What the LICF Funds | Long Island Community Foundation
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We are Long Island’s community foundation, serving Nassau and Suffolk counties. Our competitive grants are made possible primarily by funds set up by donor bequests and wills, supporting projects to improve the lives of Long Islanders.

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 (mental health for youth, protecting drinking water quality)—to broad (environment or elderly programs). 

 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 are home to several funder collaboratives that bring foundations and charitable individuals together to address issues such as immigration, water quality, and racial equity. 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

In our grantmaking decisions, we favor projects that: 

  • Have clearly defined and measurable outcomes with specific plans to achieve and document results in a specified time period 
  • Are led by organizations that have the capacity to achieve desired results and demonstrate commitment to diversity 
  • Demonstrate the potential for local or regional impact that are scalable or can be replicated 
  • Address gaps in current service or program models 
  • Demonstrate solutions that address root causes of problems 
  • Demonstrate collaboration and partnership for greater impact 
  • Demonstrate strong community leadership, engagement, and cultural competence 
  • Employ effective best practice strategies 
  • Serve low-income, underserved, or special needs populations 
  • Have the potential to leverage additional dollars 
  • Have the potential to favorably increase visibility of the LICF and our donors 

Our Grantmaking Guidelines

Here are guidelines in our program areas:

The best way to get a good idea of what we are currently funding is to examine each program area for an overview of our funding goals and priorities. We also invite you to take a look at our 2023 grants to see what organizations and projects we have funded. Although we will occasionally make a larger grant, most grants fall into the $15,000 – $25,000 range. 

 Grants are made for one year at a time; proposals submitted for renewed funding are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but only after a final report on the use of the previous grant has been received and approved by LICF staff. In most instances, no more than two renewals will be considered. 

LICF will fund projects in the following areas:
Arts
Arts

Program Goal: To promote diversity in the arts, expand access for artists and audiences, and/or integrate the arts into community development or  social change.

We fund projects that:  

  • Connect audiences to diverse cultural experiences.
  • Help arts organizations attract broader audiences and provide opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds.
  • Revitalize and strengthen communities through economic development or creative place-based programs.
  • Use the arts to engage residents in community problem solving and/or advocating for social change.

** Generally, we do not support presentations such as plays, films, or festivals.

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Program Goal: To build and sustain strong communities and create economic opportunities that lead to enduring prosperity and livelihoods for low- and moderate-income residents.  

We fund projects that: 

  • Advance local and statewide policies and practices that promote safe and decent affordable housing options and protect against displacement. 
  • Preserve and create multifamily housing for low-to moderate-income families and individuals. 
  • Build local support for  fair, affordable, and sustainable  housing developments. 
  • Promote strategies for job creation and linking low-income residents to employment.
  • Develop new sources of innovative community development tools and community wealth building models.
  • Invest in the development of historically underserved small businesses and entrepreneurs.
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EDUCATION
EDUCATION

 Program Goal: To prepare students for success in college and the workforce. 

 We fund projects that: 

  • Introduce effective in-school and out of school programs known to improve student performance including academic enrichment (especially in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math); college and career readiness; social and emotional learning; and training for educators.
  • Build and mobilize public will for greater equity and quality in Long Island’s school districts.
  • Expand innovative strategies and partnerships for improving low performing schools.
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ENVIRONMENT
ENVIRONMENT

Program Goal: To protect and preserve Long Island’s natural resources, healthy ecosystems, and public health.

We fund projects that: 

  • Promote sustainable land use, land management, and transportation alternatives.
  • Support and strengthen open space and farmland preservation efforts.
  • Improve and protect the health (or resiliency) of the region’s bodies of water.
  • Protect drinking water quality.
  • Preserve biological diversity through habitat conservation and protection.
  • Minimize climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the development of alternative energy sources and energy conservation, research, and public education.
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HEALTH
HEALTH

 Program Goal: To improve the effectiveness, responsiveness, and equity of healthcare for marginalized and underserved communities and populations.

** Health grants are accepted and reviewed during cycle 3 (August deadline).

 We fund projects that: 

  • Address existing health disparities and improve access to quality healthcare.
  • Provide access to comprehensive and coordinated care for those who remain uninsured or underinsured; and
  • Provide screening and early intervention for effective treatment of disease.
  • Support maternal and child health care – including services, prevention and education.

**Eligible applicants in Nassau County include hospitals and Federally Qualified Health Centers.  Eligible applicants in Suffolk County include hospitals, health care facilities, and nonprofit organizations with projects that align with our program goals.

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HUNGER
HUNGER

Program Goal: To reduce or alleviate hunger on Long Island 

 We fund projects that: 

  • Increase access to nutritious and healthy food for vulnerable populations.
  • Facilitate connection to social services and other programs (including entitlements, etc.) and/or address root causes of hunger.
  • Increase participation of eligible youth in free school breakfast and lunch programs.
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MENTAL HEALTH
MENTAL HEALTH

Program Goal: To improve the effectiveness, responsiveness, and accessibility of mental health services for youth (up to age 26) on Long Island

 We fund projects that: 

  • Address the mental health needs of youth through culturally competent behavioral health services.
  • Support mental health programs that strengthen an individual’s capacity to regulate emotions, advance alternatives to risk-taking behaviors, increase ability to manage difficult situations and adversity, and promote supportive social environments.
  • Address addictive behaviors through prevention and treatment.
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TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

Program Goal: To strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector through collaborative efforts to achieve greater community impact.

 We fund projects that: 

  • Increase the organizational aptitude of nonprofits through collaborative programming.
  • Promote sector-wide best practices and organizational efficiencies.
  • Further diversity, equity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector.
  • Foster mergers or consolidations to better serve communities.

** Generally, we do not support technical assistance projects that benefit a single organization.

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YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Program Goal: To advance the well-being and economic self-sufficiency of disadvantaged and at risk-youth (up to 26 years of age).

We fund projects that:

  • Increase readiness and access to youth workforce programs.
  • Help low-skilled youth obtain job skills by providing training, placement, and post-placement services.
  • Create career pathways in higher wage sectors (e.g., healthcare, technology, manufacturing, renewable energy).
  • Expand opportunities for positive youth development and leadership.
  • Reduce school suspensions and incarceration.
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