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Grants Available for Area Nonprofits through CNY Bright Ideas Program

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The Central New York Community Foundation has opened its annual grant opportunity for Cortland County nonprofits with ‘bright ideas’ for enhancing their organization and better serving their community.

Now in its third year, the “Cortland County Bright Ideas” grant program has so far awarded $100,000 to 20 different area nonprofits.

Eligible organizations include any tax-exempt groups located in and/or serving Cortland County that are classified as ‘nonprofit charitable organizations’ under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. It may also include any organization that’s publicly supported, like a municipality or school district. Grants for religious purposes will not be considered.

Applications for this year’s round of funding awards are due Monday, February 24 and can be found online at

The Cortland County Bright Ideas grants program is supported by the Fenstermacher Fund, the Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund, the Margaret and Roland Fragnoli Designated Fund, the Yaman Foundation, and 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 became a part of history when he served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials following World War II.

It’s now supported the general needs of the Cortland community for more than 15 years, largely through the funding of a lecture series. It also gives other community members a medium 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 Community Foundation V.P. of Development Thomas Griffith. “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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