How to Apply for Community Grants

Thanks to your ongoing generosity and donations, Susan G. Komen Upstate New York is able to award community grants to organizations that provide breast health and breast cancer projects. For a list of current awards and funded projects, please click here.

Funded projects must address our funding priorities (listed below). Komen’s Community Grants program are for local non-profit organizations that address our funding priorities as described in the 2019-2020 Request for Applications (RFA).

The funding priorities were selected based on data from the 2015 Komen Upstate NY Community Profile Reports.

To apply for Komen grants, you are required to use GeMS, a complete online grant management system. The GeMS Application User Manual provides detailed steps and instruction on how to apply for a Komen grant using the grants electronic management system (GeMS).


Grantmaking Workshop:    November 2018 – tba
Application Deadline:    December 13, 2018 5:00pm
Award Notification:    March 2019
Award Period:   April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Applicants interested in participating in the Grantmaking Workshop can contact for additional information.  Organizations must initiate their application in GEMS by December 6, 2018.

Funding Priorities

The funding priority areas are listed below in no particular order:

Access to Breast Cancer Services: Programs that increase access to breast cancer services and decrease disparities in care (e.g., screening, diagnostics and treatment) for low-income (at or below 250% of the 2016 Federal Poverty Level), uninsured or underinsured and minority women in both rural and urban communities. This includes programs that are designed to provide increased awareness of free and reduced-cost services, financial assistance with diagnostic and treatment co-pays/deductibles, and/or by removing transportation barriers (e.g., travel vouchers, gas cards, taxi fee coverage).  “Underinsured is defined as having some insurance coverage but not enough, or when one is insured yet unable to afford the out-of-pocket responsibilities not covered by his or her insurer” (Patient Advocate Foundation,

Breast Cancer Patient Navigation:  Patient navigation is a process by which a trained individual- patient navigator- guides patients through and around barriers in the complex breast cancer care system. The primary focus of a patient navigator is on the individual patient, with responsibilities centered on coordinating and improving access to timely diagnostic and treatment services tailored to individual needs. Patient navigators offer interventions that may vary from patient to patient along the continuum of care and include a combination of informational, emotional, and practical support (i.e., breast cancer education, counseling, care coordination, health system navigation, and access to transportation, language services and financial resources).

Patient navigation services are a valuable resource for patients transitioning through the Breast Cancer Continuum of Care. Though some health-care institutions offer patient navigation at the screening level, the availability of services are limited.

The safety-net practices and health centers see an abundance of patients with multiple complex conditions and often find prioritizing health needs difficult. Limited access to technology can make navigating the complex health system difficult for many.

 Evidenced Based Education Programs: Projects that provide evidence-based and culturally relevant breast cancer education in one-on-one and group settings. Projects must be designed to result in documented age-appropriate, breast cancer action (e.g., getting a screening mammogram, obtaining recommended follow-up after an abnormal mammogram).  Breast cancer education projects must include Komen’s breast self-awareness messages and provide evidence of linkage to local breast cancer services. Health fairs and mass media campaigns are not evidence-based interventions and will not be accepted.

Based on findings from the Community Profile, priority will be given to programs demonstrating benefit to one or more of the following communities:

  • African-Americans (Albany, Erie, Monroe, Onondaga, and Schenectady Counties)
  • Hispanics/Latinos (Erie and Montgomery Counties)
  • American Indian women (Franklin County)
  • Foreign born women (Albany, Erie, and Schenectady Counties)
  • Rural Counties (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Franklin, Fulton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Seneca, Tioga, and Wyoming Counties – NY; Bradford County – PA,)


Examples of successful projects include those that:

  • Increase breast cancer action due to increased knowledge;
  • Increase the number of “never screened” women getting breast cancer screening;
  • Reduce the number of women “lost to follow‐up;”
  • Reduce time from abnormal screening to diagnostic procedures;
  • Reduce time from diagnostic resolution to treatment;
  • Increase treatment compliance.


Community Profile

The Community Profile is a needs assessment document that provides an overview of Komen’s grant-making priorities and the breast health needs in our service area. Please familiarize yourself with this document before developing your applications.

Click here to view the Community Profile.