What We Fund

Our Focus

What We Do and Do Not Fund

The mission of The Staten Island Foundation is to improve the quality of life on Staten Island, particularly for the least advantaged, with a focus on strengthening the community, and improving education, health, and the arts. Strategies to accomplish the mission include financial support through grants; providing leadership for the community; convening and collaborating with grantee partners, funders, and other entities in order to share best practices; and building the capacity of local organizations to better fulfill their missions. All organizations and the individuals working with them learn continually from the results of their activities and services. Applying that learning in order to improve is of particular interest to the Foundation. In our grant making, we look to fund opportunities that educate Staten Island organizations and individuals in a way that leads to their learning; we define learning as a positive change in behavior. Our grants are an investment in these changes. Our definition of a successful investment includes strong results for program participants, and strong learnings for the organizations we invest in. Mindful of the wisest use of Foundation dollars and looking for the highest return on our investments, The Staten Island Foundation reviews each proposal with respect to available dollars and responses to three questions:
  • 1. What will be the result from this proposed grant and how will we know it has been achieved? Results are the positive changes in behavior or condition for community members as a result of the grant project.
  • 2. How likely is it that the results can be achieved? Our focus is on such factors as past success of the partner and its programs, validity of the proposed program approach, organizational capability and key personnel leading the project.
  • 3. Is this the best possible use of The Staten Island Foundation funds given the results we seek to achieve? We consider the cost relative to the gain – not just for our funds, but all monies going into a project or program.

    What We Fund

    In determining where to invest, The Staten Island Foundation funds projects with the following characteristics:

    • Projects that clearly and directly benefit the Staten Island community
    • Projects that demonstrate their commitment to the inclusion of vulnerable or under-served populations
    • Projects designed to produce measurable, long-term results
    • Projects that can be effectively implemented and ultimately continued without our funding
    • Projects that are replicable and can be shared with other organizations looking to produce similar results

      What We Do Not Fund

      • Renovations/repairs to places of worship
      • In response to solicitors on behalf of an organization (response to organizational leaders only)
      • Scholarships
      • Fundraising event sponsorships, journal ads, or yearbook ads
      • Private foundations or individuals
      • Political causes, candidates or lobbying efforts
      • Medical research
      • Cemetery associations
      • Animal welfare groups
      • Fraternal and veterans organizations
      • Business, professional and civic associations or clubs
      • Memorial fundraising
      • Tickets to events
      (Photos from left to right courtesy of Food Bank for NYC, Art Lab, Inc., The Staten Island Museum)