Community Choice Awards

The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties is pleased to announce its first-ever Community Choice Awards, a $50,000 contest to help five local nonprofits with community projects.

The support and services nonprofit organizations provide touch the lives of every single member of our community. This first-hand experience makes our community members a valuable source of insight when it comes to selecting the most deserving grant recipients. After all, grantmaking is a collaborative process – so we need input from those who know the most about the great work our nonprofit partners do!

The Community Choice Awards is a great opportunity for nonprofit organizations to connect with the community, share their story – and maybe win $10,000!

Here’s How It Works:

The contest is open to 501(c)(3) and 509 (a)(1) or (2) nonprofit organizations located in Herkimer or Oneida county. To be considered, organizations must agree to the following stipulations:

  • If selected as a finalist, agree to publicly promote the contest and encourage supporters to vote
  • Adhere to Community Foundation marketing and communication guidelines
  • If selected as the winner, be available to receive the award on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Timeline:

1. Submit your organization’s project proposal by Friday, August 24, 2018.
2. Community Foundation staff in consultation with category sponsors will select semifinalists by Wednesday, September 5.
3. The community will vote online between Monday, September 17 and Sunday, September 30 to decide the five winners!
4. Community Foundation staff and supporters surprise Community Choice Award winners at their place of business with a big check and celebration on Wednesday, October 17.


We’ve partnered with five Community Foundation donor-advised funds that have generously agreed to sponsor the contest and award $10,000 grand prizes to winners in each of the following categories:

Projects and programs committed to animal cruelty prevention that provide shelter and adoption services to promote the care of domestic animals.
The animals category is sponsored by the Staffworks Charitable Fund.

Arts & Culture
Projects and programs focused on creating a more vibrant community for all through exposure to culture and the arts.
The arts & culture category is sponsored by the Bull Family Fund.

Heath & Wellness
Programs and support services that promote healthy, active, lifestyles to advance the quality and longevity of life.
The health & wellness category is sponsored by the Mele Family Fund.

Human Service
Programs providing support and services that fulfill our communities’ most basic needs.
The human service category is sponsored by the Ron & Sheila Cuccaro Family Fund.

Projects and programs that strengthen opportunities for children to learn, grow, and build a promising future.
The youth category is sponsored by the M&T Bank/Partners Trust Bank Charitable Fund.


The Community Foundation reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in their judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the guidelines, processes and rules of the Community Choice Awards. The decisions of The Community Foundation are final and binding.

The Community Foundation makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, concerning the Community Choice Awards. In no event shall The Community Foundation, its trustees, employees or donors be liable for (1) any advice, information or decisions made for or on behalf of the Community Choice Awards, (2) any damages, claims, costs, expenses, liabilities, damages, penalties or fees related to or arising out of the disclosure of proprietary or confidential information of an applicant, (3) any claims, liabilities, damages, royalties, costs and expenses related to any intellectual property rights, including, but not limited to, claims for infringement upon or other violation of any patent, copyright, trade secret or other proprietary right of any third party, or (4) for incidental or consequential damages of any kind, including economic damages or injury to property and lost profits, regardless of whether The Community Foundation shall be advised, shall have other reason to know or in fact shall know of the possibility of the foregoing.

The Community Foundation reserves the right to modify, suspend or end the contest at any time for any reason in The Community Foundation’s sole discretion.