Citizens Committee for New York City Neighborhood Grants

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Citizens Committee for New York City awards grants of up to $3,000 for community and school improvement projects carried out by unstaffed resident-led groups to address issues they identify as important to them.

 

From West Farms in the Bronx to East Elmhurst in Queens, the groups we support work on projects as varied as community gardening, visual and performing arts, nutrition awareness, composting, beautification, tenant and immigrant organizing, healing circles, physical fitness, public safety, and more!


On the following pages are the grant guidelines and application. Feel free to contact us for more information.



FOR MORE INFORMATION:

www.citizensnyc.org/grants   |   grants@citizensnyc.org

Katie: 212-822-9567



Our grants are made possible through the generous support of: Allied World / Bank of America / BlackRock / BNY Mellon / Citi / Con Edison / Google / Islamic Relief USA / John A. Reisenbach Foundation / Mollie Parnis Livingston Foundation / National Grid Foundation / New York Women's Foundation / NYC Department of Youth and Community Development / Pinkerton Foundation / Staten Island Foundation / Stavros Niarchos Foundation / TD Bank / Wells Fargo Foundation

APPLICATION GUIDELINES – Please Read Carefully

 

Applications are accepted from resident-led groups based primarily in low-income neighborhoods across NYC. Examples of such groups include: block associations, tenants’ associations (including NYCHA), civic groups, community gardens, student groups, PTAs, and many others. Groups may be long-standing, newly established or in the process of forming, and are not required to have non-profit or 501(c)(3) status.

 

Examples of projects we support include community members working together to: make healthy food available in their neighborhoods; build rain harvesting systems; initiate art projects; transform empty lots into community gardens; organize tenants to advocate for better housing conditions; hold a theater performance with audience participation or follow-up discussions: start school recycling programs, etc.

 

Our grants are not for: individuals (including individual artists)  //  for-profit projects  //  businesses (including businesses with non-profit projects)  //  organizations with paid staff  //  direct service or social work projects (e.g., job trainings, soup kitchens, or legal aid)  //  fraternal and partisan organizations  //  groups with an annual budget of greater than $70,000  //  religion-based initiatives  //  projects of staffed organizations  //  projects with admission or participation fees  //  one-day events without audience/attendee participation or community building activities // groups that endorse or promote any form of bigotry or discrimination.  

 

We do not fund the following items: rent  //  utilities  //  insurance  //  501(c)(3) application fees  //  training fees  //  salaries  //  speaker honorariums  //  audio, visual, and computer equipment for personal use // subscriptions  // back-to-school items  //  block parties. We also do not fund projects, events, or activities with admission fees. Please review our budget guidelines for more info.

 

Public schools are exempt from the “unstaffed” and $70,000 criteria. However, we do not  fund existing school curricula (e.g., materials for an art class), long-standing programs (e.g., annual school play), and programs of staffed non-profits based in the school. We prioritize Title 1 schools. 

Submitting an application is easy: You can do it! We discourage using a third-party grant-writer to prepare the application. Just follow the instructions and answer all the questions clearly and with enough detail. Describe a project to strengthen your community or public school and that can be carried out within ten months. Estimate how much it will cost and request a grant amount that accurately reflects that cost. 


We look for projects that: are developed and led by groups of individuals who directly experience the issues the project addresses; are clear and thoughtful; address important community concerns; contribute to building stronger communities; bring neighbors together; and result in concrete improvements.

 

Upon completion of a group’s project, we will request a simple final report. Groups will also be required to submit receipts for expenses associated with the project. If your group has received a grant from us in the past and has not submitted a final report for that grant, we will not be able to consider your application.

 

Applications are accepted once a year, and must be submitted on-line via our website, e-mailed as a PDF file or Word document, mailed, or faxed by 11:59pm, January 20, 2020. Applicants will be notified of grant decisions by late April 2020. Groups awarded a grant will be invited to a meeting at our office to discuss the project further and to pick up the grant check – meetings will begin in mid to late May.

