Tips for a Successful Grant

We want to make it as easy as possible for your organization to access available grant funds by submitting a thorough and effective grant application. We have compiled this list of tips and general instructions to help guide you through the process.

You must hold a charter from the NYS Board of Regents (unless you are a branch of local government).

Not sure if you do? Contact the NYS Chartering Office at (518) 474-5976 or via Exceptions to these guidelines are rare — but please call if you have any questions.

Read the guidelines first! We don't want you to make the effort to write and submit an application, and have it rejected outright because the application (or your organization) doesn't fit the program guidelines.

Identifying Consultants.  If your project would benefit from a consultant in any area, check our consultant database for some ideas.  One useful source to learn more about working with consultants comes from the UK:

Don't leave items blank. If you are unsure of the answer, or the question doesn't apply to your organization, please do not leave that item blank. Give us a call (518) 273-3400 or send an e-mail if you need help completing the application.

Provide us with a budget breakdown. Tell us how you came up with the figures for your budget. For instance: Travel - $230 (400 miles @ .575/mile); Consultant Fees - $1500 (3 days at $500/day). Information on current NYS Mileage rate is available at Mileage may be calculated on websites such as If applicable, you may also want to include a copy of the workshop/conference brochure, hotel reservation confirmation form, registration form, train or plane fares, consultant contract or letter of intent, etc., to help explain costs.

What costs are allowable?  Funds from Mini-Grants may not be used to pay for meals, hospitality expenses nor out-of-state travel.

Round numbers to the nearest whole dollar. Please round up to the nearest whole dollar. Note that we cannot grant you more than you have asked for.


What do you mean these are for “modest” projects? Mini-grants are meant to help organizations complete a small project, which might be covered by the grant.  They could be used towards a project whose total budget is no more than $20,000.  If your overall project expenses are larger than $20,000, you should consider applying to the New York State Council on the Arts’ Museum Program.

What If your budget exceeds the grant limit? We understand that the project budget sometimes exceed our grant amounts. If your total budget exceeds the grant limit of $5,000 please tell us:

·       What, out of the larger budget, the grant will be used for?

·       How do you plan to support the balance of the costs?

Review your application - again. Re-read your application to confirm that it adheres to the grant’s criteria. Ask a colleague to review your application - a second set of eyes may pick up on unseen typos or raise points for further clarification.

Mark your calendar. Once you’ve received one of our grants, it’s very important that you submit your final report and associated materials in a timely manner. Your organization will not be eligible for further grants until all final reports are submitted.

Call us. We encourage you to contact us directly by phone or e-mail with any questions. We can be reached at (518) 273-3400 or