed, electronic materials, and websites (program, catalogs, postcards, posters, newsletters, leaflets, publication, etc.) that specifically reference the project.
  • Complete an online final report form summarizing grant-funded activities and accomplishments at the end of the period of performance.
  • Grantees will submit financial reports to document use of funds on allowable activities and costs.

A Final Report must be submitted within 30 days of the end of the grant period. Click here to see what the Final Report looks like.

In the Final Report, you are required to provide evidence of the project’s accomplishments, how you spent the grant funds, and the number of community members you served. Evidence of the project’s achievements can include photos, participant feedback, statistics about who you served, relevant news clippings, etc. You are required to maintain all project documentation (including financial records) for 48 months following submission of your final report.

As part of the final report, all grantees are asked to contribute feedback about their participation in the Spirited Neighbor Community Grant Program.


Our team is happy to provide more information or answer questions you may have. Please reach out to us directly at