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Grants to New York City Nonprofits and
Groups to Enhance Community Parks

Capacity Fund Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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City Parks Foundation and Partnerships for Parks (PfP)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/24/22 12:00 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $3,000 to New York City nonprofit organizations and community groups to improve neighborhood parks. Applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended for volunteer-run groups with limited budgets. Eligible uses of funds include park projects and supplies, events, tools, and outreach materials.

The Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund Grant provides funding to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program planning capacity of community groups who care for their neighborhood parks in all five boroughs of New York City. 

This grant is seed money for volunteer-run groups working with PfP who do not have existing staff, are new to the grant application process, and/or have limited budgets. This grant covers outreach and materials for projects or programs that cultivate long-term stewardship and activation of green spaces. It can also cover general promotional materials for groups and their activities and costs related to group development, such as 501(c)(3) filing fees or volunteer training for groups who demonstrate more advanced fundraising capability and have a history of working with PfP.

Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Tools, equipment, and field supplies for small physical improvements or beautification projects.
  • Events and programs that bring new audiences to the park and encourage sustainable involvement.
  • Materials for arts and culture programming (e.g., art and musical programs, crafts workshops) or wellness/fitness programming (e.g., yoga, walking groups, meditation circles).
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • Outreach materials such as newsletters, banners, posters, postcards, or bulletin boards.
  • Consultants/instructors.
  • Plants and gardening materials such as mulch and compost.
  • 501c3 filing fees (groups who have received a previous Capacity Fund Grant are eligible).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179833

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $3,000

Term of Contract:

Grant funded projects and activities may only begin after awards are announced. Grant activities must be completed within one year of receiving the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This grant is seed money for volunteer-run groups working with Partnerships for Parks who do not have existing staff, are new to the grant application process, have limited budgets, or do not have an established track record in fundraising.

Eligible Applicants:
- Community groups proposing projects for any NYC Parks property throughout the five boroughs (i.e. Greenthumb gardens, parks, playgrounds, street trees, and greenstreets).
- Groups who lead projects or programs that engage their community, expand the group’s capacity to serve as long-term stewards of green spaces, and are free and open to the public.
- Applicants are not required to have 501(c)(3) status, but if groups are not 501(c)(3) organizations or do not have an outside fiscal sponsor, grant funds can only be accessed by reimbursement or paid invoice directly to vendors through an account with City Parks Foundation.
- Volunteer-run groups who have annual budgets less than $15,000 and are working in historically under-resourced areas are prioritized.
- Organizations with larger budgets up to $50,000 must be currently working with PfP in order to be eligible.

Groups who receive grants may reapply one year after their award date, but must have completed and submitted a final report for all previous grant activities.

Not funded:
- Individuals.
- Projects not on NYC Parks property.
- Equipment such as computers, printers, laptops, or tablets.
- Fundraisers or materials that will be sold for profit.
- Capital improvements to parks.
- Staff time. It is expected that the programs funded will be run primarily by volunteers. Exceptions are made for outside consultants such as educators or performers who provide a needed service or expertise and intern stipends when projects provide meaningful youth employment related to parks.
- Local travel.
- Overhead costs like rent, general liability insurance, utilities, etc.
- Work at flagship parks (i.e Central Park, Prospect Park) or well-established large nonprofit conservancies with dedicated staff and funding.
- Groups eligible for GreenThumb, Historic House Trust, or flagship parks resources.
- Nonprofits with established staff and funding.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-Application Information:

- Application deadline: Monday, January 24th, 2022 at 12 pm, NOON
- Earliest notification of decisions: Late May 2022
- All submissions must be received by 12:00 PM on the due date.

The application process should not begin with submitting the proposal. Contact the Foundation to go over your ideas first and be available and prompt in your responses during the grant review period.

Expect to hear about the funding decision roughly twelve weeks after the deadline. Please be available during the review period to answer follow-up questions.

Contact Information:

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

To request an individual consultation:

For more information, contact

City Parks Foundation
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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