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$5k ‘bright idea’ grants on the table for area nonprofits

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Eligible nonprofits can apply now for a $5k grant this winter through CNY Community Foundation’s Bright Ideas Program.

Applicants are invited to submit project proposals that would enhance their organization to help better serve the community.

Now in its fourth year, the program has awarded $160k to dozens of hometown 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 application deadline to submit an application is Monday, February 22, which can be found here.

Support is provided by 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.

The Fenstermacher Fund was established at the Community Foundation in 2001 upon the death of Ted Fenstermacher, a prominent attorney who served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials after World War II.

It 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

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