Most of our competitive grants go to public charities, or to groups sponsored by one. While our focus is on New York, we support some organizations headquartered outside the City. For example, our environmental and social work education programs are national. Grantees (or fiscal agents) should have a board of directors with at least five members, and no more than one paid board member.
We fund programs that promote change in policy or systems, build capacity of organizations, and expand and/or improve direct service.
We do not make grants to individuals, or for general operating support, capital and building campaigns, endowments, equipment, deficit financing, or religious purposes.
Because of the volume of proposals, we are not able to meet with organizations to help them decide on a project before submitting a proposal. Instead, we ask that you read our guidelines to ensure your project aligns with our grantmaking goals, then submit a proposal. Some proposals meet several of our goals. You do not need to determine the program officer(s) who will receive your proposal; we do that.
For more information, you can watch the recordings from our Meet Your Program Officer virtual events located under the “Additional Resources” dropdown.
It is reviewed carefully. If it clearly does not meet our guidelines, the organization is informed within two weeks. Otherwise, it is assigned to a program officer, and the organization receives an email notifying them that the proposal is under review.
We first check to see if we have funds available in the particular category. The review then assesses the quality of the proposed project, the capability of the organization, and its relevance to our grantmaking guidelines. We often check out the organization with other funders and nonprofits and sometimes request a meeting. We also visit a program we are seriously considering for funding. Finally, staff makes a recommendation to our board.
No. Every proposal we receive goes through the same review process. Trust staff meet weekly to review all new proposals.
Our donor-advised grants are almost all for general operating support. Our competitive grants are for projects that allow us to advance the goals our board has set for each grantmaking program.
Yes, although our general practice is to make grants for one year. You should be sure to make the case for multi-year funding in your proposal.
We do not make our donors’ names and addresses available. However, we do make our donors aware of the great work of our grantees. Our Grants Newsletter highlights grants made, and is distributed to donors who are encouraged to call us about grantees featured in the newsletter and on our website.
Generally, no. However, we have several funds that use a request for proposal (RFP) process. RFPs are generally sent to a closed list, i.e., only those who receive the RFP can apply, but open RFPs are posted here. Letters of Interest (LOIs) for our national and international environment program and our Heisman Trophy Youth Development Fund are submitted here.(opens in a new tab) We accept LOIs for our environmental program twice a year, in February and September. We accept LOIs for our Heisman Trophy Youth Development Fund each winter.
Our grants usually range from $5,000 to $200,000; an average grant is around $90,000. Often, a grant from The Trust cannot fully support a project, so we want to know where the rest of the money will come from.
Yes. Each proposal is considered on its own merits, but we discourage organizations from resubmitting the same proposal.
You can find out more by watching the below recordings from our virtual Meet Your Program Officer sessions.