Special and Urgent Needs Fund

In an effort to be a responsive grantmaker, Adirondack Foundation, along with some private family foundations and donor advisors, helped to establish a Special and Urgent Needs Fund (SUN).  The SUN Fund's purpose is to assist organizations in the Adirondack region of New York to address short-term needs where a relatively small grant can assist with unanticipated, unbudgeted gaps in funding or to take advantage of a special opportunity.

 Grant applications will be accepted from organizations that are located in or serve the people of the Adirondack region of NY.  Organizations must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be a public agency or municipality in the Adirondack region. Applicants must provide services without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.

What we fund

Adirondack Foundation looks for proposals that will allow an organization to:

  • Conduct emergency repairs of a building structure or mechanical system (heating, cooling, etc.) whose sudden and unexpected failure interferes with provision of services. (For example: repair costs for damaged roof due to unexpected weather event, or failure of a backup generator during power outage.)
  • Provide resources whose need could not have been anticipated or budgeted, and without which the work of your organization is severely hindered. (For example: training for educators or school counselors to remain compliant with state regulations for school security procedures.)
  • Manage unanticipated leadership transitions or emergency succession of an executive director. (For example: staffing cost for an interim director or to fill a capacity need while an organization's executive director is away on emergency medical leave or had to resign unexpectedly.)

What we don't fund

Adirondack Foundation will only support projects that are unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive. We do not make grants from SUN Fund for ongoing capital expenses, endowments, capital campaigns, religious purposes, individuals, debts, or for equipment (unless it is an integral part of an otherwise eligible project) We also do not fund budget deficits, funding shortfalls, or strategic planning or organizational development from this fund. Additionally, we are unlikely to fund projects that arise from deferred maintenance or projects from organizations who have recently received SUN grants.

How we evaluate your application

Adirondack Foundation considers the following criteria:

  • Compatibility with SUN Fund guidelines
  • Community support for the project or the organization— the Foundation prefers to be the last dollars in for eligible SUN Fund projects and will consider partial funding if feasible
  • Time sensitivity of the project or program; grant would meet an immediate revenue need
  • Retroactive funding will only be considered in emergency situations. These requests will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • Grant would preserve or enhance the ability of the organization to meet its mission
  • Extent to which the project or program will address the needs of the Adirondack communities including underserved populations
  • Financial sustainability of the project or program and financial stability of the organization
  • Extent to which the grant will help the Foundation reach geographic areas we serve
  • Project is not part of the annual workplan, or budget, or, in the case of structural emergencies, the problem could not have been averted with planned improvements over time
  • Availability of Adirondack Foundation funds.

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Typical grant range: $250-$5,000.

There is no deadline and organizations may apply anytime.  Decisions will be made within two-three weeks of receiving the application and successful applicants will be required to submit a short six month report on how funds were spent.

Applications must be submitted through our Online Grants Manager.


Special and Urgent Needs Fund Donation