Apply to the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation NetLab ($20,000)

Investing in Network Leadership

NetLab is a 2-year cohort-based learning community of individuals and organizations that are exploring impact networks as a model for engaging in social and systems-level change work. Through NetLab, the Foundation seeks to provide space for emerging networks to explore the model, and to meet and learn from peers who are also exploring the power of networks to address society’s most complicated problems.

How To Apply

Please submit a recent grant application that represents your organization well, and reflects our funding interests. Feel free to share one that you’ve used to apply to another funder.

As part of the submission we ask for your IRS determination letter and your most recent audited financial statements.

Our approach reflects our desire for your organization to keep the focus on your work, serving constituents and the community—instead of spending an inordinate amount of time creating grant applications. We consider it our responsibility to learn more about your organization and the possible alignment of our interests. This approach is rooted in a philosophy of trust-based philanthropy.


Please fill this out if you are applying for an organizational leadership/network development programmatic branch grant that is cohort based, meets regularly over a sustained period of time, and actively convenes leaders after the program concludes.

Your program must be housed in a 501(c)3 organization and center its work on New York City. It must have dedicated staff or volunteers who can take advantage of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation’s support beyond the check. The program also must focus on a particular issue or identity group and involves individuals from a variety of organizations.

The foundation does not fund staff development programs, youth leadership, service year or social enterprise programs. We also do not fund startups or staff development programs within a single organization.

You can’t save your progress and there are 18 questions. Please have the following information ready before beginning the application:

  • Organization Head and Primary Contact Information
  • Fiscal Sponsor Contact Information
  • Copy of a Grant Proposal you’ve submitted in the past, financial statements, and IRS Determination Letter

I think it would be very helpful to learn more about this foundation’s own network: The Sterling Network. I first learned about this network via the book, Impact Networks, and literally a week later someone suggested that I look into the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

Read The Sterling Network’s impact report and their blog.