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Grant Guidelines

Arts, Education & Human Justice

Education Guidelines

The goal of The Trust’s Education Program is to ensure New York City’s public schools prepare students for success in college and the workforce, and for participating in public life as creative and responsible citizens. Read more about our grantmaking strategy (PDF) >>

The Trust will support projects that:

  1. Build and mobilize public will for greater equity and quality in the school system through policy research, education advocacy, and grassroots organizing;
  2. Increase accountability and transparency of schools and the school system to parents and students in low-income communities of color and immigrant communities;
  3. Expand innovative strategies for improving middle and high schools in the areas of principal instructional leadership, positive school cultures, and student leadership and academic supports.
Because our focus is on systemwide improvement, The Trust will not fund individual public or private schools, charter schools, or programs that involve limited numbers of students.

The Trust also manages the Donors' Education Collaborative.


Download the Education Grantmaking Strategy Paper (PDF)>>

The Trust is now accepting the Cultural Data Project data as part of our application process. To find out how this may impact your grant application, visit our How to Apply page.

Note to Arts Groups: If you are interested in applying for a grant to “strengthen the management of arts groups serving communities in the five boroughs,” please note that a Request For Proposals will be posted to the website in December 2014 with applications due on February 2, 2015.  


Program goals:

  • Promote diversity in the arts, and expand access for artists and audiences;
  • Strengthen the management of arts groups serving communities in the five boroughs;
  • Develop talented young minority and disadvantaged artists and improve arts education in the public schools; and
  • Strengthen arts advocacy.

We make grants to all artistic disciplines through projects that:

Help arts organizations attract broader audiences and provide opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds.

Build the capacity of small and mid-sized arts groups.

  • Priority will be given to non-Manhattan and ethnic groups.
  • Mid-size groups (annual budgets of $250,000 to $2 million) are eligible for grants for such activities as marketing, audience outreach, earned income, and strengthening donor support.
  • Arts service and umbrella organizations are eligible for grants to help small groups.

Help cultural groups integrate arts into the curriculum of needy public schools, especially those working outside of Manhattan, and begin programs in schools that lack arts.

    Advance arts advocacy on critical policy and funding issues.

    Support the professional development of minority and disadvantaged young artists pre- and post-college (Van Lier Fellowship Fund). Grants are to arts organizations that identify, train, and support young people. 

    We do not generally give grants:

    • To organizations with an annual operating budget below $250,000;
    • For particular presentations, such as plays, exhibits, films/videos, and festivals; or
    • For more than one project at a time from an organization.

    Program goals: To support preservation in low-income and minority communities and the boroughs outside of Manhattan and to restore historic places that represent significant and overlooked aspects of New York City's history.

    We support programs that:

    • Foster collaborations between preservation organizations and minority, ethnic, and other community groups.
    • Incorporate preservation efforts into neighborhood revitalization initiatives and increase the preservation expertise of community organizations.
    • Promote the adaptive use of historic buildings for social, cultural, and civic purposes.
    • Help groups develop alternative sources of financial support for capital, maintenance, and repairs.

    Examples include:

    • Obtaining historic site designation to become eligible for government funds and tax advantages;
    • Producing condition surveys required for capital grants;
    • Planning and implementing capital campaigns and strategies to expand private giving and generate earned income;
    • Supporting collaborative projects with for-profit ventures; and
    • Advocating for increased government support for historic preservation.

    To ensure maximum impact from our limited funds, we will not make grants directly for maintenance or capital projects. However, The Trust has established a modest fund with the New York Landmarks Conservancy for emergency structural repairs (maximum grant $25,000) for nonprofits that own and operate historic buildings in New York City.

    Program goals:

    • To improve the operations of the justice system;
    • To increase access to the system for vulnerable populations;
    • To protect civil rights; and
    • To promote harmony among different racial and ethnic groups.

    Grants are made to projects that:

    • Overcome interracial and intergroup conflict, particularly among young people.
    • Protect the civil rights of minorities and disenfranchised groups.
    • Support court reform projects and expand civil legal services for the poor.

    In addition, we administer the Fund for New Citizens, a consortium of foundations that assists immigrant and refugee groups.

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