Southern Hills by Choice

Southern Hills by Choice (SHBC) is the Black Hills Area Community Foundation’s (BHACF) giving society comprised of people from the Southern Black Hills who love their community and understand that philanthropy helps preserve the unique heritage and character of our area.

SHBC supports a wide variety of proposals. Requests can address issues in: Arts and Culture, Environment and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, Youth, Social Services, Education, and Animal Welfare. Grants will be distributed for charitable work in Hill City, Custer County, Fall River County and/or Oglala Lakota County. Historically, our giving circle grants have ranged from $500 to $5000. Please include a total budget for the proposed project and the detailed costs related to that total.


  • Applicants must be an IRS 501(c)3 public charity, school, government entity or religious organization in good standing with the IRS.
  • Requested support must be for organizations or activities that take place in one or more counties in the geographic focus of the Southern Black Hills.
    • The following areas, for the purposes of this grant opportunity, are defined as the Southern Hills: Hill City, Custer County, Fall River County, and/or Oglala Lakota County.

What Types of Projects Are NOT Funded?
Grants will not be awarded to support religious activity, political activity, fundraisers or benefits, debt retirement, or organizations working to primarily influence legislation. Supported activities may NOT discriminate against any individual or group based on race, gender, gender expression, age, disability, religion, ethnic or national origin, or otherwise legally protected groups. BHACF will not serve as an applicant for sponsored programs. Funding for multi-year projects or support will not be considered.

Grant Review Criteria
In reviewing applications, SHBC will consider the following criteria:

  • The organization or project must respond to a clear and compelling community need in the Southern Black Hills area with a well-developed program or project that responds to that need.
  • The organization must demonstrate that they have the operational capacity, the staff, and the leadership to carry out the efforts proposed.