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For Nonprofits

Apply for a grant from The Trust

Our grants help nonprofits thrive and innovate in New York, Long Island, Westchester, and beyond.

A woman captains a boat to monitor sailing students in the Long Island Sound.
Alex Severino with Rocking the Boat students sailing off the Bronx shore. The Trust provided the group’s first grant in 2001 and continues its support. Photo by Casey Kelbaugh 

Open competitive grants program

The Trust has many living donors who suggest grants from donor-advised funds. These donor-advised funds do not accept proposals. However, hundreds of donors have created funds that are part of our competitive grants program, which distributes about $50 million per year to nonprofits. Some of these funds have no restrictions, while others have specific purposes, such as improving the quality of education in New York City, for the welfare of the borough of Queens, or for Germanic music in Westchester. The following resources can help your organization decide whether it makes sense to spend the time to submit a proposal—and if it does, to apply. 

RFPs, LOIs & additional funding opportunities

In addition to the ongoing open competitive grants program, The Trust issues requests for proposals and/or letters of interest to address specific issues and for our national and international environment program. We also are home to several targeted funds as well as funder collaboratives that bring foundations, corporations, and individuals together to address issues such as increasing local voting and census participation, helping immigrants, and developing our region’s workforce. These targeted and collaborative funds also issue requests for proposals or invite nonprofits to apply.

Confirm eligibility

Before you spend time developing a proposal, make sure your nonprofit meets the eligibility criteria for our competitive grants program.


Confirm eligibility

Before you spend time developing a proposal, make sure your nonprofit meets the eligibility criteria for our competitive grants program.


When do I apply?

In general, you may submit a proposal anytime to our New York City competitive grants program through the Grantseeker Portal. Note that applicants to the national and international environment program should apply during specified time frames via an LOI on the Grantseeker Portal. Similarly, you may apply to one of The Trust’s targeted or collaborative funds through the appropriate LOI on the portal. Applicants to the Long Island and Westchester programs should apply on the Grantseeker Portal during the specified time frames.


Submit online

You can apply online through our Grantseeker Portal.

The Competitive Grantmaking Process for Nonprofits Serving NYC

Application Checklist

Please include the following in applications for grants serving New York City.

1. A brief cover letter on the organization’s letterhead signed by the paid staff head or designee confirming the organizational commitment to the project.

2. A narrative proposal (no more than 10 numbered pages) that includes:

    • A description of your agency’s background (mission, major activities, and credentials for carrying out the project).
    • A brief statement of the public policy or systemic service delivery problem you seek to address.
    • A description of your plans to address the problem, including the project’s:
      • goals and objectives.
      • planned activities, including who will benefit and how policies, systems, or services will improve.
      • expected outcomes and plan for measuring results.
    • For requests for renewed Trust funding, progress made with earlier Trust support.
    • A brief statement of how the project will be sustained after The Trust’s support ends.

The narrative need not address the topics in order, or even one at a time.  Rather, the narrative should make a compelling case for the needed changes, how the proposed activities will lead to the desired change, and why your agency is prepared to carry out the project.

3. An itemized project budget that reflects the full costs of carrying out the project (as opposed to just the amount requested from The Trust). The budget should also list other pending and/or confirmed income to support the project and any in-kind contributions. Please round up to the nearest thousand for all line items in the project budget.

4. Your current year’s annual operating budget and, for arts and culture groups only, actual income and expenses for the most recently completed fiscal year.

5.  A list of your board of directors, including affiliations. The Trust generally requires a board to have at least four members (we prefer at least five). All board members should be unrelated, and no more than one board member should be paid, typically the paid staff head.

Note: For grants to universities, hospitals, academic medical centers, and affiliated nonprofit fiscal sponsors (e.g., research foundations affiliated with fundraising vehicles of government agencies), overhead costs for grant administration may not exceed five percent of the total project budget. Administrative costs related to carrying out the proposed grant activities, including space, materials and supplies, and technology for project staff, are not subject to the five percent limit and should be identified separately in the proposed itemized project budget.

For additional information, please contact Liza Lagunoff at [email protected]

Apply for a Grant

Our competitive grants support projects that improve the lives of all New Yorkers, with an emphasis on promoting healthy lives, promising futures, and thriving communities.

An older adult holding a bright pink scarf dances in front of five older adults who watch and smile while wearing colorful shirts and waving brightly colored scarves.