How to Apply for a Grant | New York Community Trust
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After reading the guidelines (on the "What the Trust Funds" page) to assure the fit between your project and our program, applicants should go to our Grant Portal and start the application process by completing the Proposal Cover Sheet. Once you have submitted the cover sheet, the full proposal needs to be postmarked within one business day and sent in hard copy to:


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

Grant Portal

Application Checklist

Application Checklist
  1. A cover letter, on your letterhead, signed by your director.
  2. A copy of the Proposal Cover Sheet that you have submitted online. Note that a PDF of the cover sheet will be automatically emailed to you for inclusion.
  3. A proposal (no more than 10 pages) that includes:
    • Agency background (mission, major activities, and credentials for carrying out project)
    • Project description: Brief statement of problem to be addressed
    • Goals and objectives
    • Who is served
    • Project activities
    • Expected outcome(s)
    • Plan for measuring project results
    • Project budget (expenses & income)*
    • For renewal requests, an update on progress made under prior grant
  4. Information about your organization including:
    • Agency operating budget
    • A list of your Board of Directors
    • For organizations with budgets of $750,000+, submit your latest audited financial statements; organizations with budgets between $250,000 and $750,000, submit a CPA review report; all others, provide a copy of your IRS 990
    • Affirmative action policy
  5. The Trust will communicate with you about your request by email, whether notification of a decline, or notification of a grant. PLEASE ADD noreply@nycommunitytrust.org TO YOUR ADDRESS BOOK SO THAT OUR IMPORTANT COMMUNICATIONS DO NOT GET CAUGHT IN YOUR SPAM FILTERS.

*Note: For grants to universities and affiliated nonprofit fiscal sponsors (e.g. Research Foundations), overhead costs for grant administration may not exceed five percent of the total project budget. Administrative costs related to carrying out the proposed grant activities, including space, supplies, and technology for project staff, are not subject to the five percent limit, and should be identified separately in the proposed budget. For additional information, please contact Liza Lagunoff.

When can we apply?

You may submit a proposal anytime (except for the national and international environment program; see below. *) We build in a long lead time to review proposals and prepare grant recommendations for five board meetings each year. Program staff weigh many considerations in preparing grant recommendations and cannot promise that any proposal will be considered at a particular board meeting. The dates in the table below indicate when applicants can expect a decision on their grant application. Please note that these are NOT due dates.

Grant applications received by:                   Decision notification sent no later than:
February 10, 2018 October 13, 2018
May 2, 2018 December 12, 2018
October 13, 2018 April 10, 2019

We also issue RFPs for certain programs (such as our capacity-building program for arts groups, and many of our collaborative funds); each has its own rules and timeline.

Grant Seeker FAQs
What happens to a proposal when it is received?
What happens to a proposal when it is received?

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.

Do we need to know someone at The Trust to get a grant?
Do we need to know someone at The Trust to get a grant?

No.

Should we use a board contact?
Should we use a board contact?

No. Every proposal we receive goes through the same review process. Trust staff meet weekly to review all new proposals.

Why can't we get general support?
Why can't we get general support?

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.

Do you give grants to individuals?
Do you give grants to individuals?

No.

Can we apply for longer than one year?
Can we apply for longer than one year?

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.

Can we apply for multiple projects in the same year?
Can we apply for multiple projects in the same year?

Yes.

Can we contact your donors? Will you tell them about our organization?
Can we contact your donors? Will you tell them about our organization?

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.

Can we apply for a grant from a specific fund?
Can we apply for a grant from a specific fund?

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 are submitted here. We accept LOIs for this program twice a year, in February and September.

How much money should we ask for?
How much money should we ask for?

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.

Can we apply again if our organization has been turned down before?
Can we apply again if our organization has been turned down before?

Yes. Each proposal is considered on its own merits, but we discourage organizations from resubmitting the same proposal.