 

We’re happy to answer questions about the application. We can also offer feedback on final draft applications submitted by January 3 to Katie Grassle at grants@citizensnyc.org. Please indicate that you would like feedback when submitting.  To learn more about us, visit www.citizensnyc.org and “like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/citizensnyc. And feel free to call us: 212-822-9567.

CITIZENS COMMITTEE IS MORE THAN GRANTS

 

In addition to grants, we offer: 


Skills-Building Workshops to increase the capacity of grassroots/volunteer-led groups to carry out community improvement projects. Through our Neighborhood Leadership Institute, we conduct the following free workshops:

 

- Basics of Community Organizing

- Group Structure

- Media Tools

- Navigating City Government

- Grassroots Fundraising

 

Learn more about our workshops here.

 

Project Planning Assistance to increase your group's effectiveness and impact.  We're available to meet with core members of your group to brainstorm new project ideas, develop or improve strategies, design project evaluations or community surveys, address internal and external challenges, and much more. Schedule a visit for project planning assistance here.

 

Equipment Loan Library: We're happy to lend you equipment for community events or projects. Items we have include canopies, portable amplifiers, projectors, and a few more things. Have a look at our inventory here.

 

Neighborhood Resources Database: We've compiled a searchable list of our favorite neighborhood resources, from how-to guides to grant opportunities. Check out the list here.

 

Okay, now you're ready to move onto the application. Good luck!

PLEASE READ: This application form does not automatically save your work. We strongly recommend that you save your work frequently to avoid losing information.

You can save your work and resume later by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

 

Before you start, please make sure that you've carefully read the grant guidelines on the previous pages. You can also refer to our FAQ and review our model application for guidance. 

 

 

NOTE: If you are a past Citizens Committee grantee:  1) please fill out this application as if it were your first time applying for a grant from us;  2) if you received a grant from us in the past three years, please check that you submitted a final report for those grants. We are not able to consider your application otherwise.


APPLICATION

SECTION 1 of 6: GENERAL INFORMATION

Group Information
Contact Information


Please list two contact names for your group, including working phone numbers and emails. (Both contact persons should be able to discuss the application, as we may call for more information).

Contact 1
If awarded a grant, we will consider the person listed first as your group’s main contact person. We do not communicate with third party grant-writers.
Please make sure that there are no extra spaces within or after the email address, and that an "@" symbol is included.
Contact 2
This person must be different from Contact 1.
Please make sure that there are no extra spaces within or after the email address, and that an "@" symbol is included.
Mailing & Project Addresses
Please indicate a mailing address at which our grant notification letter can be received. (You must be able to receive mail at this address).
Please remember to include an apartment number, if necessary.


Please list the address(es) where the project for this grant will take place, or cross streets if there is no address. (Mail will not be sent there).


If the project is taking place in more than one location, indicate a second address, or cross streets if there is no address.
Neighborhood
 
In what neighborhood(s) and borough(s) does your group currently work? Select "citywide" for borough only if your group is truly working in neighborhoods across the city.
Have you saved your work yet? Please do so by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

SECTION 2 of 6: TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR GROUP

Group Details
Online Presence

If your group is on the web, please list the links.


Please note that from this point forward, all the questions relate to the one specific project for which you and other members of your group are submitting this application.

Group Budget
Enter a number

Please list all sources of funding that your group received in 2019­, including from Citizens Committee– indicate the sources and amount. Be sure to include names of foundations and corporations; government funding; membership dues; fundraising events; private donations, etc. If your group has not received any funding in the past year, please state that.

