WHO CAN APPLY
Nonprofit organizations that have been in existence for at least 3 years, schools, colleges, and civic entities that serve the residents of Columbia County.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation established the Fund for Columbia County in 1999 to help strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for everyone in Columbia County. The fund serves as a resource to help organizations create and implement programs that make life safer, healthier, and more equitable for all residents of the county.
Starting in 2021, the Fund for Columbia County created a targeted grant cycle to advance educational attainment, one of Berkshire Taconic's strategic priorities. With these grants, the fund supports innovative projects and services that support high school and college-age youth in making a successful transition from school to work.
Nonprofits that have been in existence for at least 3 years, schools, colleges, and civic entities that serve the residents of Columbia County are eligible.
Potential areas of interest for these projects include:
- School year and summer field experiences including internships and apprenticeships with clearly stated objectives that provide work-based learning and meaningful job experience
- Entrepreneurial programming and opportunities
- Programs that build industry-specific work skills and experiences, with associated certificates
- Platforms to encourage and mentor youth-designed and youth-led initiatives that foster workplace skills
- School-based programs that support students in maintaining individualized learning plans, including specific career/work readiness skill development and experiences
Neither the Fund for Columbia County nor Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation support organizations which in their constitution, by-laws or practice discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender/gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious beliefs.
The fund anticipates a limited number of grants for one year ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
Projects should be executed within 12 months of receiving funding unless arrangements are made with the Foundation to extend the project period. We recognize that programs may require a longer timeline to achieve an impact, and promising programs will be eligible to apply for renewed funding in future years.
Funding will only support full-time residents of Columbia County. If your program serves youth from a wider catchment area, please indicate what percentage of the program will serve Columbia County.
The Fund for Columbia County will not fund:
- Annual funds, capital campaigns or endowments
- Expenses that have already been incurred
- Bricks and mortar
- Private operating foundations
- For-profit organizations
- Religious organizations (Please note grants may be made to support non-religious, community focused programs provided through faith-based organizations)
Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:
- Impact: What needs does it address? What is the potential impact of the project or service? Is it well conceived? Is it innovative?
- Equity: Priority will be given to projects and organizations serving underserved and marginalized communities, including populations that are BIPOC, low-income, geographically isolated, LGBTQIA+, living with disabilities, refugees, or immigrants. We believe in projects that foster trust and community engagement and look for organizations that incorporate a diversity of culture, philosophy and experience in their work.
- Feasibility: Does the applicant demonstrate the capacity to successfully execute the project? Does it involve leaders or organizations with relevant experience? Will there be appropriate staff or volunteers involved? Is it cost effective?
Applications will be reviewed fairly and competitively by the Fund for Columbia County advisory committee. Decisions will be made based on where grants can have the largest impact and leverage. The selected recommendations will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s board of directors.
Questions? Email Kelly Sweet.
Up to $20,000
How To Apply
Click the apply button below to visit our application portal.