Award Criteria

Look closely at your project and consider the following elements in determining if your project qualifies for support from the Cohen Trust Fund.


The project meets an identified need in the community, including but not limited to:

  • Improving service delivery systems
  • Expanding model programs
  • Collaborating with other agencies
  • Testing pilot concepts that may have broader applicability
  • Emphasizing prevention or early intervention
  • Answering the key question: How will people measurably benefit as a result of the proposed program or activity?


  • A project demonstrates effectiveness by:
  • Addressing identified needs
  • Using knowledge or evidence of what works
  • Including measurable outcomes—effects on the lives of children, older adults or arts and culture institutions


The project shows feasibility by:

  • Following consistently the agency’s core mission, capacity and strategic plan
  • Using appropriate methodology to address the issues
  • Managing with available resources
  • Demonstrating sufficient organizational leadership to achieve programmatic goals


Project sustainability is based on:

  • Requesting an amount that is appropriate to the size of the organization’s budget
  • Showing stable and/or diverse funding

More Likely to Receive Support

  • For an arts organization, a specific project that will strengthen capacity and stability
  • Collaborative activities of multiple agencies trying to solve an overall community need through combining resources, ideas and program capacities
  • Local organizations that bring proven national program models to the community
  • Models of service that might be applicable to other similar settings in the community
  • Programs that multiply impact by involving volunteers from civic organizations or churches
  • Organizations that have identified a component of their strategic plan for support

Less Likely To Receive Support

  • Requests that represent a large percentage of an organization’s annual operating budget and therefore may be hard to sustain after the grant ends
  • Ongoing marketing or fundraising costs
  • Capital campaigns that represent an inordinate share of the overall campaign goal
  • Direct healthcare services where Trust funds would be insufficient to have significant impact on the overall need
  • Organizations that have no demonstrated support or insufficient commitment (financial and attendance at board meetings) by the board or a capital campaign cabinet