What If  . . .? Mini-Grant FAQs

Am I eligible to apply for a What If . . .? grant?

  • Applicant must live in the communities of Troy or Lansingburgh in either zip code 12180 or 12182
  • Project must take place in Troy or Lansingburgh.
  • Applicant/group must be an individual or a grassroots organization.

Why can't I see the "What If . . .?" process listed when I log into the grant portal?

It is important to attend a Community Information Meeting (this is an orientation meeting that gives you information about the grant application process) before applying for a “What If…” Mini Grant. At those meetings, you will receive a special access code. When you log into our grants portal you will see a place to enter the access code that will then take you to the application.

If you have any questions or encounter difficulty accessing the system, please contact Denise Crates at dcrates@tsbfoundation.org or (518) 720-0004.

What is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status?

A 501(c)(3) status is a federal tax status that nonprofit or charitable organizations can apply for. This special tax status changes how the government recognizes the organization and gives them special treatment related to paying taxes. Here is a great resource if you’d like to learn more:


Do I need to have a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status?

No.  If your group does not have a 501(c)(3) status, you can absolutely still apply for funding. You will need to find a fiscal sponsor who agrees to receive the funding on your behalf. Foundation staff can help guide you through this process.

What is a Fiscal Sponsor?

A fiscal sponsor is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit that is willing to accept money from the Foundation on your behalf and provide oversight of the grant money's use. Our grants must be paid to a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (this includes most churches and other faith institutions). If you need a referral to a possible fiscal sponsor or have further questions regarding fiscal sponsors please contact Leslie Cheu.

What’s the difference between Community Grantmaking requests and What If…? Mini Grant requests? Can I apply for both?

Community Grantmaking requests and "What If . . .?" Mini Grants are different grant programs with two different audiences. Because of this difference, organizations may not apply for both.

  • The Foundation’s Community Grantmaking program is meant for more established organizations in our two-county service area (Albany and Rensselaer counties) and has a direct focus on supporting requests that address the Foundation’s funding priority areas.
  • "What If?" Mini Grants are open to grassroots groups or individuals within Troy or Lansingburgh.

Help! I’ve forgotten the password to my account.

No worries! Contact Denise Crates at dcrates@tsbfoundation.org or (518) 720-0004.

Help! I started to fill out my application and now I can’t find it in my account anymore.

Contact Denise Crates at dcrates@tsbfoundation.org or (518) 720-0004 for help with this.

I don’t have access to a computer, can I still apply?

Absolutely! Yes, reach out to Denise Crates at (518) 720-0004 and we will work with you to help provide access to an application.

Can I apply more than once?

Yes, but only after you can meet the following requirements:

  • Have you turned in all reports that were assigned to you? Is the project done and are all funds spent?
  • Is it a new calendar year since you last got a grant? For example, if you got a grant in 2023 you would not be able to reapply until 2024.

Can I re-apply if my grant request is denied?

Yes, absolutely! We always strive to give feedback and reasons why a grant is denied. Oftentimes you will be asked to reapply after you address whatever concerns the review team may have had.

I got the grant, but things aren’t going as planned, what should I do?

Please contact Leslie Cheu at lcheu@tsbfoundation.org or (518) 720-0006 if you need to talk about a new timeline, new budget, an extension on your reporting deadline, etc.