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Community Grant

Grants to New York Nonprofits, Agencies, Schools, and
Municipalities to Benefit Onondaga and Madison Counties

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Central New York Community Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants to New York nonprofits and public agencies, school districts, and municipalities for programs that benefit residents of Onondaga and Madison Counties. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Foundation before submitting a proposal. Funding is intended for projects in the focus areas of arts and culture, civic affairs, education, health, human services, and the environment.

Each proposal is evaluated on its potential value to Onondaga or Madison County, levels of available funding for disbursement, and the quality of planning, leadership, support and vision expressed in the application.

The Community Foundation seeks to advance three goals through its grantmaking programs — community impact, community building, and diversity.

- Community Impact: The Community Foundation’s mission is to foster a thriving Central New York community. The Foundation supports innovative programs in all of the above-listed focus areas. Successful projects will address community needs through programs and activities that demonstrate sustainable impacts and measurable outcomes.

- Community Building: Community building is central to the work of the Central New York Community Foundation. Therefore, the Foundation will give preference to projects that increase civic participation and community vitality. Successful projects will build community connections, especially among diverse groups, and build mutual trust and reciprocity in community relationships.

- Diversity: The Community Foundation seeks grantees and partners that incorporate diversity into their missions and operations, striving to encourage diverse governance boards, work force, partner organizations, and served constituencies. To that end, diversity will be an important consideration in the evaluation of requests for Community Foundation funding.

The Community Foundation funds a diverse range of projects across all program areas. Most grants, though, fall into three main categories:

- Organizational Development Grants: for costs related to activities such as strategic planning, board development, program planning, performance management and evaluation, succession planning or marketing and communications. Other organizational capacity areas under this category include business planning, fund development, facility planning and management systems (financial, HR, technology)

- Program or Direct Service Grants: for costs related to implementation of a program (start-up or expansion)

- Capital Grants: for costs related to building construction, building renovation, or capital equipment (with an expected useful life exceeding three years).

While the following list is not exhaustive, the Board considers applications with the following criteria in mind:

The Organization:
- Establishes why it is the appropriate organization to implement the proposed project
- Clearly demonstrates an ability to accomplish the proposed activities
- Fosters collaborative approaches and diverse civic participation in conducting its work
- Promotes mutual trust and reciprocity amongst the various stakeholders in its work
- Is in good fiscal condition

The Project:
- Demonstrates a vital community need and shared support for the proposed approach to the problem
- Will have a significant, sustainable impact on the community need
- Has a clearly outlined project plan and accompanying activities
- Identifies achievable, measurable outcomes and includes a deliberate plan for evaluating them
- Secures other sources of financial and in-kind support
- Is viable in the long term and shows a plan for acquiring future funds

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174745

Term of Contract:

The Community Foundation typically awards grants for project budgets covering a one-year timeframe. In appropriate circumstances, the Foundation will consider applications with budgets beyond twelve months.

If considering multi-year funding, please discuss your plans with staff during your initial meeting with the Community Foundation.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Community Foundation supports a wide variety of projects, but does restrict itself to organizations:

- Located in, or providing services to residents of Onondaga and Madison Counties
- Classified as nonprofit charitable organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code; or publicly supported organizations such as school districts and municipalities that have not received a grant in the previous 12-month period
- Have submitted a grant report for any completed program previously funded by the Community Foundation
- Programs seeking to apply through a fiscal sponsor, or seeking an exception to any of the above policies, should consult with staff prior to submission.

Restrictions for Capital Grants: Please note that for capital campaigns that seek to raise $1 million or more, the Community Foundation will award no more than 10% of the total campaign goal, and grants will not exceed $150,000. Funding for smaller projects will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Additionally, please note that in general:
- Grant applications will not be considered for capital campaigns with a goal of $1 million or more until at least 50% of the total campaign goal has been raised.
- The Community Foundation does not award grants for permanent renovations to buildings or properties that are not owned by the applicant. That being said, the Foundation encourages innovation and cross-sector collaboration. Please speak with the grants staff if your organization is engaged in an innovative and sustainable partnership with the owner of the property in question.
- The Community Foundation strongly encourages and prefers capital projects that are environmentally sustainable.

The Community Foundation, as a rule, does not make grants for the following through its Community Grants process:

- Annual operating budgets, except when it is "seed" or "bridge" funding
- Endowments
- Religious purposes
- Loans or assistance to individuals
- Medical or academic research (except where requested by a donor)
- Retroactive expenses or activities that occur before the Community Foundation’s decision date

Pre-Application Information:

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff to discuss proposal ideas before submitting an application.

Community Grant Application Deadlines:
- March 30, 2018
- July 13, 2018
- October 12, 2018

For updated deadline information, go to:

Online Application Information and Tutorials:

Please note: The Community Foundation may award an additional 10% for administrative and/or overhead costs associated with program-related requests. This includes support services such as information technology, financial management, project evaluation, and human resources. These options are not appropriate for all proposals or applicants. If considering administrative overhead or evaluation funding, please discuss your plans with staff during your initial meeting with the Community Foundation.

Contact Information:

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

Register and apply online:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff at (315) 422-9538 or email to discuss proposal ideas before submitting an application.

The Foundation’s Grants Team:

Danielle Gill
315-883- 5554

Dashiell Martinez
315- 883-5552

Robyn Smith
315- 883-5543

Frank Ridzi
315-883- 5553

If you have trouble accessing or utilizing our online grants system, please contact us at (315) 422-9538 or

Central New York Community Foundation
431 E. Fayette Street, Suite 100
Syracuse, NY 13202

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Onondaga and Madison Counties