Elizabeth R. and Robert A. Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City: Guidelines & Eligibility

The Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City supports preservation of the extraordinary built heritage of the nation's largest city.  The fund was created by Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe, visionary supporters of historic preservation and other charitable work around the world, to enable preservation and revitalization projects in all five boroughs.

Grants generally range from $2,500 to 10,000, and in exceptional cases, up to $15,000; a cash match is required on a dollar-for-dollar basis.  The selection process is very competitive. The review process is generally completed within eight weeks of the application deadlines, and applicants are notified via e-mail once the review process is complete.

Application deadlines are February 1, June 1, and October 1 and use the same application as the National Trust Preservation Fund. 

Eligible Applicants
Grant Conditions
Eligible Activities
Ineligible Activities
Eligible Expenses
Ineligible Expenses
How to Apply

Eligible Applicants

Only Organizational Level Forum members or National Main Street Network members of the National Trust are eligible to apply for funding from the Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City. To learn more about Forum and to join today, visit our website.

Public agencies, 501(c) (3), and other nonprofit organizations are eligible.  Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all grant requirements are current.

No more than three grants will be awarded in any two-year period to a single grantee.  Only one grant will be awarded per organization in any grant round.  Only one grant will be awarded for a particular project phase.

Grant Conditions

Applicants must be capable of matching the grant amount dollar-for-dollar.  A cash match is required and can come from private or public sources, or from income earned from registration fees or fundraising activities.  Donated materials and services, staff salaries and organizational overhead costs are not eligible sources of a match.  Other funding from the National Trust may not be used to match a Jeffe Fund grant.

Other conditions include:

  • Grants or matching funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to influence a member of Congress to favor or oppose any legislation or appropriation.
  • Any documents or plans for preservation work that result from the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
  • At least three (3) competitive bids/quotes must be obtained for any procurement of services that exceed $50,000.  This provision applies only to portions of the project supported by Jeffe grant funds.
  • Grant recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of National Trust financial support in all printed materials generated for the project.
  • Consultants must be approved by the National Trust before grant funds are disbursed. Jeffe Fund grants cannot be used to pay staff salaries. Board members of the application organization cannot serve as consultants unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed and documented.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
  • Within one year from the grant disbursement date, a final report and financial accounting of the expenditure of the grants must be submitted.  If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract, the grant funds must be returned.

Applicants must agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or sexual orientation.  This obligation also extends to disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans, and handicapped persons.

Eligible Activities

Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund for New York City grants are awarded for planning activities and education efforts focused on preservation within New York City limits.

Planning: Support for obtaining professional expertise in areas such as architecture, archeology, engineering, preservation planning, land-use planning, fundraising, organizational development, and law.  Eligible planning activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Hiring a preservation architect or landscape architect to produce a historic structure report or historic landscape master plan
  • Hiring a preservation planner to produce design guidelines for a historic district
  • Hiring an organizational development consultant to facilitate a strategic planning retreat for the board of a nonprofit preservation organization
  • Hiring a real estate development consultant to produce an economic feasibility study for the reuse of a threatened structure
  • Hiring a fundraising consultant to launch a capital campaign for a building rehabilitation
  • Sponsoring a community forum to develop a shared vision for the future of a historic neighborhood
  • Hiring an architectural historian to perform historic resource surveys or to nominate resources to the National Register

Education and Outreach: Support for preservation education activities aimed at the public. Examples of eligible activities include:

  • Sponsoring a workshop on the preservation of burial grounds or cultural landscapes
  • Preparing a manual on the use of transportation enhancement funds for preservation projects
  • Developing a curriculum on ethnic heritage for schoolchildren

Ineligible Activities

  • Building or other construction activities
  • Academic research
  • Acquisition of real property or objects

Eligible Expenses

  • Fees for consultant services
  • Speaker/faculty costs (honoraria, travel, and lodging), room rental for conferences
  • Mailing costs for distribution of materials
  • The development of materials for education and outreach campaigns
  • Materials and services such as printing, photographs, telephone, and supplies. With the exception of publications projects, these costs may not exceed 10 percent of the project budget.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Staff or faculty salaries
  • Organizational overhead costs
  • Catering, food and beverage, entertainment
  • Construction or other capital improvement costs
  • Expenses incurred prior to award date


The Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund review committee will select grant recipients by considering, among other points, the following criteria:

  • The significance of the project or resource
  • The need for funding and the urgency of the project
  • The project’s budget and the applicant’s proven ability to secure a match
  • Evidence of community support for the project
  • The project’s timeline
  • The long-term objectives or impact of the project
  • The qualifications of the key personnel, including consultants
  • The demonstrated ability of the applicant to complete preservation projects
  • The potential to replicate the project in other communities

How to Apply

You will need the following items as part of your Elizabeth and Robert Jeffe Preservation Fund application:

  • Up to four digital images of high quality (300 dpi) with caption and credit information. Must include at least one overall view of the property.
  • A list of the applicant's current board of directors (nonprofit organizations)
  • Applicant's Internal Revenue Service determination letter of tax-exempt status. If tax-exempt status has not been fully approved by the IRS, please provide evidence of filing for certification and letter of opinion from an attorney concerning the applicant's tax status (nonprofit organizations)
  • Resume of consultant for project (if the consultant has been chosen)
  • Resume of personnel administering project
  • Up to two letters of endorsement
  • Letter of consent from property owner  (if applicant does not own property)
  • Completed Jeffe Fund application form, which includes a budget section that outlines proposed expenses and revenue for the project


The Elizabeth R. and Robert A. Jeffee Preservation Fund for New York City uses the same application as the National Trust Preservation Fund.  Click here to access the application. (Please note: you will be taken to our grants application system where you will need to create a user profile for your organization. This is a separate login than your National Trust login.) If you have questions please email us.