Special and Urgent Needs Fund

Adirondack Foundation’s Special and Urgent Needs Fund (SUN) is a responsive granting resource that can be deployed to assist Adirondack communities during times of crisis. Given the extraordinary circumstances of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this fund is mobilizing resources specifically for COVID-19 response.

We can accept applications from nonprofits, municipalities, and schools. We cannot accept applications from individuals or for-profit businesses. Applicants must provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

Who are the partners supporting the SUN Fund COVID-19 response?
Adirondack Energy, Boquet Foundation, Champlain National Bank, Charles R. Wood Foundation, Cloudsplitter Foundation, United Way of the Adirondack Region, and many other generous donors.

Critical areas of need the SUN Fund will support in response to COVID-19

Access to Food:

  • Food banks, pantries, meal delivery for daily living support
  • Rural communities with no access to a grocery store
  • Local distribution solutions (churches, farmers, hubs, restaurants, etc.)

Child Care:

  • Nonprofit child care providers serving essential workers. PLEASE NOTE: Home-based child care providers are not eligible for SUN Fund, but are welcome to apply for assistance through Small Grants for Small Children

Low-wage workers and the elderly:

  • Rental and utility assistance through partnerships with agencies and municipalities

 Nonprofits and Small Businesses:

  • Operations support priority is given to nonprofits serving disproportionately affected individuals and families
  • Partnerships with county IDAs and other agencies supporting small businesses who are involved in response efforts such as food delivery to those in need

Critical Media:

  • Information clearinghouse for response and assistance efforts and community forums through nonprofit media outlets

Grants will not be targeted where government resources will be directed, rather, we will explore secondary impacts of the pandemic and work to help underserved and vulnerable populations.

Application evaluation and timing

During the response to COVID-19, we will form a special committee of foundation representatives with deep community knowledge and requisite skills to make funding decisions. This committee will identify and prioritize opportunities for funding in the community as well as review requests submitted directly from community organizations. 

It will have rapid-response authority to make grant decisions within 24 hours in accordance with guidelines established by Adirondack Foundation, Cloudsplitter Foundation, and other leading funders.

There are two broad categories of grants: emergency response and longer-term, deeper investment. As we learn more about the impact of the pandemic and its ramifications, the committee will become more proactive and thoughtful about larger, longer-term commitments.

Size of grants: The Fund will be both proactive and responsive, making grants on a rolling basis of $1,000 to $10,000. In special cases, grants could be larger.

NOTE: The SUN Fund team will review applications for grants related to the costs of reopening to the public and will give priority to those from organizations providing essential services such as child or elder care, education, health care, emergency services, when other potential resources for these costs have been exhausted .  
Reopening applications should include a detailed budget of expenses and those grants are capped at $2,500.  

How to apply
We have simplified our online application to facilitate rapid response. It can be accessed via Adirondack Foundation’s Online Grants Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m an individual affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me?
We understand many individuals and families are being affected by the outbreak. While the Fund is not able to provide grants to individuals, it is funding community-based organizations that provide direct services to people and families who are most affected by emerging health, economic and social impacts. If you are looking for resources now, please consider dialing 211 for referral assistance, or checking out the resource list posted by the New York Health Foundation

I'm a business owner affected by COVID-19. Can this fund help me? 
We understand many businesses are being affected by the outbreak and are working to move resources to nonprofits who support businesses. Our priority is to help businesses who are helping with community responses to the crisis such as delivering food to those in need. If you are looking for resources for your business, please check out information posted online by the North Country Chamber of Commerce

What are the eligibility requirements and how does my organization apply?
Grants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations, such as schools, faith-based organizations, and other public entities. We are not able to fund individuals or businesses directly, labor unions, or other 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), or 501(c)(6) organizations. A simple application can be accessed via Adirondack Foundation’s Online Grants Manager.

Can you provide more details about how the funds will be deployed?
We anticipate multiple phases of funding to address both the acute needs now and the longer-term impacts of the outbreak and recovery. Our goal is to fill gaps where government funding is not available. We are initially prioritizing community-based organizations that are serving communities and individuals who are immediately and disproportionately suffering from this crisis. We are not able to prioritize organizations that have lost revenue or are likely to lose future revenue due to canceled events or programs, or larger public institutions that restrained by increased demand for services. We recognize these challenges, and as the long-term impacts continue to unfold, we will continue to work with our partners to assess and evolve our funding strategies. You can see a full list of up-to-date grants here

Is there a geographic area of focus for these grants?
Yes, the Adirondack region of Northern New York, defined for this purpose as all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties as well as the parts of Herkimer, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties within the Adirondack Park boundary and the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation.  

Who should I contact if I have questions? 
For information about applying for a grant, contact Andrea Grout, andrea@adkfoundation.org, or about making a donation to the SUN Fund, contact Matt Donahue, matt@adkfoundation.org.