Grant Opportunities

The Community Foundation makes grants as investments in our community with the expectation of results to achieve specific outcomes which solve problems.

Grantees must either be an eligible organization, considered charitable by the IRS or have a fiscal sponsor. Eligible organizations are typically nonprofit agencies incorporated as 501c3 organizations, municipalities, school districts or faith communities. Fiscal sponsors take on the financial and legal responsibilities of receiving a grant on behalf of a group not otherwise eligible.

First consider whether your request fits into any of the priorities of one of our four grant cycles; 1) Women’s Fund Grant Cycle, 2) Library Grant Cycle, 3) Spring Grant Cycle (aging, youth, animal welfare or the environment) and 4) Fall Grant Cycle (priorities posted annually).

Applications which have been submitted for any of our four regular grant cycles are NOT eligible to be reconsidered for the General Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process.

If your request does not match with any grant cycle priority, consider applying through the General Letter of Inquiry process on either May 15 or October 15.

Every grant application or LOI will receive email confirmation of our receipt of your submission within 72 hours of the deadline.

For each grant, the Community Foundation will provide specific attribution language by fund, not by cycle.

2015 Women’s Fund Grant Cycle

Application Deadline: The application deadline for this cycle has passed. All grantees were announced at the Women's Fund luncheon on March 10, 2015. 2015 Women's Fund Grant Cycle Report is due by 5pm on December 31, 2015

Women’s Fund Grant Cycle applications and reports need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

2015 Women’s Fund Grant Cycle Report is due by 5pm on December 31, 2015

The Women’s Fund promotes educational, economic, and social equality by enabling women to achieve economic self-sufficiency, and by helping to provide the necessary resources for women’s health and basic needs. 

Objectives

  • To support organizations and projects that promote educational, economic, social and political equality for women
  • To enable women to achieve economic self-sufficiency
  • To insure that women have necessary healthcare resources

Historically preference has been given to applications seeking to serve adult women. Applicants seeking to serve young women will be also be considered in this cycle.

The grant range is $500-$2,500.

Eligible applicants must be located in Tompkins County and provide services for a charitable purpose to women in Tompkins County. Applicants must be a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization or a unit of local government (e.g. schools, municipality).

2015 Women’s Fund Grantees

APPLY GUIDELINES

2015 Library Grant Cycle from the Rosen Fund and from additional Community Foundation Funds

Application Deadline: The application deadline for this cycle has passed. All grantees were announced at a meeting of the Finger Lakes Library System on March 19, 2015. *NEW* Extended deadline for reports for 2014 grants, now due by no later than September 10, 2015 for final reports.

Unless already submitted before August 25, 2015, Library Grant Cycle applications and reports need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

*NOTE NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE* Library Grant Cycle Report is due by 5pm on September 10, 2015

The Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen Library Fund seeks to promote genuine intellectual curiosity and a lifelong love of reading and learning by encouraging youth to develop habits of regular library use. Eligible applicants are the 33 public libraries in Cayuga, Cortland, Seneca, Tioga and Tompkins counties, the 5 counties of the Finger Lakes Library System.

The Rosen Grants History provides examples of the libraries and programs that have been supported in the past. Please contact Program Officer Janet Cotraccia, jcotraccia@cftompkins.org, with any questions or concerns about the final report. Failure to complete the final report by the deadline will affect considerations for future grants.

APPLY GUIDELINES

2015 Spring Grant Cycle from Howland Foundation and Community Foundation Funds

Application Deadline: The application deadline for this cycle has passed. Reports are due by February 24, 2016.

Spring Grant Cycle applications and reports need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

 2015 Fall Grant Cycle Report is due by 5pm on February 24, 2016

The Spring Grant Cycle makes grants from the Howland Foundation and the Community Foundation’s donor advised and field of interest funds to support grants in the areas of aging, youth, animal welfare, and environmental preservation in Tompkins County as well as animal welfare and environmental preservation only in Broome County.

2015 Spring Grant Cycle grantees

Lists of previous Spring Grant Cycle grantees are provided below as examples of the range of organizations and types of programs supported in the past. These grantees in no way predict or favor future grants.

2015 Spring Grant Cycle Grants Award Ceremony

Reports are due by February 24, 2016 at which time we anticipate that we will be receiving reports through a new online system. Please contact Program Officer Janet Cotraccia, jcotraccia@cftompkins.org, with any questions or concerns about the final report. Failure to complete the final report by the deadline will affect considerations for future grants.

 

APPLY GUIDELINES

2015 Fall 2 Year Grant Cycle Collective Impact: Building Relationships, Building Our Future

Application Deadline: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by 5pm. Applications need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software. 2015 Fall Grant Cycle Interim Report is due by 5pm on September 21, 2016. 2015 Fall Grant Cycle Final Report is due by 5pm on December 13, 2017.

