Fund for Columbia County – Grants for Community Impact

Fund for Columbia County - Grants for Community Impact

Grant Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation established the Fund for Columbia County in 1999 to help strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for everyone in Columbia County. The fund serves as a resource to help organizations create and implement programs that make life safer, healthier, and more equitable for all residents of the county.

Through its Grants for Community Impact, the fund supports projects that further youth development, economic equity, civic and community engagement, the arts, education, the environment, and health and social services that directly impact the people of Columbia County. 

GRANTS FOR COMMUNITY IMPACT

The Fund for Columbia County invites applications for innovative projects and services that have a deep, lasting and positive impact on the residents of Columbia County, with particular emphasis on low-income and/or underserved adults and children.

We welcome applications from a single organization or collaborative partnerships. We believe that organizations can achieve more working together than they can alone and that collaborations can save resources and make organizations more powerful in their collective focus. 

Organizations providing services for elders should apply for the Fund for Columbia County's Grants for Aging with Dignity.

Organizations providing services in Red Rock should apply to the Quailwood Fund.

ELIGIBILITY

Proposals are considered from nonprofits, civic entities, schools, and community organizations serving the residents of Columbia County who meet the following criteria:

  • In operation as a nonprofit organization for at least one year with 501(c)(3) status or in an established fiscal sponsorship arrangement with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
  • Actively engaged in planning for the future
  • Able to demonstrate financial resiliency

Community groups may apply under the fiscal umbrella of a nonprofit organization.

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/gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.

AWARDS

Grants are for one year and range from $500 to $5,000. Requests for larger amounts up to $10,000, and multi-year grants will be considered for projects that show exceptional potential for impact. A total of $100,000 is available.

This program will not fund:

  • Annual funds, capital campaigns or endowments
  • Expenses that have already been incurred
  • Bricks and mortar
  • Private operating foundations
  • For-profit organizations
  • Religious organizations (Please note grants may be made to support non-religious, community focused programs provided through faith-based organizations)

REPORTING

An assessment of the project’s outcomes will be required once the program or service is complete and before future applications are considered. Interim reports will be required for multi-year grants. The Fund for Columbia County strives to insure the most effective programs and services for the grants awarded.

REVIEW CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed fairly and competitively by the Fund for Columbia County advisory committee. Decisions will be made based on where grants can have the largest impact and leverage. The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors. Selections are based on the review criteria stated below.

  • Community Impact: What is the potential impact of the project or service? What needs does it address? Is it a critical program or initiative at this time? How does it engage the community? Does it foster trust and collaborative civic participation?
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Priority will be given to projects serving marginalized, underserved and under-resourced populations, including communities of color, low-income, geographically isolated, LGBTQIA+, individuals with disabilities, refugees, and immigrants.  We believe in projects that develop and maintain community connections and look for organizations that incorporate diverse cultures, philosophies and experiences across their programming.
  • Caliber: Is the proposal well conceived? Is it innovative and/or creative? Does it involve individuals or organizations with relevant experience? Is it cost effective?
  • Feasibility: Can the applicant demonstrate the capacity to initiate and successfully complete the project? Will there be appropriate staff members or volunteers involved?
     

Award

$500 to $5,000


The fund will consider larger requests for multi-year grants


Deadline

March 1


How to Apply

Please read these important instructions.

apply