PTNY Growing the Grassroots Capacity Building Grants
10 grants awarded
to strengthen park and trail groups around the state
Parks & Trails New York’s Growing the Grassroots Capacity Building Grants enhance the long-term sustainability of park and trail not-for-profit organizations by helping them better fulfill their missions; improve their reach, effectiveness, and impact; leverage resources, and increase community support for and involvement in park and trail planning, development and/or stewardship.
Congratulations to the organizations receiving 2013 Growing the Grassroots grants:
Friends of Letchworth State Park, Wyoming and Livingston Counties
$2,550 for display panels, logo designs for an event trailer, membership rack cards, and a printer to increase the organization’s visibility, membership, and financial support.
Friends of Peach Hill Park, Dutchess County
$1,800 toward the cost of creating an interactive website with feature pages linked by QR codes to signs throughout the park to increase donations, membership and awareness of the organization as it switches from a development to a stewardship and educational program focus for a 159-acre Town of Poughkeepsie park.
Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, Inc., Erie and Cattaraugus Counties
$1,600 toward production of a short video showcasing the beauty and benefits of the proposed 27-mile rail trail to be used in presentations as a key tool for major donor and partnership development.
Chestnut Ridge Conservancy, Inc., Erie County
$1,500 toward design and printing of brochures/newsletters to garner awareness and support for the organization and its efforts to restore iconic infrastructure in one of the largest county parks in the United States.
Winona Forest Recreation Association, Oswego County
$1,400 toward printing and distribution of brochures and newsletters to solicit members and donations that will aid in promoting and maintaining trails in the Tug Hill’s 9,233-acre Winona State Forest.
Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Westchester County
$1,250 for post-production (audio, graphics, color correction) for a short film to solicit donations and memberships and enhance knowledge and appreciation of the state historic park.
Friends of Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, Inc., Saratoga County
$1,200 for outreach in local publications to recruit volunteer tour guides to assist, during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, with interpretation of the Adirondack cottage where President Grant spent his final days.
Friends of Schodack Island State Park, Inc., Rensselaer County
$1,000 to establish a new website and membership brochures to improve communication with members and increase membership and community participation in activities and events.
New York City Water Trail Association, Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond and Queens County
$1,000 for printing of tide wheels to promote individual memberships and safe use of the New York City Water Trail.
Great Swamp Conservancy, Inc., Madison County
$600 for interactive fundraising training to assist the board of directors in creating a fundraising plan that will aid the group’s efforts to maintain trails and foster the preservation and restoration of more than 36,000 acres of wetlands south of Oneida Lake.
Adirondack trail advocacy group awarded special challenge grant
In addition to the ten Growing the Grassroots Capacity-Building Grants, PTNY is providing Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) with a special challenge matching grant of $1,600 for outreach to advance its efforts to develop a multi-use trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and eventually south through the Adirondacks to Old Forge.
Since PTNY initiated the awards program in 2009, it has assisted 46 organizations in 26 New York counties to expand their fundraising and membership campaigns, enhance their public programming, redesign or create new websites, and develop marketing materials. These efforts have paid off by increasing the visibility of these groups and growing the number of members and volunteers that support them in their work.
Growing the Grassroots Capacity Grants are awarded annually. We are not yet accepting applications for 2013.
Read more about previous grant recipients and testimonials from awardees.
Awards will be made to local or regional organizations that are classified by the IRS as 501 (c)(3) or who operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a 501 (c)(3) and whose primary mission is stewardship of a specific New York park or trail that is or will be open to the public. Include a copy of the IRS ruling letter with the application.
A 501 (c)(3) fiscal sponsor is needed if a group does not have 501 (c)(3) status. Applicants must include the IRS determination letter for the fiscal sponsor as well as a copy of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the applicant and the fiscal sponsor.
Grants of up to $3000 will fund activities that help develop and strengthen the skills, processes and resources that not-for-profit organizations need to survive:
- Organizational start-up – e.g., incorporation, initial staff, equipment purchase
- Professional consulting services that aid organizational development – e.g., fundraising, communication, marketing, membership, strategic planning, financial management
- Board and staff training
- Volunteer recruitment, training and/or recognition program
- Communications – graphic design, development or enhancement of a logo, website, newsletter, or other communication tool; printing and distribution of brochures, newsletters, or other educational or outreach materials
Brochures and maps may include information on the trail or park but their primary purpose must be organizational information and solicitation of membership or donations.
GRANTS CANNOT BE USED TO FUND:
- General operating expenses, existing staff salaries, or support of ongoing or new programs
- Capital costs associated with construction, maintenance, and infrastructure for a park or trail (signs, benches, etc., equipment, or tools)
- Lobbying or political activities
- Giveaways (e.g. T-shirts, patches, etc.), refreshments or other entertainment expenses
Projects that increase capacity to raise funds by developing items for sale, such as calendars or t-shirts, are allowed. Please be specific how they will be used.
Awards will be based on:
- Ability to initiate, grow, strengthen, or transform the organization
- Demonstrated financial need; preference will be given to organizations with annual budgets of less than $100,000
- Detailed, documented, and realistic budget. See a sample budget.
- Clearly articulated project goals, tangible outcomes and well-defined, objective measures of success
- Applicant support for the project as demonstrated by financial and/or in-kind commitment
- Ability to leverage other opportunities, such as partnerships and funding sources
- Creativity and the ability of the project to serve as a model for other groups
- Visibility – degree to which project will promote the organization and foster public use, appreciation, stewardship, and development of applicant’s park and/or trail
- If applicable, plan for sustainability of the project after grant period ends
Preference will be given to:
- Projects that leverage the amount of funds requested with significant cash or in-kind contributions from project partners.
- Organizations who have not received a Growing the Grassroots grant within the last three years.
- Organizations with annual budgets of less than $100,000.
Grants will be awarded up to $3000.
All grantees will execute a signed contract with Parks & Trails New York prior to receiving an initial payment of 65% of the grant award. Grantees will be required to submit a brief, six-month progress update. The remainder of the grant award will be paid upon receipt of a final accounting and project report. Successful completion of funded projects and timely submission of reports will affect eligibility for future grant awards.
MAIL, FAX, OR E-MAIL TO:
Parks & Trails New York
29 Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207