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Community Celebrations Grant

Grants to Tompkins County, New York Nonprofits and Municipalities
for Events that Promote Local Culture, History, and Heritage

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Tompkins County

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Grants ranging from $500 to $3,000 to Tompkins County, New York municipalities and nonprofit organizations for community events that promote and support the region's unique history and culture. Funding is intended to enhance the quality of life for local residents through events that are free and open to all, and are planned by community members as a benefit to the community. Preference will be given to applications containing components of local culture, heritage, and/or history.

These grants allow the local community to to educate the public about local cultural inheritances, to give residents a way of understanding and enjoying local culture, and to expand contemporary local culture in ways that are informative, educational, and just plain fun. Applicants are encouraged to think of all the ways that life in Tompkins County is made richer by the area’s history, folk life, architecture, and ethnic heritage. Applicants are encouraged to source goods and services locally.

A Celebration is an event, program, or series of events endorsed by a municipality or other recognized community, is free and open to all, and is planned by community members as a benefit to the community. A Celebration is also defined as an observance, commemoration, jubilation, inauguration, presentation, or any other "red letter day" or salute that has meaning for the community.

Applications will be assessed on how well they meet the following criteria:
- Cultural and Historic Value
- Community Value
- Ability to Deliver
- Diversity
- Sustainability
- Clarity of Application

Fundable expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Local artists, performers, or providers of cultural programming
- Support for volunteers (excluding monetary compensation)
- Certain professional services needed to produce a successful Celebration
- Educational materials
- Food is fundable only if it is related to the theme of the event and is demonstrated to the audience.
- Reusable banners

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175718

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Range: $500 to $3,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants:
- Non-profit organizations designated as 501(c)3
- Municipalities within Tompkins County
- Events must take place within Tompkins County, NY

Municipalities may act as fiscal sponsors for event organizers who do not have a 501(c)3 designation. A letter from the town, village or city should be submitted in the application.

Ineligible requests:
- Carnival-type rides, bounce houses, and fireworks
- Building repairs or alterations
- Gifts or prizes
- Paid staff time

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for the spring round of Community Celebrations Grants are open now. Applications are due on February 28, 2019.

There are typically two rounds of funding per year. Events that occur between May and December should apply for grant funding in the spring grant round. Events that occur between January and April should apply for grant funding in the fall grant round.

Applicants must demonstrate a financial match of at least 50% of the total project cost. This match can be provided from the following sources: cash, in-kind donations of goods and professional services, and volunteer time (only if this time would otherwise need to be replaced by paid staff time or paid professional services).

Event Planning Manual:

General information on the Tourism Program:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Kristin McCarthy, Tourism Program staff

Nick Helmholdt
Principal Planner / Tourism Program Director
(607) 274-5560

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Tompkins County