Grantmaking Policies

DeadlinesTypes of Grants | Applicant Status | Focus Areas | Grant ProposalsGrant Agreement, Follow-Up and Reporting | Grant Modifications | Matching Funds Request


Deadlines (2021)

Organizations seeking grants or wishing to explore possible projects must contact us to discuss your organization and grant proposal prior to applying. After the initial discussion, you will receive instructions on how to submit a Letter of Inquiry.

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) must be submitted via the Online Grant Application System by the LOI deadline listed below. If the proposal meets the stated guidelines and priorities of the Foundation, the organization will be asked to schedule a meeting with the executive director and/or office administrator to further discuss the proposal. 

If invited, a Grant Application must be submitted via the Online Grant Application System by the appropriate grant round deadline listed below. Grant Application instructions will be sent to the applicant. Applicants will be notified immediately following a board meeting whether their application has been approved (and at what funding amount) or denied.

 PLEASE NOTE: An organization cannot submit a new application until a prior project is completed and reported on and can only apply once in a 12-month period.

2021 LOI Deadlines:

  • Round 2: May 14
  • Round 3: September 10

2021 Grant Application Deadlines:

  • Round 2: June 14
  • Round 3: October 4

2021 Board Meetings:

  • Round 2: July 22
  • Round 3: November 17


Sunset over Breitbeck Park, Oswego, New York - Image © Samantha Decker ( of Grants:  Grants may be awarded for the following programs and projects

  • Organizational capacity building
  • Special projects
  • New programs
  • Seed grants
  • Capital campaigns
  • Challenge grants


Sheldon Hall -  Image © Samantha Decker (

Applicant Status

  • Organizations that are located in or benefit Oswego County through specific projects or programs.
  • Grants are only made to organizations that are classified as tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or those that are considered exempt such as governmental subdivisions.
  • No grants or loans will be made to individuals.


Focus Areas:  Grants will only be given to proposals that have a focus upon: 

  • Education
  • Arts and Culture
  • Civic Benefit
  • Environment
  • Religion
  • Health & Human Services 
  • Historic Preservation
  • Economic Revitalization


Statue at Sheldon Hall -  Image © Samantha Decker (

Grant Proposals: Grants proposals should focus on the following matters:

  • A positive and transformative impact to the community of the proposed use of money, including long-term investments in social capital and infrastructure. 
  • The viability of the applicant, and the sustainability of the program. 
  • Clearly stated, and achievable, objectives and timeframes. 
  • Collaboration within the community, and the inclusion of diverse voices. 


Grant Agreement, Follow Up and Reporting

  • You will receive a grant approval email shortly after your grant is approved with payment information and instructions for completing the online Grant Acceptance Agreement.
  • We will work with you to determine appropriate publicity for the grant.
  • We require an online one-year follow-up report for all grants.
  • Depending on your grant, we may also require a six-month interim report.  Both reports must be completed online.

Grant Modifications

The Foundation recognizes that project circumstances may change over the life of a grant, suggesting a need to modify a grant timeframe or other terms. When this occurs, a grantee is required to notify the Foundation and seek advance written approval to modify the grant terms.

Types of Grant Modifications

Request for grant modifications considered by the Foundation include:

  • Extension of the grant period to permit additional time to complete supported activities
  • Reallocation of funds from one budget category to another
  • Rollover of funds from an older Foundation grant into a newer grant awarded for a similar purpose

Please note: Foundation staff do not regularly consider requests to alter the basic purpose of a grant or that seek to modify matching conditions. Grantees should consult with the Foundation's executive director about any such requests, as they may require Board review and approval.

Matching Funds Payment Request

For grants with a matching component, the Foundation's award letter sets forth the terms of payments, including the matching ratio, the timeframe for raising matching funds, and the payment installment amounts. The Foundation will issue payments upon receipt of satisfactory evidence that a match, or portion of a match as specified in the award letter, has been made.

Please note: Only gifts received (pledges or cash in hand) after grant award and designated for the Foundation-supported project can qualify as matching contributions.




All images © Samantha Decker (