How to Apply for a Grant | New York Community Trust
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As The Trust adjusts to working remotely, we have moved all our application processes online using our Request for Proposals Process.  If you are responding to a specific Request for Proposals, i.e., the COVID-19 Human Services Fund or the Heisman Youth Development RFP, download the appropriate application instructions, and—once your application is ready—click apply. For applications to The Trust’s ongoing competitive grants program, please follow the instructions and use the application button for NYCT Ongoing Application Process.

Grants Portal

Application Checklist

Application Checklist
  1. A narrative proposal (no more than 10 pages) that includes:
    • A description of your agency’s background (mission, major activities, and credentials for carrying out the project);
    • A brief statement of the problem you seek to address;
    • A description of your plans to address the problem, including the project’s:
      • goals and objectives;
      • planned activities, including who will be served; and
      • expected outcomes and plan for measuring results.
  2. An itemized project budget that reflects the full costs of carrying out the project (as opposed to just the amount requested) and income;**
  3. Your annual operating budget and, for Arts and Culture groups only, actual income and expenses for the most recently completed fiscal year; and
  4. A list of your board of directors, including affiliations.

**Note: For grants to universities, hospitals, academic medical centers, 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).* 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:
Second Tuesday in February End of October of the same year
Second Tuesday in May End of December of the same year
Second Tuesday in September End of March of the following year

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.

*Note: Grantseekers interested in seeking support through the national and international environment program start the process with a Letter of Interest (LOI), which can be submitted through the Grants Portal during three-week windows each fall (late September) and winter (late February).  A small percentage of those LOIs will result in an invitation to submit a full proposal.

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 and our Heisman Trophy Youth Development Fund are submitted here. 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.

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.