Mission & Guidelines


The Belk Foundation believes that education is a basis for successful society and that a quality education is the right of all children and youth. Our mission is to invest in schools and organizations that work aggressively to ensure all students graduate from high school and continue on an intentional path toward college, career and life.


Access to quality education is a core value to which we’re fully committed. Research has proven that K-3 achievement and excellent teachers and leaders are key building blocks to a successful education. We’re investing deeply in these two areas in an effort to work toward system-wide change that will ensure high-quality education for all students. Because we believe that all children are capable of success, the achievement gap between low-income students and their wealthier peers can, and must, be closed. For this reason, we concentrate our resources on the students who need them the most. And we build relationships with high-achieving organizations and results-oriented school systems in the hopes that, together, we will be catalysts for lasting change.


In order to provide further guidance to grantseekers, we offer The Foundation's Outcomes Sought document to explain the types of outcomes we expect from our investments. This resource is not meant to be comprehensive, but simply a starting point for discussion as your organization assesses potential alignment with the Foundation’s priorities or prepares for a final application submission.


The Belk Foundation awards grants focused on improving public education for the students of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Foundation also considers select state-level initiatives in North Carolina that align with our key areas of focus and have evidence of or strong potential for large-scale impact.

Historically, the Foundation awarded grants in additional communities, with more recent emphasis in Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL. In May 2016, the Foundation Board decided to hone its focus on its home state of North Carolina. We are deeply grateful for the many partners and educators that we have learned from and engaged with over the years.


Grants from The Belk Foundation are not awarded to:

  • Individuals
  • Private elementary or secondary schools
  • International programs and/or organizations
  • Organizations for the primary purpose of fundraising. This includes sponsoring events or providing door prizes, gift certificates, merchandise or other giveaways

It is the policy of The Belk Foundation Board of Directors to allow up to 15% of a grant from an institute of higher learning to be used for indirect overhead expenses or "F&A". A copy of this policy can be found here.