Source Amount
Enter only numbers, commas, or decimals. Do not enter '$' symbol.
Additional Group Details

For the neighborhood in which your project is taking place (project address), please indicate the information below. If you do not know the below information, please call 311 or visit www.mygovnyc.org

Have you saved your work? Please do so by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

 

SECTION 3 of 6: TELL US ABOUT YOUR GROUP'S PROJECT

Project Details
Project Category

              

Evaluation and Outreach
Expected Outcomes

Please indicate expected numbers for project outcomes. Indicate numbers for only the categories related to your project. 
Rough estimates and projections are fine.
Project leaders, project participants, actively engaged attendees of events or workshops, etc.
Square Feet = Length x Width
# of different households that drop off compost every month x 32 x the # of months of grant project
Size of rain barrel (in gallons) x the # of times it fills up over the grant period
Volunteers

Please list all volunteers who will participate in the project (include yourself) and the number of hours each person will contribute. 

Name of Volunteer Hours Committed
Photo Attachments


If your project aims to change a physical space, please attach a “before” picture of the space you want to convert. You may add up to three photos (file must be less than two megabytes and in one of the following formats: .bmp, .jpg, .png, or .gif).


If you cannot attach pictures, please contact Katie Grassle:  212.822.9567  //  kgrassle@citizensnyc.org
Have you saved your work? Please do so by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

 

Section 4 of 6: Work Plan & Timeline

Work Plan & Timeline

Provide us with a detailed work plan and timeline for your project implementation. If the project centers on a single event on a particular date, list all the steps involved in organizing and carrying out the event.


For an example of a work plan, please refer to our model application.
Task Completion Date Who is Doing Task?

Please indicate approximate dates for project start and project completion. Remember that our grant announcement will be made in late April
MM/DD/YYYY
MM/DD/YYYY
Have you saved your work? Please do so by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

 

GRANT BUDGET GUIDELINES – Please Read Carefully

 

Our grants are aimed at funding materials, basic equipment, and other items needed to make grassroots community-building projects happen. Grants are not to pay individual's salaries, pay fees to larger organizations, or provide direct service items.

For all purchases, we encourage groups to patronize local businesses, use reusable or compostable items, and build or make items rather than purchase them. Other groups may have resources or expertise - we can connect you!


Our grants cover: 


Audio/video equipment | If the equipment is needed on an ongoing basis, and if housed in an accessible location (not a private residence)


Equipment rental | Electric generator for an event, tables and chairs, and garden equipment; call for more information 


Space rental | Maximum of $500; call for more information


Instruments, bicycles, and other expensive items If used on an ongoing basis and housed in an accessible location (not a private residence


Stipends | For artists, performers, workshop facilitators, and/or youth. Maximum of $500 total, no more than $250 per person; call for more information


Garden furniture | Maximum of $500


Transportation | Maximum of $500 public transportation; maximum of $100 for gas


Food | Maximum of $500


Tickets for performances | Maximum of $250


CSA revolving loan shares


T-shirts, jacks, and uniforms | Maximum of $400


Printing | Standard paper: maximum of $250, posters/banners: maximum of $150


Online advertising | $50 (Facebook Ads, etc.)


Shipping costs | Maximum of $250


Insurance | Maximum of $100



Our grants do not cover: 


Equipment rental 
Audio/video equipment (note: we have many of these items for groups to borrow)

 

Back to school supplies


Subscriptions


Conference fees


Fundraisers


Costs associations with trips


Direct service projects


Metal tree guards


Computers and projectors


Graphic design, web design, or web hosting

Section 5 of 6: Project Budget Requested Grant Amount

Budget

1. Tell us how much your project will cost - list all the items you will need to carry it out, including accurate estimates      Please contact us if you need help creating or thinking through a budget.


Refer to our model application for an example of a budget: www.citizensnyc.org/grants/neighborhood-grants


NOTE: If awarded a grant, the grant may not equal the amount requested, depending on whether budget items and amounts fall within our guidelines.


Item Cost of Item Quantity Total
Enter only numbers, commas, or decimals. Do not enter '$' symbol.


Enter only numbers, commas, or decimals. Do not enter '$' symbol.
Have you saved your work? Please do so by checking the box at the top of this page. Remember to write down your username and password, as you'll need those to continue working on the application at a later time.

Section 6 of 6: How Did You Hear About Us?

How Did You Hear About Us?

Neighborhood/Community Survey

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