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Regional Giving Guidelines

Ross invests in a small number of direct grants to federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, schools, and government programs that serve a community in an area where we have a large presence and many Associates. Ross’ goal is to have a meaningful impact with our grants, and we will consider funding organizations that are strongly aligned with our philanthropic mission.

We have a two-staged review process with deadlines. Interested and eligible nonprofits will be asked to submit a Letter of Inquiry followed by an invitation-only full grant proposal.

Ross will welcome requests for one-year grants of $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000, and will consider funding both general operations/overhead and specific programs.

Grant Cycles

In 2024, we will have three grant cycles.

All eligible and interested organizations must register and submit a Letter of Inquiry through our online portal by the deadline for the submission period. After review, only a select number of organizations that strongly align with Ross’ mission will be asked to submit a full proposal. Any organization that has received grants three consecutive years is not eligible to apply in 2024. We do not accept Letters of Inquiry via mail, email, or fax.

Letter of Inquiry Submission Periods:

  • Cycle 1: February 21 – March 13, 2024
  • Cycle 2: June 10 – July 1, 2024
  • Cycle 3: October 4 – October 25, 2024

We expect to award approximately 35-45 grants total between these three grant cycles.

How to Apply

Please review our giving guidelines and eligibility requirements for this program.

In summary, your organization must:

  • Be a federal tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, school, or government program.
  • Align with our philanthropic mission to create brighter futures by building academic achievement and life skills in economically disadvantaged youth, ages 3-24.
  • Have not received a donation from Ross’ Regional Giving Program within the past 12 months. One exception is that organizations that have received gift cards or a small Store-Based Giving grant within the past 12 months may apply for a Regional Giving Program grant. Please note: organizations that have received a grant three (3) years in a row must wait out one (1) full grant-cycle year before applying for additional support. For example, if an organization was awarded a grant each year from 2020-2022, they cannot reapply again until the equivalent grant cycle in 2024.
  • Serve a community in an area where Ross has a large presence and many Associates, which are the following areas:
    • California: San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles Area,* Moreno Valley, Perris, Shafter
    • Pennsylvania: Carlisle
    • South Carolina: Rock Hill, Fort Mill
    • Texas: Sealy, Brookshire, Greater Katy Area, West Houston

*Eligible programs in the Los Angeles Area will serve the communities north of Long Beach, south of Burbank and Pasadena, and west of I-605.

While Ross has a large presence in other areas, such as New York City, the Regional Giving Program only serves those areas listed above. Organizations that do not meet the geographic criteria may be referred to our Store-Based Giving Program.

The eligibility quiz will help determine whether organizations and programs are aligned with our mission and comply with our guidelines. Take the eligibility quiz.

Upon completion of the eligibility quiz, eligible organizations will be prompted to register and complete an online Letter of Inquiry, which is a series of questions about the grant proposal. Submission of the Letter of Inquiry does not constitute a grant application. Information requested about the organization and planned use of the funds will help us determine whether there is alignment with Ross’ mission and objectives. We ask that organizations limit their submission to one Letter of Inquiry. We do not accept submissions via mail, email, or fax.

Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to provide feedback on Letters of Inquiry that are not accepted.

Following review of the Letters of Inquiry, Ross will contact organizations that are most aligned with our mission approximately three weeks following the Letter of Inquiry deadline and invite them to submit a full grant proposal online. If further information is needed about the grant proposal, a Ross representative will contact the organization. We will announce a decision on awards within three months of the grant proposal deadline.