New Grant Opportunity Open to Cortland County Nonprofits

Cortland, NY (January 9, 2018) – The Central New York Community Foundation is offering a grant opportunity for Cortland County nonprofit organizations this winter. The Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program is supported through the generosity of the Fenstermacher Fund and other local donors who were inspired to give back to the Cortland community.

Nonprofit applicants are invited to submit their ‘bright idea’ for enhancing their organization and better serving their community. The simple online form can be accessed at and must be submitted by February 16, 2018. At least seven organizations will each receive a $5,000 grant through this program.

The Fenstermacher Fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2001 upon the death of Ted Fenstermacher. This prominent attorney was part of history when he served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg war crimes trials following World War II. The Fenstermacher Fund has supported the general needs of the community for more than 15 years, largely through the funding of a lecture series in Cortland. Now, it is serving as a catalyst for other community members to provide funding for Cortland area nonprofits.

“It is a clear indication of Mr. Fenstermacher’s deep love of the Cortland community that he chose to support its needs in perpetuity through a bequest to the Community Foundation,” said Jennifer Owens, senior vice president and chief development officer at the Community Foundation. “We are pleased that his generosity has inspired other Cortland residents, and that his legacy continues to be honored in the community he loved.”

Ted deeply enjoyed giving back to others. This could be seen throughout his law career, as he frequently took on pro-bono cases of underprivileged clients that others turned away. The beautification of the City of Cortland, civil liberties, battered women and children, education and academic matters were all causes of importance to him.

Any tax-exempt, nonprofit organization located in and/or serving Cortland County is eligible to submit one application for a Bright Ideas grant. This includes any group classified as a nonprofit charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code or an organization that is publicly supported, like a municipality or school district. Grants for religious purposes will not be considered.

To learn more about the Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program, including how to make a contribution, visit

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by supporting the growth of permanent charitable endowments for the betterment of the region.  The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $226 million. It awarded $14 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations. Since its inception, it has invested nearly $170 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and businesses through the administration of more than 700 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen local nonprofits and address the region’s most pressing challenges.

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