Grant Opportunity Open to Cortland County Nonprofits

Cortland, NY (January 6, 2021) – The Central New York Community Foundation is offering a grant opportunity to Cortland County nonprofit organizations this winter. Nonprofit applicants are invited to submit their ‘bright idea’ for enhancing their organization to better serve the community if they were to receive a $5,000 grant. The simple online form can be accessed at and must be submitted by Monday, February 22, 2021.

The Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program is supported through the generosity of the Fenstermacher Fund, the Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund, the Margaret and Roland Fragnoli Designated Fund, the Yaman Foundation, the Bertini Family Foundation, the Cortland Community Foundation, Brenda and Rod Comolli and other local donors who were inspired to give back to the local community.

This is the program’s fourth year. To date, $160,000 has been awarded to over 32 nonprofit organizations. 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.

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

“Like Mr. Fenstermacher, the donors supporting the Bright Ideas program have a deep love of the Cortland community,” said Thomas Griffith, vice president of development at the Community Foundation. “We are pleased that Mr. Fenstermacher’s generous bequest to provide permanent support to Cortland County has inspired other residents.”

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

The Central New York Community Foundation is a public charity established in 1927 that collects contributions from donors, manages them to grow over time and then distributes funding to local charities to help them thrive. It is the largest charitable foundation in Central New York with assets of more than $280 million and has invested more than $200 million in community improvement projects since its inception. As a grantmaker, civic leader, convener and sponsor of strategic initiatives, the Community Foundation strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the region and address the most critical issues of our time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s