Small Grants Program

What do small grants cover?

The foundation’s small grants pool is available to current grantees to help them strengthen their capacity to sustain and advance their work. Small grants can defray the cost of hands-on consultation, and are also intended to enable our grantee organizations to increase their learning and expand their influence by attending conferences and trainings that connect staff and members to other groups working on similar issues. Grantees can apply for up to two grants, one in organizational development and one in community organizing.

Organizational Development

Grants to hire consultants to assist with fundraising, media and communications, special event planning, technological assistance, community mapping, board development, and other organizational infrastructure projects.

Organizations have used these grants:

  • To work with a consultant to plan a gala fundraising event.
  • To hire a development consultant to assist with prospect research, grant writing and fundraising strategy.
  • For website development and technology consultation.

Community Organizing

Grants to attend organizing trainings and conferences, to support leadership and membership development, to cover the costs of expenses for direct action activities, meetings and travel, and community organizing coaching opportunities.

Organizations have used community organizing grants to:

  • Hire members as organizing apprentices.
  • Map communities to plan local actions and recruit organizations in targeted neighborhoods.
  • Rent buses to take members to rally in Albany.
  • Attend an organizing training program that builds strategic and leadership skills among its staff and members.

Who can apply?

  • Only current New York Foundation grantees.

Given our limited resources, priority will be given to:

  • Grantees with limited access to other funds.
  • Requests that advance the goals of the project we fund.
  • Requests that have clearly defined objectives.

How can I apply?

  • Download the Small Grants application and email the completed form to
  • Program Officers send approval of small grants in writing.
  • Expenses incurred prior to approval will not be eligible for reimbursement.
  • A written report and fiscal accounting of the funds will be due to the Foundation upon completion of the work. Completed reports can be mailed or emailed to The final report form will be included with the grant contract and can also be downloaded.

Can the New York Foundation recommend resources or make referrals to providers?

  • For resources to aid in the process of choosing a consultant, visit our Individual Consulting Services page, which includes a list of services, helpful websites, and other resources. We do not endorse particular consultants. To encourage grantees to be referral sources to one another, we ask consultants to share client lists so that grantees can communicate directly with one another about the quality of assistance provided.

Is there a limit to how much I can ask for?

Grants range from $250 to $5000. The following is a breakdown of the grant limits for specific requests:

  • Incidental expenses of organizing. This includes, but is not limited to, transportation for low-income people to attend meetings; child care costs; rental of meeting space; refreshments.  Up to $500 per year.
  • National travel to conferences. Staff, volunteers, or members from any one organization, one trip per organization per year. Up to $1000 per person with a maximum of $2000 per travel request per grant year.
  • Retreats for cross-issue reflection and joint strategizing for 2 or more organizations. These groups can apply for the expenses of a retreat at a not-for-profit or other low-cost facility.  Up to $2000 per retreat – per grant year. Only one of the organizations applying for the grant has to be a current grantee.
  • All consulting services including media and communications assistance, fundraising, special events planning, technology assistance, strategic planning, leadership development, executive coaching, succession planning, legislative advocacy, and community organizing training. Up to $5000 per organization per grant year.

What are some recent examples of how the grants have been used?

  • Community Connections for Youth hired a consultant to redesign and update its website.
  • The Point Community Development Corporation hired a consultant to conduct a series of community organizing trainings.
  • Mekong used a small grant for travel to the 2014 annual convention, The Movement for Economic Justice: Changing the Narrative Together.
  • Red Umbrella Project hired a consultant for executive coaching, organizational development and leadership development.
  • Justice Committee hired a development consultant to assist with prospect research, writing grant proposals and reports, and developing individual donor materials.
  • Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice hired the Data Center to design a survey, train members to collect data, analyze data, and release a report on conditions facing nail salon workers.

The New York Foundation has a limited amount of funding for small grants. Small grants can be made anytime during the year and should be requested on an as-needed basis to cover unanticipated costs.


For more information, call your program officer at (212) 594-8009.

New York Foundation
150 West 30th Street, Suite 1401
New York, NY 10001

Telephone: (212) 594-8009