The Community Foundation has gone digital! We now accept inquiries and applications on-line.
Grants Gone Digital Technical Assistance Power Point Slides
If you missed the Grants Gone Digital technical assistance workshops, or want to review the presentation, click here for the slides.
In an effort to increase our accessibility and ability to communicate on a more timely basis, we are implementing Foundant, our Online Grants Management system. Among many benefits we think you’ll appreciate is your ability to control organizational contact information; to draft, save and submit online applications; and to upload documents and reports.
For our Community Grantmaking the Foundation only invites proposals after reviewing a letter of inquiry. Prior to submitting a letter of inquiry through Foundant please review our forms and guidelines for grantseekers.
How to Get Started in Foundant
Managing Your Account
How Grant Seekers Raise Their Game
If you’re applying for a grant from the Community Foundation, Tina Barber could be your best friend.
“I am the person who helps you put your best application forward,” says Barber, the Foundation’s program officer. Since she doesn’t have a vote in funding decisions, she can work impartially to help all applicants sharpen their grant writing skills.
Toward that end, the Foundation’s main educational tools are technical assistance workshops. During each grant cycle, Barber runs three of those sessions in Broome County and one each in Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga. Capped at 15 people, so questions and answers can flow freely, the workshops introduce attendees to the funds that are open for proposals. Barber also walks participants through the application process.
Some people who attend are pleasantly surprised to learn that writing a grant isn’t nearly as hard as they had thought. “We’ve had tiny historical societies come to a workshop and say, ‘I didn’t realize I was eligible for this, and it wasn’t going to be a big, scary deal to apply,’” Barber says.
Besides giving new applicants a basic orientation, the workshops offer another advantage to newcomers and veterans alike, Barber says. “Because program officers like myself have seen so many applications, and have watched the process play out with our grant review panels, we can give them insight into how to frame their proposals—what panels like to see in applications, and what they don’t so much like to see.”
Those insights don’t involve what kinds of grants to ask for: the opportunities there are nearly endless. Rather, they focus on how to explain a request and document an organization’s needs.
These days, the workshops also cover how to apply for grants on line, using the Community Foundation’s new digital grants management system.
After the workshops, Barber may mentor some of the grant writers one-on-one. “I’ll often have a small organization that has attended a workshop send me a draft and a budget,” she says. She offers suggestions for improvement, going through several rounds if need be. “I have gone back and forth with some organizations and seen each subsequent submission become better and better,” she says.
Grant seekers who don’t have time to attend a technical assistance workshop can still get help with the application process, including support with the online system. Applicants are welcome to call Barber with any questions or concerns, she says. “There is always a real, flesh-and-blood person at the other end of the phone.”