Community Organizing and Capacity Building 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. Grantees can apply for up to two grants, one in community organizing, and one in organizational development. 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.

Community Organizing

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

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.

Organizational Development

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

Organizations have used these grants:

  • To develop management strategies with a racial and gender justice lens.
  • 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.

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 work we fund.
  • Requests that have clearly defined objectives.

How can I apply?

  • Download the Small Grants application and email the completed form to requests@nyf.org.
  • 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 reports@nyf.org. 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 $500 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 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?

  • New York State Youth Leadership Council used a small grant for a youth leader to serve as a Dream Team Network fellow.
  • Crown Heights Tenant Union convened a cross-organizational strategy session.
  • Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice hosted a day-long StoryTelling workshop that focuses on how current immigration policies are negatively impacting our community.
  • Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project used a small grant to develop a fundraising plan to mark their 15th anniversary.
  • New York City Environmental Justice Alliance hired a consultant to advise on media and press strategy.
  • Picture the Homeless used a small grant for travel to the People’s Action Annual Movement Builders conference.
  • Rockaway Youth Task Force hired a grant writing consultant to advise on fundraising

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
E-mail: info@nyf.org

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