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Capacity Fund Grant

Grants to New York City Nonprofits, Community Groups,
and Park Groups to Enhance the Care of Neighborhood Parks

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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City Parks Foundation and Partnerships for Parks

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/01/18 11:59 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $3,000 to New York City nonprofits, community groups, and park groups for activities that enhance program planning capabilities, outreach, and membership to help care for local neighborhood parks. Applicants must contact program staff before applying.

This grant is intended to be a first proposal for volunteer-run groups working with Partnerships for Parks who do not have existing staff, are new to the grant application process, have limited budgets, or do not have an established track record in fundraising.

The project application covers outreach and materials for hands-on service projects or programming that cultivate long-term stewardship of green spaces, general promotional materials for groups and their activities, and infrastructure-related costs such as 501c3 filing fees for groups who demonstrate more advanced fundraising capability.

Projects may include, but are not limited to: events or programs that bring new audiences to the park and encourage sustainable involvement; small physical improvements or beautification projects; training; filing for 501(c)(3) status; and outreach tools such as newsletters, banners, posters, postcards, or bulletin boards.

Priority will be given to:

- Groups with a strong history of collaborative work with Partnerships for Parks, NYC Parks, and/or City Parks Foundation and a long-term commitment to stewardship. Participation in and/or leading a Partnerships for Parks It’s My Park service project is strongly advised.

- Groups who support neighborhood parks in historically under-resourced areas.

- Volunteer-run groups who have budgets less than $10,000.

- NYC Parks-focused community groups who have a long-term commitment to their neighborhood park and/or street trees, over groups that are eligible for GreenThumb, Historic House Trust, or flagship parks resources, nonprofits with established staff and funding sources, and over program/service providers using the park as a venue for a one-time event.

In the past, groups applied through one CapacityFund Grant application for design support from the Partnerships for Parks Art Director or an outside consultant for publications and websites. Now, groups may submit only one of the following per round:
- Project
- Publication
- Website

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179833

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund Grant program provides small grants of up to $3,000.

Term of Contract:

Grant-funded projects and activities may only begin after awards are announced. Grant activities must be completed within one year of receiving the award.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Park groups and community groups proposing projects for NYC Parks property throughout the five boroughs are eligible to apply. If you are NOT a Friends group, you are strongly encouraged to include a letter of support from the Friends group in the park in which you are proposing to do your project.

Groups who lead projects or programs that engage the community, expand the group’s capacity to serve as long-term stewards of green spaces, and are free and open to the public may also apply.

Applicants are not required to have 501(c)(3) status, but if groups are not 501(c)(3) organizations or do not have an outside fiscal sponsor, grants funds can only be accessed by reimbursement or paid invoice directly to vendors.

Not Funded:

- Projects that are not on NYC Parks property.
- Equipment such as computers, printers, laptops, or tablets.
- Fundraisers or materials that will be sold for profit.
- Capital improvements to parks.
- Staff time. It is the expectation that the programs will be run primarily by volunteers or, in cases of paid non-profit staff, that salaries come from a different source. Exceptions are made for outside consultants such as educators or performers who provide a needed service or expertise and intern stipends when projects provide meaningful youth employment related to parks.
- Local travel.
- Overhead costs like rent, general liability insurance, utilities, etc

Pre-proposal Conference:

Informational Webinar: Capacity Fund Grant
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Attend the lunchtime webinar to learn more about the upcoming February 1st Capacity Fund Grant and how it can help your community group care for your local park and garden.

Partnerships for Parks makes small grants of up to $3000 to strengthen the outreach, membership, and program-planning capacity of community groups who care for their neighborhood parks in all five boroughs of New York City. Learn more about the priorities, eligibility requirements, and process.

Information Session: Capacity Fund Grant
Tuesday, January 9, 2018, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The Arsenal - 3rd Floor Conference Room
830 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10065

Learn more about the February 1st Capacity Fund Grant deadline and how it can help your community group care for your local park, garden, or street tree.

Partnerships for Parks makes small grants of up to $3,000 to strengthen outreach, membership, and program planning capacity of community groups who care for their green spaces in all five boroughs of New York City. We’ll discuss eligibility, the application process, and break down the application.

Applicants must first speak with an Outreach Coordinator or Catalyst Coordinator to discuss the project and the group’s goals. See the link in Contact Information below to request an individual consultation.

Workshop: Grant Writing 101
Thursday, January 11, 2018m 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

ARROW Field House

See Contact Information below to register.

Pre-Application Information:

The application process should not begin with submitting the proposal. Applicants must first speak with the Outreach Coordinator or Catalyst Coordinator to discuss the project and the group’s goals.

Round 1
Application deadline: February 1, 2018
Earliest Notification of Decisions: April 1, 2018
Earliest Start Date for Grant Activities: April 15, 2018

Round 2
Application deadline: October 1, 2018
Earliest Notification of Decisions: December 1, 2018
Earliest Start Date for Grant Activities: December 15, 2018

All submissions (emailed or mailed) must be received by 11:59 PM on the due date. Late applications postmarked
on the due date will not be accepted.

While new applicants are welcomed, a publication or website is not the ideal first project.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register for the information session:

Register for the webinar:

Register for the grant writing workshop on January 11:

Request an individual consultation:

Apply online:

For questions on the information session:
Lindsay Sierra

City Parks Foundation
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York