Grant Opportunity Open to Cortland County Nonprofits

Cortland, NY (January 11, 2019) – 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, launched in 2018, 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 25, 2019. Grant recipients 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 Tom Griffith, vice president, development 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. The matching support of other donors is what allows us to continue the Bright Ideas program”

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 public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue 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

The Central New York Community Foundation was established in 1927 to serve as a permanent community endowment built by the gifts and charitable legacies of individuals, families and businesses for the betterment of the region. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of more than $272 million. It has invested more than $190 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time.  Its vision is to create a vibrant Central New York community that provides opportunity for everyone and builds a hopeful, prosperous region for future generations.

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