State Councils National Venture Fund Grants

The National Venture Fund grant program provides a unique means to strengthen the nation’s independent sector of higher education through its network of State Councils. It was established to inspire and fund creative solutions to the needs of independent colleges and universities and to encourage participation in such efforts by foundations, corporations, government agencies, individuals, and other nonprofit organizations.

Funded through the CIC State Councils Endowment, the mission of the National Venture Fund is to enrich educational opportunities for students and to strengthen programs of the State Councils’ member colleges. Grants must be matched (1:1 minimum) by third parties.

Current Status

Since the inception of the National Venture Fund program, over $5 million has been distributed to fund over 140 grant programs. Reported matching funds total more than $12.5 million, far exceeding the 1:1 required match. This brings the total economic impact of these grant programs to approximately $17.5 million. Additionally, ongoing local support for projects seeded by the program surpasses the total reported match.


Only CIC State Councils are eligible to apply for funding from the National Venture Fund.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the grant application, please contact Sherita C. Ashmon, director of State Councils and networks support, at (202) 466-7230 or

About CIC’s State Councils

Learn more about CIC’s State Councils, including the array of progams and opportunities that are available to members.