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2016 Request for Capacity-Building Proposals for Community-Based Immigrant Organizations


The Fund for New Citizens, established in 1987, is a collaborative of foundations that assists immigrants and organizations working on their behalf in New York City. For thirteen years, the Fund has made grants to immigrant organizations to build their organizational infrastructure and resolve administrative challenges. The capacity-building grants seek to strengthen individual groups and stabilize the City’s immigrant-led nonprofit infrastructure, thereby enhancing the ability of immigrant groups to advocate on behalf of their constituents and work together to address common concerns.  

2016 Request for Proposals

This year, the Fund seeks to make capacity-building grants to community organizations with the following characteristics:
  • Immigrant-led (i.e. a majority of its board of directors and staff are immigrants)
  • Track record of helping immigrants participate in policy debates, access legal services, and/or benefit from new civic opportunities 
  • Commitment to advocacy and organizing activities. Groups that primarily provide direct services are eligible if they also conduct advocacy (e.g., community education, organizing, or policy advocacy)
  • An annual budget between $200,000* and $1 million
  • Adequate stability among staff and/or board to sustain the capacity-building project
  • Work with other organizations on common concerns
* Organizations with annual budgets less than $200,000 may be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have a timely and critical project and would like to request an exception to the minimum budget, please contact the Fund at

Proposal Process

Organizations meeting the above criteria may apply for two-year grants of up to $55,000 ($35,000 the first year and $20,000 the second year) to support a well thought out capacity-building project that will sustain the organization in the short and long term. Proposals will be reviewed on a competitive basis; we expect to award up to four two-year grants. Examples of capacity-building needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Improvement of data management systems
  • Strategies and technology for improving communication
  • Improving financial management systems
  • Implementing new and realistic fundraising methods (e.g. e-fundraising)
  • Leadership and board development
  • Mergers or consolidations with other non-profit and immigrant organizations
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and utilization planning
  • Coordination of partnerships with faith-based groups, schools, and other government agencies
Grants will only be made for specific capacity-building projects; requests for programmatic or general support will not be considered. Groups that have received a capacity-building grant from the Fund in the past five years may not apply. 

Organizations submitting a proposal MUST attend a capacity-building training by Community Resource Exchange on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 11 am to 1 pm at The New York Community Trust, 909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10022. If you plan to attend, please email no later than Friday, April 8.

Required Materials

Please include the following in your proposal:

1. Proposal Cover Sheet (complete the online process at; we recommend completing the proposal cover sheet several days before the submission deadline). 

2. Proposal Narrative (please limit to 7 pages)

      • Organizational Description: A brief description of your organization, including:
        >History, mission, program activities, and major accomplishments;
        >Ethnic groups served, including the particular challenges these groups face in the City and how your organization helps them to overcome these challenges;
        >The unique role of your organization within the immigrant-led nonprofit infrastructure (i.e., where does your organization position itself amongst others serving similar immigrant groups or needs?); and
        >Advocacy work, including a description of your organization’s efforts to help immigrants in policy debates or navigate new civic opportunities (e.g., advocacy on comprehensive immigration reform, assistance with applications to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, etc.). 
      • Description of Capacity-Building Project: Describe the capacity-building project and how it will:
        >Be different from and/or better than what you are currently doing; 
        >Make your organization stronger in the short term (2-3 years);
        >Be maintained in the longer term (5-7 years);
        >Enable you to contribute to a stronger, more coordinated nonprofit infrastructure in New York City;
        >Engage external support, if needed. If your project requires a consultant, indicate if you have identified a consultant and what his/her role will be; and
        >Be supported by your organization’s leadership, as well as board and staff that will be responsible for seeing the project through to completion. 
      • Project Timeline:  A timeframe for your project.
      • Previous Capacity-Building Efforts: A description of previous capacity-building efforts. If you have received a prior capacity-building grant from the Fund for New Citizens or other sources, give an update.
      • Outcomes: List 3 deliverables each for the first and second year of the grant period (i.e., dollar goals for fundraising, number of additional board members); where appropriate, include quantifiable outcomes.
3. List of Board of Directors, including years with the organization.

4.  Project budget (you may include staff time and other organizational costs). 

5. 2015 actual income/expense statement and year-end balance sheet and 2016 projected organizational budget; list sources of income/expenses.

6. Letter from the organization’s board of directors stating its commitment to this project. 

7. Most recent audited financial statement, including management letter 

8. Proof of tax exemption/501(c)(3) status (or a fiscal agent agreement).


Please email as a single PDF document the proposal narrative, project budget, and organizational budget to no later than 4 pm on Thursday, May 5, 2016. Please include the organization’s name in the subject line. Hard copies of the full application, including the narrative, project budget, and all supporting materials, should be sent by first-class mail, postmarked no later than Friday, May 6, 2016, to:  

Sheila Dinkins
Fund for New Citizens in The New York Community Trust
909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Grant applications submitted after the due dates will not be considered for funding. Questions about this Request for Proposals may be emailed to; include your contact information. Grant awards will be announced in summer 2016.

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