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Community Needs Grant

Grants to Tompkins County, New York Nonprofits for
Human Services, Social Justice, Health, and Youth Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Park Foundation

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Grants to Tompkins County, New York nonprofit organizations for programs and projects that promote equity for low-income residents. Funding is intended for activities that address social justice and the obstacles to success faced by the most disenfranchised members of the community.

An important value of the Foundation is equity and the Foundation places a strong emphasis on equity in human service grants and efforts, which lead to good outcomes for all. The Foundation believes that it is better for everybody when it is better for everybody. As a result, a social justice lens for Community Needs grant making will be employed. Social justice is defined as understanding and interrupting the traditional patterns of exclusion, which prevent equal opportunity for all.

The Foundation has historically funded projects within the categories of health and human services, youth services and education, social justice and equity, and capacity building and philanthropy within its Community Needs program. It is anticipated that programs within these broad categories will continue to be funded along with proposals that advance social justice in other human service fields locally.

Priority will be given to low-income and historically disenfranchised populations. A strong preference will be given to proposals that:
- Develop interventions in partnership with the populations the project is intended to serve.
- Include relevant data for subpopulations within the target audience and tailor programs to meet the needs of those people who are most impacted by the issue being addressed.
- Identify barriers to success and facilitate initiatives that will surmount those obstacles.
- Describe how the proposed project will be implemented and evaluated in order to ensure that the intended beneficiaries are most effectively reached.

Other Interests:
Grants for advocacy and community organizing around critical issues in Tompkins County will be considered. Technical assistance, capacity building, and planning grants are also available and interested parties are encouraged to discuss these needs with program staff before making an application.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179492

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible organizations must be classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Funding is limited to organizations serving residents of Tompkins County.

Youth populations are given higher priority.

The Foundation does not make grants to individuals, for-profit entities, endowments or for debt reduction.

Generally, the Foundation does not support disease-specific programs or capital requests.

Pre-Application Information:

Before developing a proposal, prospective grantees should consult Program Interests to determine the potential for funding. Calls or emails to program staff are also welcome to help assess fit with program interests. Proposals are reviewed on a quarterly basis; please see the application deadlines below.

To reduce paper and encourage timely submissions, applicants may submit Letters of Inquiry and full proposals electronically through the portal. Prospective applicants may want to consider submitting a Letter of Inquiry as a preliminary step before submitting a full proposal. Although a Letter of Inquiry is not required before submitting a full proposal, the Foundation does recommend it specifically for (1) documentary requests; (2) when an organization is new to the Foundation; or 3) if the applicant is unsure whether the request fits the Foundation’s guidelines.

Once an LOI is submitted, please do not submit a full proposal unless contacted by a staff member.

2019 Proposal Submission Deadlines:
January 11
March 28
July 12
September 20

Although applicants are encouraged to apply electronically through the Foundation's portal, emailed or faxed proposals or letters of inquiry are accepted with prior approval from the Foundation.

Proposals must arrive at the Foundation’s office by the dates listed to be considered for a grant at the next quarterly Board meeting. All proposals received will be acknowledged by email, usually within a week of receipt. While the Foundation does not guarantee it, most decisions on full proposals are made within the quarter. Occasionally, proposals are deferred to a subsequent quarter for reasons of volume, need for additional review, or other circumstances. Applicants will be notified if a deferral occurs.

About the Foundation:

Application Information:

Contact Information:

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

Submit an online letter of inquiry here:

Submit online full proposals here:

For questions about the electronic forms or process:
607.272.9124 or email to

For emailed, mailed and faxed applications, please use the application documents provided below and submit all written correspondence to:
Park Foundation, Inc.,
140 Seneca Way, Suite 100
Ithaca, NY 14850
Fax: 607.272.6057

Sue Kittel, Senior Program Associate, Community Needs, Animal Welfare

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York: Tompkins County