New York Life Foundation Grief Reach - Capacity Building Grant

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New York Life Foundation’s Capacity Building Grant - Overview

New York Life Foundation’s Capacity Building RFP focuses on providing a one-time, $10,000 grant to enhance the overall operations, efficiency and capacity of an organization serving bereaved youth and their families. A total of 20 organizations will be selected through this RFP with 10 grants being awarded during each grant cycle. Organizations can only submit to one RFP cycle per year. Interested organizations need to identify how this grant will enable them to operate more effectively at an organizational level by addressing their organizational strengths and weaknesses and proposing goals that are achievable in a 12-month period with the funds allocated.  Proposals should fit one of the five major categories listed below:

  • Planning activities: organizational assessments; strategic planning; fund development; communications/marketing; recruiting or maintaining volunteer support; business planning.
  • Staff/board development: leadership training; defining the role of the board; recruitment of new board members; strengthening governance.
  • Strategic relationships/collaboration: technical assistance; consultant support; restructuring; mergers; or business planning.
  • Internal operations: improvements to financial management, human resources, or volunteer management; development of evaluation systems and training; facility planning.
  • Technology improvements: improving IT capacity through upgrades to hardware and software; networking; updating websites; and staff training to optimize use of technology.

Your capacity building project should have an impact on your organization first, and then on the clients your organization serves. These grants DO NOT fund staff salaries. In thinking about capacity building needs, an organization may ask:

  • Does this activity allow my whole organization to operate more effectively, or does it have a limited effect on a program or initiative? For example, improving fundraising skills affects the entire organization over a long period. However, having a fundraising dinner for a program only affects that program for that fiscal year.
  • Which major operational areas need attention and will help the organization grow and achieve its mission? For example, there may be a need for financial management software, a donor database, and upgraded communications materials. Not being able to do them all, an organization must select one that is going to move them forward strategically.
  • Is there a bottleneck in the organization that is stalling growth? For example, an organization may need to recruit new volunteers, but not have a way to reach the local community, such as a website.

Capacity Building Grant Application Cycle:

  • CYCLE 1: March 5 - April 5, 2018 (Application closes 8:00 PM Eastern)
  • CYCLE 2: June 28- July 30, 2018 (Application closes 8:00 PM Eastern)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a private, nonprofit organization, with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code, and not a private foundation
  • Be in operation as a 501(c)(3) for at least one year
  • Request an amount not greater than 20 percent of organization’s most recent fiscal year actuals
  • Provide 990 tax returns for the past year (if applicable)
  • Provide a budget explaining how the requested funds will be used. Download a SAMPLE BUDGET
  • Currently serving bereaved youth
  • Have at least one paid staff person

 Excluded organizations and areas:

  • Individuals or government agencies
  • Organizations or activities whose services are limited to members of one religious or sectarian group
  • Fraternal, social, professional, athletic, or veterans' organizations.
  • Seminars, conferences, trips
  • Endowments, memorials, or capital campaigns
  • Fundraising events, telethons, races, or other benefits
  • Goodwill advertising
  • Basic or applied research
  • Organizations which discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, or national origin

Informational Webinar

We know that the grant process can be challenging. We will do everything we can to assist you in this process. We will hold an informational webinar and also at least one Question and Answer Session. We are always willing to answer questions and assist you in any way we can. We highly recommend that you attend one or both of these sessions.

RFP Q & A Webinar, Cycle 1 – March 8, 2018 at 2:00p Eastern    Webinar Playback

RFP Q & A Webinar,  Cycle 2 – July 12, 2018 at 2:00pm Eastern   Register for this Webinar

Please note:

  • Applications must be submitted through the online submission
  • No applications will be accepted after the deadline.
  • Organizations can only submit for one RFP cycle per year.


Please direct your questions to: Megan Lopez at