Community Benefits Grant (CBG)

WHDC is pleased to announce the 2024 Community Benefits Grants

Awarding $2M in six priority areas to 501 (c)3 nonprofit organizations headquartered in Manhattan Community District 9, as well as to outside NPOs whose projects demonstratively serve at least 75% of MCD9 residents. 

More information here.

Girl holding The Honorable Harvest Poster.
Public program at The Hort Greenhouse. Photo credit: The Horticultural Society of NY (The Hort).

WHDC aims to support activities that benefit West Harlem by deploying funds pursuant to the CBA through WHDC Grantmaking and other activities. WHDC’s strategy is to address the needs of West Harlem through project specific collaborations with nonprofit organizations and institutions. WHDC requires its grantees to meet specified or negotiated measurable goals within WHDC’s vision. Funded projects of organizations must be located in, or provide services to Manhattan Community District 9 (MCD9) in West Harlem, bounded as: South to North: from 110th Street to 155th Street; and East to West: from Manhattan, Morningside, St. Nicholas, Bradhurst and Edgecombe Avenues to the Hudson River.

The CBA contains a list of activities for which its original $76 million, payable over 16 years, may be spent. Included are activities to address eight need-categories namely: Arts and Culture, Community Facilities, Education, Workforce and Economic Development, Environment, Historic Preservation and Housing. In 2014, WHDC’s board decided to condense these into four categories: Education, Community Facilities, Housing, and Workforce & Economic Development. In 2015, WHDC’s Board further prioritized these into Affordable Housing, Education (including youth development), and Workforce & Economic Development. The prioritization aims to ameliorate the endemic issues of public school failure, rising unemployment and limited skills, and rising housing costs and displacement.

In 2018, WHDC’s Board made the decision to shift from two funding cycles per year to one cycle titled Community Benefits Grant Awards. WHDC continues to examine the impact of its grantmaking and thus reserves the right to set new priorities.

  1. The applicant is a nonprofit organization currently recognized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)3 nonprofit and by the State of New York as a public charity. The applicant tax exempt status must not have changed since the issuance of the IRS determination letter, and no issue is presently pending before any office of the IRS that could result in any proposed changes in the applicant tax-exempt status.

  2. Eligible nonprofit organizations that have been funded for the 2022 and 2023 WHDC Community Benefit Grants are eligible to apply.

  3. Newly formed organizations, that is, within the last 12 months, may apply if they can demonstrate prior program service in MCD9 (Manhattan Community District 9).

  4. The proposed project should serve MCD9 residents, not the applicant organization (WHDC does not support expenses that are essentially general support or internal capacity building). However, if awarded funding and if the public services are delivered as described, the organization can use its 2024 CBG funding to cover any operating costs (such as staff salaries, space rental, etc.) directly associated with the proposed project.

  5. The proposed project must include as a principal goal a demonstrable priority area service within MCD9.

  6. The proposed project and its activities must be clear and contain measurable goals that can be evaluated during and at the end of the award term.

  7. The proposed project must be within the organization’s program services, administrative and fiscal capabilities.

  8. The proposed project budget must include diverse financial resources and cannot include in-kind donations or expenses. WHDC will not fund more than 50% of the proposed project budget. A funding mix that includes foundation and corporate support, other government support, private contributions, cash, and earned income (where appropriate) is desirable.

  9. Proposed projects that contain fees to individuals should be of a level consistent with a proper wage. 

  10. The proposed project must be covered by the applicant organizations General Liability Insurance and its service activity must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

An organization may submit only one application in response to each application cycle, either on its own or in collaboration with another group. To be eligible for funding, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • All applicant organizations must be incorporated as a nonprofit organization in a state within the U.S.A. If not incorporated in New York, the applicant organization must provide a certificate to do business in New York.
  • All applicant organizations must be physically located and providing services in MCD9, or not located in MCD9 but able to demonstrate the provision of services to MCD9 over at least the last 12 months.
  • All applicant organizations must have a nonprofit, tax-exempt status recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

2024 CBG will fund proposed project-based services where: 

  • The applicant organization has completed a prior year’s reporting requirement

  • Project activities take place within the grant term (July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025)

  • Project activities will not include clearly stated fundraising events, receptions, capital construction or renovation of facilities

  • Project funding is non-sectarian and non-religious in content

  • Project funding is not largely allocated to an individual 

  • Project funding is not used for lobbying or government advocacy efforts

  • Payments are made directly to the grantee organization without a third-party fiscal sponsors

WHDC’s grantmaking is managed through Fluxx, a secure, user-friendly, cloud-based software system. The application process takes two to six months.

STAGE 1 – Application A request for applications is announced on WHDC’s website,  social media, and a newsletter. To register as an applicant, the organization must answer a set of questions using Fluxx to assess how they meet WHDC’s minimum requirements to be considered for funding. After a satisfactory review, WHDC will provide the organization instructions via email on how to access a grant application.

STAGE 2 – Review After the submission of a grant application, an internal assessment is conducted by WHDC to evaluate the organization’s mission and initiative alignment with WHDC priorities.

STAGE 3 – Decision Following WHDC Board approval, applicant organizations are notified via email. The first installment of the award is disbursed once the grantee returns the signed award letter to WHDC. Grant awards are shared publicly on WHDC’s website.

Once the applicant organization becomes a grantee, it agrees that WHDC has full rights to:

  • Publish information that may include the organization’s name, award amount, contact information, and program description
  • Use the name of the grantee and its program information in WHDC’s press interviews and disclosures
  • Provide stories, pictures, and videos of program activities to WHDC

Community Benefits Grant Categories

WHDC’s priority is to support West Harlem-based community projects by deploying funds contributed by Columbia University pursuant to the CBA through its annual Community Benefits Grant (CBG) and other activities. WHDC’s strategy is to address the needs of West Harlem through collaborations and capacity enhancements of Community Based Organizations and institutions.

Selected CBG projects of organizations must be located in or provide services to the West Harlem community as defined by New York City, Manhattan Community District 9 (CD9): south to north: from 110th Street to 155th Street; east to west: from St. Nicholas, Bradhurst, Edgecombe, Morningside and Manhattan Avenues to the Hudson River. The CBG application must address one or more of the following need categories (Community-Need Categories) that are identified in the CBA. WHDC reserves the right to alter the list of needs and categories for CD9 and to set funding priorities

Priority Areas

In 2023

We awarded nearly $1.9m to over 100 local organizations

Learn more about our mission

Photo of Harlem Pride event.
Photo credit: Harlem Pride

2023 CBG Grantees & Programs

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