Three Things to Know about the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation

The Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation is a New York City foundation that awards nearly a hundred grants each year, mostly to local nonprofits. Although the city is at the heart of all foundation grantmaking, some focus areas are more New York-centric than others. These are three things that grantseekers should keep in mind about the Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation.

Gimbel Is Hyper-Focused on the Five Boroughs 

While Gimbel does grant to national organizations, particularly in the environmental area, almost all of its New York-area grants stay within the five boroughs. The foundation doesn’t even consider applications for direct service programs outside of New York City. Other things that Gimbel doesn’t fund include individuals, mentoring programs, youth development programs, and film projects.  

Education is No Longer a Funding Priority

Even though the Gimbel foundation was established on a principle of education funding, the staff no longer accepts proposals for funding space. Instead, the foundation focuses on economic development, civic legal services, criminal justice, reproductive rights, and the environment. Economic development tends to be the most New York-centric focus area, and successful grantees pitch programs that increase the number of living-wage jobs and help low-income residents access those jobs. Although Gimbel’s environmental program has historically focused on national and global campaigns and strategies, the foundation is also interested in local initiatives that build the sustainability and resiliency of New York City’s built environment.

Most Grants are between $50,000 and $100,000

So far in 2014, almost all Gimbel Foundation grants have fallen in the $50,000 to $100,000 range, some for general operating support and others for program funding. Some recent and local general support grants include $75,000 to the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services, $50,000 to the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, and $60,000 to the New York Immigration Coalition. Gimbel provided program support to the tune of $70,000 to Per Scholas’s IT-Ready Training program, $60,000 to Youth Brooklyn Legal Services’ employment projects, and $25,000 to the New York Center for Juvenile Justice’s judicial training program.

For a full list of recent Gimbel grantees, check out the foundation’s Grants Page. You can access Gimbel’s secure online application system on the How to Apply Page to get started with your initial letter of inquiry.

Related - Bernard F. and Alva B. Gimbel Foundation: New York City Grants