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Mary Hicks Preston Grants

The Mary Hicks Preston Foundation offers grants for:

  • Capacity Building – Funding that strengthens an organization so that it may better fulfill its mission
  • Capital – Funding for construction or equipment
  • Challenge – The Foundation and grant seeker agree on a program or operating goal for the grant seeker to reach; the Foundation rewards successful completion of goal


Mature organizations may be eligible for operating support upon establishing a threshold of core competency. Developing organizations may be eligible upon successful completion of a seed grant and after demonstrating a threshold of competency.

Project / Program

The Foundation awards a grant for a specific initiative or endeavor, not for general operating support.

Seed Money

The Foundation awards a grant to help launch a new project or initiative.


In evaluating proposals, the following will be considered:

  • Response to a need in the community
  • Building long term capacity in the community
  • Creating collaboration between organizations
  • Use of an innovative approach or a proposal that acts as a catalyst for meeting future needs
  • Geographic scope and population reach


Grants are only available to those in the Phelps, NY area. The Mary Hicks Preston Historical Improvement and Betterment Foundation, Inc. will:

  • Make grants to tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) classification from the IRS;
  • Make grants to municipalities;
  • Make grants to faith-based organizations (please see special note on application);
  • Make grants to civic organizations (proposals must be project-based and of a charitable nature, and the organization must have a fiscal agent that is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization)

Apply for a Grant

The first step is to download the Preston Foundation Grant Request Packet and submit a Letter of Inquiry which should include the following:

  • Background of your organization
  • Statement of the issues to be addressed and your organization’s involvement with these issues
  • Summary of the activities for which you are requesting funding, including what you hope to accomplish, current and proposed budgets, amount requested from the Foundation and information on other possible sources of support

We may request additional information from applicants and consult with persons knowledgeable about the organization and/or the proposed activities. As part of the review process, we will meet with the applicant preferably at its location. Final decisions on grants are made by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

The Preston Foundation meets quarterly (in February, May, August and December) and all grant request and applications should be submitted by the 1st of each quarter month.

Please send letters of inquiry to:

Mary Hicks Preston Foundation
PO Box 21
Phelps, NY 14532