What the WCF Funds | Westchester Community Foundation
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We are Westchester's community foundation, serving Westchester County. Our competitive grants are made possible primarily by funds set up by donor bequests and wills, supporting projects to improve the lives of Westchester residents.

Our Grants

Our competitive grants are supported by hundreds of funds. Some can be used at our discretion, while others were created for particular purposes and range from specific (for the residents of a particular community, or to support homeless children)—to broad (leadership development, social justice, or the environment).

Based on our guidelines, program officers review proposals and identify the best projects to recommend to our board. We also have many living donors who suggest grants from donor-advised funds. These funds do not accept proposals.

Funder Collaboratives

We participate in several funder collaboratives that bring foundations and charitable individuals together to address issues such as workforce development and water quality. These collaborative funds do not accept unsolicited proposals; instead they issue requests for proposals or solicit nonprofits to apply. Please see descriptions of the collaboratives and their RFPs (if any).

Funder Collaboratives
WHICH NONPROFITS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR GRANTS?
WHICH NONPROFITS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR GRANTS?

Our competitive grants go to public charities or to groups sponsored by one. While our focus is on Westchester County, we support some organizations headquartered elsewhere that are providing programs in the county. For example, technical assistance programs may be headquartered in New York City or the Hudson Valley. Grantees (or fiscal agents) should have a board of directors with at least five members and no more than one paid board member.

WHAT TYPES OF PROGRAMS DO YOU FUND?
WHAT TYPES OF PROGRAMS DO YOU FUND?

We fund programs that promote change in policy or systems, build capacity of organizations, and expand and/or improve direct service.

WHAT DON'T YOU FUND?
WHAT DON'T YOU FUND?

We do not make grants to individuals, endowment campaigns, capital and building campaigns, endowments, equipment, routine operating expenses, deficit financing, religious purposes, or events.

Our Grantmaking Guidelines
Here are guidelines in our program areas:
HEALTH & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
HEALTH & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

We support programs that address health disparities by improving the effectiveness, responsiveness, and equity of healthcare for marginalized and underserved communities. Preference is given to innovative programs addressing health and behavioral health that have countywide impact.

This funding area is currently closed.

HUMAN JUSTICE
HUMAN JUSTICE

We support programs that protect civil liberties and human rights through access to civil legal services.

HUMAN SERVICES
HUMAN SERVICES

We support programs that address basic human needs, including food and shelter, and programs that help individuals and families achieve greater long-term economic stability and self-sufficiency.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

We support programs that provide opportunities for Westchester residents ages 16+ to train for and get good jobs. Programs must demonstrate a clear connection between the training and jobs, and include strong employer partnerships. Preference is given to programs that lead to industry-recognized certification and include job placement and post-placement services.

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

We support programs that increase opportunities for youth up to age 24 to become resilient adults. Funding is provided in two areas:

  1. Programs that empower young people by teaching essential personal and practical skills that will serve them throughout life. Preference is given to programs that give youth a voice in the issues that affect their lives, and that offer diverse experiences, expand cultural horizons, and provide enriching opportunities for community engagement. We prioritize programs that utilize a Positive Youth Development framework.

 

  1. Innovative programs that create improved outcomes for youth before and after contact with the juvenile or criminal justice systems. Programs must provide critical social services supports, including mental health services. Preference is given to programs that use innovative strategies to steer youth away from school suspension and incarceration.
ARTS
ARTS

We support programs that broaden access to the arts for all and provide professional development opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds.

Funding support is available in these two areas only:

  • Post-baccalaureate education and training fellowships to promising young, economically disadvantaged artists that will help them make the transition to professional careers
  • Programs that bring to life the rich cultural history of Germany, including scholarships, research, and programs that promote Germanic arts, folklore, language, literature, and music.
SOCIAL JUSTICE
SOCIAL JUSTICE

We support community-based efforts that seek policy reforms that address social injustice through grassroots and community organizing. Programs must involve and be led by those most affected by the injustice, ensuring that they have a say in shaping policies that affect their lives. Current grantees are working to promote access to housing, employment and economic opportunity, and participating in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws.

ENVIRONMENT
ENVIRONMENT

We support programs that promote more environmentally sustainable, resilient, and just communities; that seek to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting energy efficiency and sustainability; promote conservation and preservation of shorelines, reduction of stormwater run-off, and better planning for weather-related emergencies; reduce risk of exposure to toxic substances, protect drinking water quality, and preserve open space; and preserve biological diversity through habitat conservation and protection.

This funding area is currently closed.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

The Foundation supports the capacity of nonprofits in Westchester through convenings, workshops, and cohort programs that foster a strong and connected nonprofit sector. We do not entertain requests for technical assistance funding for a single organization.