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Seeking a better town

Niskayuna Community Foundation opens annual grant submissions

Former Niskayuna Community Foundation president Vince Valenza, right, presents a $2,000 check to a representative of Concerned for the Hungry during a previous grant award ceremony.

Former Niskayuna Community Foundation president Vince Valenza, right, presents a $2,000 check to a representative of Concerned for the Hungry during a previous grant award ceremony. Submitted photo

— A local not-for-profit figures the best way to improve a community is from within.

The Niskayuna Community Foundation is opening its annual submission period for requesting grants. Around $20,000 is expected to be distributed through grants this year, with a maximum of $5,000 awarded for a single grant.

The NCF, an affiliate of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, was founded on Dec. 31, 1999, and since has support a variety of organization and causes through support from town residents. Through the economic downturn, support is still strong, said Foundation Board of Directors member Karen Huggins.

“We have sponsors who have weathered the economy very well,” she said. “We had a little dip in a few of the months when the stock market was the worst.”

Applicants must first send a letter of inquiry, which allows the foundation to assist potential applicants in preparing their grant applications. The letter shouldn’t exceed two pages and must include the following information: an introduction to the organization’s mission, recent achievements and structure; a brief outline of the needs, problems or opportunities to be addressed by the grant; and specifics about the grant requested, including total costs.

Letters must be submitted by March 1 and can be sent to Niskayuna Community Foundation, PO Box 9711, Niskayuna 12309. Grants approved during the eligibility screening must be followed by a final grant application by April 15 and the awarded grants will be announced on July 1.

“We evaluate based on the viability of the project, the viability of the organization,” Huggins said. “If a project seems worthwhile and they need a little help explaining their request that is fine. It has to be something that will be completed and clearly has a need.”

Founding Board member Cindy Phillippe said throughout the years more donors have helped fund the group’s mission.

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