Community Foundation of Otsego County Awards 2023 Cycle 

The Strategic Plan adopted in early 2023 by CFOC focuses our attention (and awards) in three primary areas: strengthening our community; strengthening our nonprofit sector; assisting those in need of support.

We have two application deadlines –

              First Deadline                             June 15, 2023

              Second Deadline                       October 15, 2023

Strengthening Our Community

To strengthen our community, it is critical that we reverse longstanding trends of declining population and increasing median age of our citizens.  Retaining our young people (and their families) and attracting new young families will lead to a healthier economy and will provide more resources to address current problems such as food insecurity, mental health, affordable housing, and transportation. 

For 2023, CFOC has allocated up to $50,000 for awards that lead to reversing these trends. The targeted maximum award is $20,000.  We encourage, but do not require, applications that demonstrate creativity, innovation, collaboration, supporting diversity, and involving young people.

Some topics that might win awards:

  • Starting long-term programs that target young audiences (e.g., entertainment, social connections, sports, job opportunities, community engagement)
  • Finding creative solutions to meeting the housing needs for this segment of our population (research, design, and data collection will be considered)
  • Using our tourism values to convert visitors to residents.
  • Expanding child-care services
  • inspiring entrepreneurship, business incubation, and collaborations that support small businesses, job skill development, and/or other strategies.

We do not expect to quickly reverse trends that have been at play for decades.  We want to experiment with solutions that try out new theories.  We want to encourage diverse thinking.


Strengthening Our Nonprofits

To strengthen our nonprofits, in 2022 we concentrated on increasing the capacity of nonprofits to deliver new or expanded services.  This year, we will allocate up to $50,000 toward programs that:

  • Encourage collaboration among two or more nonprofit organizations.
  • Explore ways to operate more efficiently.
  • Demonstrate creativity and innovation.

The targeted maximum award is $10,000.


Immediate Needs

Addressing longstanding needs does not happen overnight.  We remain concerned about many issues including but not limited to:

  • Poverty
  • food insecurity
  • affordable housing
  • transportation related to jobs or medical services
  • substandard housing
  • affordable childcare
  • social isolation of the elderly
  • mental health challenges
  • and many other areas of immediate need.

Our third area of awards addresses these existing needs.  Here, we allocate up to $50,000 toward nonprofit programs in these areas.  We encourage, but do not require, applications that leverage our awards as matching grants.

We invite applications by Otsego County nonprofit organizations that address one or more of these needs.  The targeted maximum award is $10,000.

Field of Interest Funds

In addition to these three primary themes, CFOC also has funding available in a few areas of specific interest.  Designated funds allow us to make smaller grants in the following areas:

  • Awards from Advocates of Springfield to benefit the Town of Springfield (up to $400 each). Click here to apply.
  • Awards from Greater Otego Library and Education Fund to benefit the Town of Otego (up to $2,000 each). Click here to apply.
  • Awards that address needs in Schoharie County– scheduled to open in the second half of 2023

For details of each of these target topics please click on the links to each fund.

2023 General Guidelines

To apply for an award or grant, applicants must be nonprofits that are qualified as 501c3 organizations in good standing.  If your organization does not qualify, it is possible to align with a fiscal sponsoring organization that does qualify.  Please contact us for further information.

Applicants must submit complete applications that are available by clicking here. It is important that all answers be completed with all attachments responsive to the questions asked.  We are adopting deadlines this year so please comply.  If you have any questions about the application, please contact us.

Applicants may apply for more than one program but an aggregate award limit of $20,000 will apply to each applicant.   Any request in excess of $10,000 will be decided by our full Board of Directors.

What we do not fund

  • fundraising aid
  • direct grants to individuals
  • direct grants to businesses
  • grants for sectarian activities
  • building renovations or capital improvements
  • scholarships

Award Details

  •  All applications must be fully completed to be considered.
  • Awards may include funding of administrative costs but not exceeding 10% of total award requested.
  • All questions can be directed to

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: If I’m not a 501c3, is it possible for me to apply?

A: Yes, but… you will need to find a fiscal sponsor that is a 501c3 in good standing and willing to act as the applicant.  That organization’s mission should be aligned with the goals of the proposed project.  The sponsoring organization will be accepting financial and reporting responsibility and will be liable for complying with the provisions of our award letter.  

Q: How do I know which category fits my application best?

A: The criteria for each category are explained in the Guidelines. However, if you have further questions contact CFOC at and we will help you through the process.

Q: Can I apply in multiple categories?

A: For a single project, we ask you to apply in the category that fits best, but if you have multiple programs you may submit in different categories. However, no single applicant will receive more than $20,000 in aggregate.

Q: Do I need to upload my financial statement and most recent 990?

A: Yes, we do require these materials as part of a complete application.  We only consider complete applications.  Your financial statement should include the most recent year’s Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activity.  Project budget is required too, but not here.

Q: Why do you need to know how many of my Board members made cash donations in the past 12 months?

A: We have seen that the healthy 501c3s are ones with strong boards, demonstrated by personal financial commitments.  We do not need to know the amounts of such commitments.   We encourage you to explain the importance of this to your board members. While a factor in the review process, the percentage of board member cash contributions is not a deal-breaker.

Q: What do you want to see in the project budget?

A: The more detail, the better.  If you are including administrative costs, please clearly indicate those costs.   This budget is for the project; we are not asking for your organization’s overall budget.

Q: Are the deadlines firm?

A: Yes. The application process will be closed when the deadline date has passed. Submissions will not be possible after the deadline date.

Q: When will awards be announced?

A: We expect to review and approve applications by the end of the deadline month.

Q: If my application is not successful, can I apply again?

A: Yes, if your application is not approved in the first cycle, you may apply again in the second cycle.

Q: If my application is unsuccessful, is there any way for me to understand why?

A: Yes. We are happy to review your application, either by email or phone.

Q: I have a question that has not been covered above? Is there a way for me to ask it?

A: Yes. We want to do everything we can to make our award process work best for our Otsego County nonprofits. You can email us at or call Jeff Katz, Executive Director, at (607) 286-3750.

Have questions?

For more information, please contact us.