Fall Grant Cycle applications and reports need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

2015 Fall Grant Cycle Interim Report is due by 5pm on September 21, 2016

2015 Fall Grant Cycle Final Report is due by 5pm on December 13, 2017

The spirit of this grant cycle is to foster principles embraced by a Collective Impact Approach by:

• Focusing on supporting the 5 conditions for Collective Impact
1. Common Agenda
2. Shared Measurements
3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities
4. Continuous Communication
5. Backbone Function

• Fostering ownership of ideas, decision-making, action plans and activities by those whom programs are intended to serve.
• Fostering dynamic cross-sector engagement around issues of local concern (including government, nonprofit, philanthropic and corporate sectors as partners).
• Emphasize a focus on systems, (rather than programs) by increasing coordination – finding ways to re-align existing programs and stakeholders to maximize system efficacy

Collective Impact Resources

* Building Bridges Collective Impact Links and Resources

* What is Collective Impact?

* Getting Started – Readiness Assessment 

* Video of a successful Collective Impact Strategy

*10 Lessons Learned from Engaging the Business Community in Collective Impact 

Funding for current collective impact initiatives as well as for planning for new collective initiatives are eligible for these grants. 

Applications need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

Requests for feedback on draft applications may be made before submission to Program Officer Janet Cotraccia at jcotraccia@cftompkins.org no later than 5pm on Wednesday, September 16.

Participation in one of the following special in-depth information sessions is required for all applicants to orient them to this unique grant cycle as well as to introduce the new online application software. Click on a date below to register.

Thursday, August 13 from 1:30-3:00PM

Thursday, August 20 from 4:30-6:00PM

Thursday, September 10 from 10:00-11:30AM

Available Funds: minimum of $100,000 (over two years)

Minimum grant per initiative: $5,000 (total over 2 years)

Maximum grant per initiative: $20,000 (total over 2 years)

Over the past year, we have been listening to and learning about the Collective Impact model and its potential for transformative social impact. Collective Impact is an approach that communities are using across North America to move the needle on complex problems. Collective Impact is a paradigm shift from what we think of as collaboration between agencies: Collective Impact engages all sectors of the wider community (business, government, non-profits, and those who experience the problem being addressed – called “context experts”) to address a problem in a comprehensive way.

Organizations across our community are now engaging in initiatives, some nascent, some more established, using a Collective Impact approach, addressing a wide range of community issues. This grant cycle is intended to nurture the growth of the Collective Impact approach in our community.

GUIDELINES

2015 General Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

Application Deadline: Twice each year to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software by 5pm on May 15 or October 15. Initial responses to May LOIs will be in mid-July and initial responses to October LOIs will be in mid-December.

Submit Letter of Inquiry through CommunityForce.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

First consider whether your request fits into any of the priorities of one of our four grant cycles; 1) Women’s Fund Grant Cycle, 2) Library Grant Cycle, 3) Spring Grant Cycle (aging, youth, animal welfare or the environment) and 4) Fall Grant Cycle (priorities posted annually). Applications which have been submitted for any of our four regular grant cycles are NOT eligible to be reconsidered for the General Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process. If your request does not match with any grant cycle priority, consider applying through the General Letter of Inquiry process on either May 15 or October 15. The majority of grants from the LOI process have historically been in the range of $1,000-$5,000 and only in very rare cases have grants of up to $10,000 been made. Limit your LOI to one concept or one project. You may submit additional LOIs for additional concepts up to four LOIs from any one organization for each deadline. In general, Community Foundation staff will NOT be able to meet with a prospective applicant before a letter is submitted. 

Application Requirements & Process

  • A first step for seeking support from outside our four annual grant cycles (Women’s Fund, Library, Spring and Fall) is to submit a general letter of inquiry. This letter should be submitted through CommunityForce by 12pm on May 15 or October 15.
  • Application Process
    • Please include a two sentence summary of your request.

    • Please include the date by which you require funding.

    • Every letter of inquiry should be limited to a 3 page maximum and include the intended results or outcomes of the project, the demonstrated need for the project, the grant amount sought and a clear plan for evaluating the results of the project.

  • This will be reviewed by our Program Officer and our Community Impact Committee.
  • Next steps may include a request for more information, a notice of funding awarded, an indication that donor advisors are considering the grant request, a referral to one of the four specific Community Foundation’s annual grant cycles, or a message that the Community Foundation is not currently able to fund the grant request.
  • Community Foundation may also refer the applicant to other funders or may provide constructive feedback on other ways to achieve the grant seeker’s goals.
  • Each letter of inquiry will receive a formal response.
  • Before a final decision foundation staff may occasionally provide feedback on ideas for funding and may seek an appointment to have a conversation about the project, but only after a letter of inquiry has been received.

2015 Community Foundation Grant Cycles Calendar and General Tips for All Applications

Application Deadline: Various throughout 2015, please check each cycle or LOI process for specific deadlines. All submissions must be made by email to info@cftompkins.org.

From August 14, 2015 forward: 

Applications and reports need to be received through CommunityForce, a new online grant application software.

CommunityForce Online Grant Application Instructions

GUIDELINES
quote Cesar Chavez

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community. Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.