Grants programs were begun in 2004 to offer organizations support beyond the initial Award period. Since then, the Union Square Awards has distributed more than $7.5 million. All grants made are toward general operating and support varied approaches and strategies in organizing, advocacy, and direct services. Priority is given to organizations responding to underserved populations, needs, or issues in New York City.
Requests for proposals are send directly to eligible organizations and only available to prior Award recipients that continue the further work for which they were originally considered. In addition to providing funding, grants are also accompanied by technical assistance opportunities to expand outreach, build capacity, and foster collaboration among grassroots organizations.
Selection processes value the involvement of people directly affected to build the organization's leadership. More than 300 individual grants of $25,000 each have been made since the program's inception. A diverse set of readers knowledgable about New York City, as well as peers from among the grant recipients themselves review applications and make funding recommendations to the Selection Panel.
All final grant commitments have been made. There are no further grant opportunities available through the Union Square Awards.