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Community Foundation Grants

Grants to New York Nonprofits to Address
Community Needs in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

LOI Date:

02/03/20

Deadline Date:

05/04/20 4:00 PM

Description:

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Grants to New York nonprofit organizations for programs that benefit the community in eligible regions. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full application. Priority will be given to programs that address racial equity. Program areas include education and academic achievement; environmental protection and restoration; racial equity; and strengthening the region as a center for architecture, arts, and culture. Programs should benefit the Western New York counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is committed to making grants that maximize impact on the eight counties of Western New York within four Community Goals:

  1. Improve educational achievement for students living in low-income households. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
    • Improve the academic achievement and postsecondary completion of students living in low-income households, with a preference for systems change.
    • Improve the school readiness of children living in low-income households.
  2. Increase racial/ethnic equity. Requests must address the following Solution:
    • Increase opportunities for residents to interact across racial/ethnic lines resulting in improved understanding.
  3. Protect and restore significant environmental resources and promote equitable access.  Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
    • Protect and restore the region’s waterways and promote equitable access.
    • Strengthen individual environmental organizations and support a more racially inclusive and collaborative environmental community.
  4. Strengthen the region as a center for architecture, arts, and culture. Requests must address one of the following Solutions:
    • Increase access to long term arts instruction for children and youth living in low-income households.
    • Increase opportunities for residents to engage across racial/ethnic lines through the arts.
    • Restore and leverage significant historic buildings and architectural landmarks, with a preference for sites that promote cultural tourism. (Defining historic as official recognition by State/National Register of Historic Places or local preservation ordinance.)

Special funding is available to support the following:

  • Programs that serve the visual, speech or hearing impaired
  • Programs that shelter, preserve and enhance the environment of animals and wildlife 

Preference for this special funding will be given to applications that align with one or more of the four Community Goals.

Racial Equity

  • Special consideration will be given to requests which advance racial equity. See https://racialequitybuffalo.org/ for more information.
  • The Foundation will consider the applicant’s board, including the diversity of representation, in the evaluation process. Please be aware that the Foundation will give board diversification increased weighting when making final decisions. The ethnic/racial composition of the board of any organization should represent the community it serves.
  • The use of local businesses owned by people of color are encouraged. 

The Foundation is receptive to requests that address advocacy, research and policy analysis aligned with the four Community Goals.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149943

Estimated Size of Grant:

The historical average for a competitive grant through this process is in the $18,000 to $20,000
range.

The maximum grant available through the Community Foundation competitive process is $50,000.
- Grants in the amount of $50,000 are rare and usually are awarded when a unique opportunity, such as a funding match, is presented.
- Should an organization be requesting more than $50,000, they must contact the Foundation in advance to discuss their LOI.

Special funding is available to support the following:
- Programs that serve the visual, speech or hearing impaired (~$5,000)
- Programs that shelter, preserve and enhance the environment of animals and wildlife (~$10,000)

Term of Contract:

- On a very limited basis, the Foundation will offer the opportunity for two-year support with second year support contingent upon year one outcomes.
- The Foundation requires that all grants be closed out within one year of the receipt of funds, with the exception of two-year awards.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Grants are awarded only to organizations that have current Section 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service
- Applicants must be located or delivering services in at least one of the eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming.
- At any given time, organizations can only have one open Community Foundation competitive grant. If you have an open grant from the 2019 or prior cycle, you are ineligible.

The Foundation will not consider competitive funding for:
- Higher education scholarships (separate application, deadlines, and process)
- Projects outside the eight Western New York counties (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming)
- Religious purposes
- Schools not registered with the New York State Education Department
- Attendance at or sponsorship of fundraising events for organizations
- Field trips unless they are part of a long-term program or curriculum
- Annual events or festivals
- Any partisan political activity. Funds from the foundation cannot be used to support or oppose a candidate for political office.
- Projects and activities that have occurred. The Foundation will not, except in extraordinary cases, provide payment or reimbursement for expenses incurred prior to the funding decision being communicated to the applicant.

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline:
- LOI available online January 1, 2020
- LOI due February 3, 2020 at 4 PM. No exceptions
- Selected organizations invited to submit full applications April 3, 2020
- Grant information briefing for full application invitees April 10, 2020, 10 AM
- Application due May 4, 2020 by 4 PM. No exceptions
- Decision notification mid-July 2020

The Community Foundation competitive process has two stages. The first step is completion of an online Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI requests basic information to determine fit with the Foundation’s Community Goals. The LOI that align best with the Goals are invited to submit a full application. LOI and applications are submitted electronically online through the Foundant Grant Lifecycle Manager.

Any one organization may submit up to two LOI maximum. If an invitation to submit a full application is extended, only one of the LOI will be chosen and that choice is at the full discretion of the Foundation.

Eligible organizations can receive only one competitive grant per year.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=greaterbuffalo

For more information about the Community Foundation competitive grants process, please contact Darren Penoyer by email at darrenp@cfgb.org or at 716-852-2857, x206.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming counties

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