Downtown Cortland

Grant Opportunity Open to Cortland County Nonprofits

Nonprofit applicants are invited to submit their ‘bright idea’...

The Central New York Community Foundation is offering a grant opportunity to Cortland County nonprofit organizations this winter. Nonprofit applicants are invited to submit their ‘bright idea’ for enhancing their organization to better serve the community if they were to receive a $5,000 grant. The simple online form can be accessed at cnycf.org/cortland and must be submitted by Monday, February 21, 2022.

The Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program is supported through the generosity of the Fenstermacher Fund, the Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund, the Margaret and Roland Fragnoli Designated Fund, the Yaman Foundation, the Bertini Family Foundation, the Cortland Community Foundation, Brenda and Rod Comolli and other local donors who were inspired to give back to the local community.

This is the program’s fifth year. To date, $220,000 has been awarded to over 40 nonprofit organizations. Any tax-exempt, nonprofit organization located in and/or serving Cortland County is eligible to submit one application for a Bright Ideas grant. This includes any group classified as a nonprofit charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code or an organization that is publicly supported, like a municipality or school district. Grants for religious purposes will not be considered.

The Fenstermacher Fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2001 upon the death of Ted Fenstermacher. This prominent attorney became a part of history when he served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials following World War II. The Fenstermacher Fund has supported the general needs of the Cortland community for more than 15 years, largely through the funding of a lecture series. Now, it is serving as a catalyst for other community members to provide funding for area nonprofits.

“We are so appreciative of the donors who have made five years of Bright Ideas grantmaking in Cortland County possible. Their deep love of the Cortland community has made a positive impact on dozens of organizations,” said Thomas Griffith, vice president of development at the Community Foundation. “As we continue stewarding Mr. Fenstermacher’s generous bequest that started this work, we are also helping new donors create legacy gifts that will increase permanent support for Cortland County.”

To learn more about the Bright Ideas grants program, including how to make a contribution, visit cnycf.org/cortland.

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