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Grant Guidelines

Community Development & the Environment

Program goals: to build and sustain strong communities and create economic opportunities for residents of low-income neighborhoods.

We support a mix of citywide and local community development activities as well as citywide technical assistance, policy research, and advocacy. We will give priority to projects that promote community participation.

Grants are made to projects that:

  • Preserve affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods;
  • Promote strategies for job creation and linking low-income residents to jobs;
  • Develop new sources of capital and innovative community development tools;
  • Enhance the capacity of community development organizations to function effectively; and
  • Monitor and document the effects of community and economic development policies on poor communities.

You may also consider applying for a grant through the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

Our New York City environment grantmaking focuses on three priority objectives.

Becoming a Climate-Smart Metropolis by:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and various industries.
  • Increasing the amount of electricity generated by renewable energy resources.
  • Supporting distributed (on-site) generation, establishing microgrids, and modernizing the grid.
  • Encouraging climate resilience and adaptation to climate change particularly in vulnerable low-income communities.

Creating Healthier, More Livable Communities by:

  • Preventing air pollution.
  • Reducing the risk of exposure to toxic substances especially for disadvantaged residents.
  • Reclaiming and redeveloping brownfields.
  • Creating, improving, and enhancing open space and improving access to the City’s waterfronts.
  • Ensuring that environmental benefits and burdens are shared equitably.

Protecting Urban Ecologies by:

  • Safeguarding the City’s critical watersheds.
  • Preventing pollution of the waterways.
  • Preserving and enhancing wetlands, urban tree cover, and wildlife habitat.

As part of our grantmaking, we will support cross-cutting initiatives that accomplish a combination of objectives. Some examples include:

  • Ensuring meaningful participation by disadvantaged groups or communities in environmental and land use decision-making.
  • Building leadership among new constituencies around sustainability and environmental issues.
  • Green buildings or green infrastructure practices, technologies, and policies.
  • Sustainable transportation measures.
  • Promoting access to healthy food grown in the metro region.

Read full NYC Environmental Grantmaking Strategy>>

The Trust is fortunate to have the Henry Phillip Kraft Family Memorial Fund, whose purpose is to support environmental projects of national and international significance and supplements our local environmental grantmaking.

The overarching goal of our Kraft Fund grantmaking is to promote more environmentally sustainable, resilient, and just communities. To that end, we support projects in four areas.

Mitigate climate change by:

  • Promoting energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy for buildings.
  • Shifting to electric or low-emission vehicles and greater use of mass transit.
  • Promoting a smarter, more resilient grid and distributed (on site) generation.
  • Reducing emissions from existing fossil fuel-powered facilities and extraction activities
  • Establishing regional programs, performance standards, and regulations that help reduce emissions.

Make communities, especially the most disadvantaged, more resilient to a changing climate by:

  • Creating infrastructure that reduces storm water run-off and absorbs storm surges.
  • Protecting shoreline communities by conserving or enhancing natural barriers
  • Encouraging more sustainable building design and land use through policy reforms.
  • Better planning and preparation for weather-related emergencies, especially for low-income and other vulnerable residents.

Protect public health from the hazards of toxic pollutants by:

  • Supporting targeted scientific research that can be used to develop policy.
  • Promoting safer chemical and heavy metal policies and practices, especially for infants, children and other vulnerable people.
  • Eliminating toxic chemicals from products through market campaigns focused on retailers and manufacturers.
  • Enhancing protections for low-income communities near polluting facilities.
  • Minimizing the hazards of new and expanded fossil fuel extraction on nearby communities.

Preserve biological diversity through habitat conservation by:

  • Establishing, enhancing, and monitoring wildlife migration corridors.
  • Supporting functional connectivity between fragmented habitat that enables species to move and live safely.

We encourage initiatives that cut across these program areas, especially those focused on smart growth, sustainable agriculture and regional food systems, and sustainable production.    

Internationally, we will support only U.S.-based organizations that are building the capacity of government, academic institutions, private sector entities, and nonprofits to protect biodiversity, improve environmental health, and reduce greenhouse gases around the world.

Read more about the Kraft Fund>>

Read our full National and International grantmaking strategy>>

Important notice to grant-seekers:  We’re developing a new grantmaking strategy with our Board for the workforce development grants program, and we will review only a very limited number of new proposals until June 2014. Please watch this website in June for the new grant strategy.

Program goal: To improve the workforce development system in New York City for disadvantaged job seekers. We do not support individual employment programs.

Grants are made to projects that:

  • Advocate for policies and programs that expand access to skills training, career guidance services, and job placement assistance for disadvantaged job seekers.
  • Build the capacity of workforce development agencies to serve the needs of employers while helping employees get requisite skills in economic sectors where job growth is anticipated, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and health care.
  • Address the particular needs of groups with serious barriers to employment, for example, those with limited English, few basic skills, and ex-offenders.
In addition to our regular grantmaking in this area, we also manage the NYC Workforce Development Fund.

Program goal: To improve the management capacity of nonprofits and strengthen the nonprofit sector.

Grants are made to:

  • Advance public and nonprofit service by developing skills and expertise of professionals in the field; and
  • Support service and umbrella organizations providing technical assistance to groups of nonprofits.

Program goal: To ensure a representative political process and improve the functioning of government.

Grants are made to:

Encourage voting through projects that:

  • Support reform of election administration and voting infrastructure;
  • Remove obstacles to voting, especially for groups that have historically not voted; and
  • Disseminate nonpartisan information about candidates and elected officials.

Make local and state government more accountable through projects that:

  • Support efforts to make Albany work better for the citizens of the City and the State;
  • Strengthen nonprofit civic groups; and
  • Provide citizens and advocates with information and skills needed to promote effective governance.

Promote civic literacy in children and civic learning for our newest citizens through projects that:

  • Encourage good citizenship among immigrants and their children;
  • Enrich civic learning opportunities for children and youth; and
  • Target neighborhoods and constituencies with low levels of civic participation.

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The New York Community Trust is a 501(c)3 public charity.