Youth, Hunger, and the Environment: How This Long Island Grantmaker Has Been Giving Lately



We often cover the work of the New York Community Trust (NYCT), a powerful community grantmaker that has been awarding over $200 million in annual grants lately. But it’s important to remember that NYCT also has two regional divisions, in Long Island and Westchester, that focus on local residents in those places in a more targeted way.

The Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) has been on the local grantmaking scene since 1978 and recently awarded its first round of grants for 2019. In this round, LICF committed a total of $365,000 to 19 nonprofits, which follows nearly $1.5 million in giving to over 60 nonprofits last year.

In this blog post, we’re going to look at three trending areas of LICF giving to help Long Island nonprofits get a better sense of how this foundation operates.

Youth Grants

Children and youth have been long-time interests of LICF, and many grants are awarded to serve this population in each grant cycle. Certain funds held at LICF, such as the DeWitt Wallace Fund for Youth, make extensive giving in this category possible throughout the year.

Youth development grants in LICF’s most recent cycle include the ECNY Foundation, LGBT Network, and Long Beach Latino Civic Association. Meanwhile, new education grants benefiting children went to Project Morry, the Parrish Art Museum, and Community Action Southold Town.

Hunger Giving

Another big area of interest for LICF lately is hunger, especially with regard to homeless people and young children. For example, recent grant support has gone to the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island for a program that helps pediatric service providers promote supplemental nutrition programs.

Other hunger efforts include a program for homeless adults at Community Housing Innovations and a food stamps program at Mercy Haven. The Henry Shepard Fund is an example of a fund exists to support hunger programs and a donor fund that LICF manages.

Support for Environmental Causes

Recently, LICF has been at the forefront of environmental philanthropy by funding things like campaigns to end the use of single-use plastic items and restore natural wildlife habitats on Long Island. The foundation is also funding projects to boost transit-oriented development in Uniondale, Elmont, Central Islip, and Hempstead.

In the most recent round of giving, LICF awarded environmental grants to All Our Energy, Grassroots Environmental Education, Friends of Hempstead Plains at Nassau Community College, Long Island Pine Barrens Society, and the Trust for Public Land. A significant portion of LICF’s environmental funding is facilitated through the Henry Phillip Kraft Fund, a donor fund that focuses on clean water, habitat restoration, and other environmental projects.

Other LICF Interests

But as the region’s community funder, LICF maintains broad interests and funds other topics in addition to these three big ones. Grant interests also include arts and culture, community development and response, and technical assistance. Across all topics, newly awarded LICF grants ranged from $15,000 to $25,000 each.

To date, LICF has made nearly $175 million in grants from the hundreds of funds that have been established by individuals, families, and businesses. LICF’s grant application cycle deadlines are in January, April, and August of each year, and the funder lists current requests for proposals on its website as well.