Fund for Columbia County - Search & Apply for a Grant - Grants - Receive Nonprofits & Individuals - Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Fund for Columbia County

Grant Guidelines


Nonprofit organizations, public entities or community groups that improve the quality of life for Columbia County residents.


To help strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for all residents in Columbia County, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation established the Fund for Columbia County in 1999. The Fund serves as a permanent resource to help make life safer, healthier, fuller and more enjoyable for residents of the county.

Through its grants to nonprofits and civic entities, the fund supports projects in the arts, education, environment, preservation, health and social services that directly impact the population of Columbia County. The Fund for Columbia County invites applications from nonprofits working in the above categories.


Proposals are considered from organizations (nonprofits, municipalities, community organizations) serving the residents of Columbia County. Organizations providing services in Red Rock should apply to the Quailwood Fund. An organization may only submit one request to one of these funds in an annual grant cycle.

Community groups may apply using a nonprofit organization as a fiscal agent.

Neither the Fund for Columbia County nor Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation supports organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.


In 2018, the Fund for Columbia County invites applications for projects that involve two or more organizations working in collaboration to maximize services and increase their individual impact on Columbia County residents.

Applications that meet one of the Foundation’s strategic priorities (see below) are particularly encouraged.

We believe in the power of collaboration and that organizations can achieve more working together than they can alone. Collaborations can save resources and can also make an organization more powerful in its collective focus. The collaboration grants are designed to support teams of two or more community-based organizations that seek to create or expand innovative partnerships to achieve measurable outcomes for the people they serve. Examples of collaborative partnerships include shared resources, joint planning and co-ordination of programs and services.

The Fund committee will also consider innovative projects from single organizations that meet an unmet need and have a direct impact on the community served. 

Strategic Priorities

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has undertaken a community assessment and strategic planning process that has identified three priority areas of focus for grantmaking across the Foundation:

  • Educational Attainment to increase educational attainment across the age continuum, from early childhood through adult learning
  • Community Engagement to increase involvement toward the end of fostering connections and harnessing the skills and expertise people can bring nonprofits and communities.
  • Economic Opportunity to strengthen entrepreneurship and the conditions that allow the economy to grow.   

The Fund for Columbia County’s grantmaking will begin to engage with these priority areas in the fall of 2018.  


Grants of up to $5,000 are available to a limited number of applicants.  Applications for projects spanning two years are eligible for funding up to $10,000.  The total amount available for grantmaking will not exceed $50,000.  An assessment of the project’s outcomes will be required once the program or service funded is completed and before any future applications are considered.

This program funds projects that:

  • Involve collaboration or partnership with other organizations across issues, sectors or communities. Each collaborating partner is an integral part of the project and collaborating partners participate fully in the planning of the project
  • Engage organizations’ constituencies for expanded services

This program will not fund:

  • Programs that show coordination but not collaboration (e.g. one organization presenting an event at another's venue)
  • Capital campaigns, bricks and mortar or furniture
  • General operating expenses
  • Debt reduction
  • Expenses that have already been incurred
  • Programs with religious purposes

Applications will be accepted from one lead organization in association with one or more additional partner organizations.


Applications will be reviewed fairly and competitively by the Fund for Columbia County advisory committee. Selections are based on the review criteria stated below. Decisions will be made based on where the Fund’s grants can have the largest impact and leverage.

The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors.

  • Extent of Impact: What is the potential impact of the project or service on the community? How does this engage the community? Does it address a need in the community? Is it a critical program or initiative at this time?
  • Innovation: Is the project creative? Is it innovative?
  • Quality: Is the goal of the collaboration clear? Does the project meet the goal? Is it the right time for this project? Does it involve qualified individuals or organizations? Is it well conceived? Is it cost effective?
  • Feasibility: Can the applicant complete the project? Do the organizations exhibit a demonstrated capacity to initiate and successfully execute this project? Are the appropriate staff members or volunteers involved? Is the staff/group capable and stable enough to perform the tasks necessary to complete the proposed project?