Foundation / Corporation
The Schenectady Foundation (TSF)
Grants to New York nonprofits for transformative programs that benefit the people, neighborhoods, organizations, and communities of Schenectady County. Priority is given to programs that have the potential to cause significant change in the broader community. Smaller grants up to $10,000 are also available for planning, research, and development of future projects, or to get pilot projects off the ground in anticipation of being able to bring the program to scale in the future.
The Foundation is particularly interested in projects - large or small - where the injection of funding and engagement can more quickly and significantly deliver impact in the Foundation's areas of focus. In the Foundation's role as catalyst the Foundation may make initial investments to bring a project to a stronger level of impact over one to three years, but the Foundation rarely provides a high level of support for longer periods of time.
The Foundation prioritizes those grant requests most likely to have a significant impact in the Foundation's areas of strategic focus:
- Call to Action for Schenectady's Youth
- Neighborhood Revitalization
- Capacity Building and/or "Open Grants"
The following criteria are applied to each proposal received by the Foundation, and are used to guide the grant decisions of the Distribution Committee.
- Change: How will the project contribute to change?
- Community Benefit and Value: Projects that demonstrate a benefit to people in the community are valued over those that predominantly benefit the applicant organization. It is important to articulate how support of the project will connect to improvements in the community.
- Achieving and Sustaining Success: A project that cannot be sustained is usually a poor investment.
- Return on Investment: What is the value of the project results in relation to the financial investment of implementation? Is it cost-effective to support the project?
- Leadership: Project success usually hinges on leadership; the people who play key roles in making the project work. This is especially true when projects seek breakthrough changes.
The Foundation looks more favorably upon grant proposals that leverage other sources of funding, as well, rather than to rely solely on the Foundation’s award to fully fund a project.
GrantWatch ID#: 163644
There is no specific minimum or maximum size for grant requests. Over the past three years, the average grant amount has been approximately $40,000. The largest grant was $1,000,000 and the smallest grant was $2,500.
While the maximum Micro-Grant award is $10,000, the average Micro-Grant awards fall into the $3,000-$6,000 range.
While organizations may apply for multi-year awards, the Foundation will rarely approve awards that extend past a three-year commitment.
Applicants must be nonprofit corporations registered with the NYS Office of Charities Registration, and designated as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization by the IRS.
Additionally, local governments (counties, cities, towns, or villages) and religious organizations are generally ineligible to receive grant funding from the Foundation.
The next grant submission due date is March 20, 2018.
The Foundation has a two-step online grant process. The first required submission is a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) which provides a general overview of the proposed project. Upon acceptance of the LOI, applicants are provided with access to the full grant application. Note that for programs previously funded, grantees in good standing may be approved to bypass the LOI stage.
Letters of Inquiry (LOI) may be submitted through the Foundation’s grant portal at any time. The Foundation strives to respond to completed LOIs within 30 days of submission. During the review period, applicants may be asked to submit additional information, or to meet with Foundation staff.
LOIs that are accepted will be moved immediately to the grant stage.
Grant applications are to be submitted through the Foundation’s grant portal. Those submitted by the pre-determined due dates - and that meet all requirements for completeness and substance - will be forwarded to the Foundation Board for consideration, approximately 5 weeks after submission due dates:
- March 20, 2018
- May 23, 2018
- August 29, 2018
- November 14, 2018
The Foundation’s practice is to meet with each applicant, along with Board members with availability, to ensure that all decision-makers understand the proposed project, and have the opportunity to fully explore the potential of the project.
Once grant conferences take place, applicants can reasonably expect to be notified of funding decisions within approximately 2-3 weeks. Applicants will receive phone and/or email communications from the Foundation staff to make them aware of final funding decisions.
Occasionally, the Foundation will respond to a funding request with a matching grant, in order to stimulate the organization’s fund development efforts, and to help to diversify the funding base.
Completion of the Logic Model worksheet is required for all grant requests, except for Micro-Grants.
For assistance with the online grant application, please review the step-by-step instructions, or if the applicant requires additional assistance, the applicant may contact the Foundation's office.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
USA: New York: Schenectady County