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Community Initiatives

The Community Foundation funds a variety of programs that address specific areas of interest and community need, many of which focus on the development of nonprofit capacity and convening. To learn more about these initiatives, visit cnycf.org/initiatives.

CNY Vitals: Community Indicators 
CNY Vitals provides information on trends and issues facing area residents to generate discussion, inform goal setting and celebrate community successes. In the coming year, we will be launching a new website for easy access to this information. This year, we offered a fond farewell to long-time partner Carol Dwyer, director of the Community Benchmarks Program at Syracuse University. Before retiring this year, Carol was the backbone for community indicators in Syracuse, using academic resources to bring about community change. 

The Leadership Classroom (TLC)
TLC provides an interactive opportunity for individuals to learn advanced skills in grassroots leadership. Participating groups receive a $3,500 grant to implement projects that are planned during the training. This year, 28 individuals representing six organizations graduated from TLC.

Literacy Coalitions
The Community Foundation provides funding, management and research support to the literacy coalitions of Onondaga and Madison counties. The organizations collaborate with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), which provides one free, age-appropriate book per month from birth through age five to children living in Onondaga or Madison counties. Combined, the coalitions have distributed nearly 180,000 books to more than 14,000 children in our region. This year, the new Cortland County Literacy Coalition also launched DPIL for children living in the City of Cortland. Read more about Imagination Library.

Marsellus Executive Development Program
The Marsellus Executive Development Program is a six-month leadership training program focused on helping nonprofit leaders to become more focused, energized and effective. Ten participants graduated from the program this year.

Nonprofit Essentials Workshop Series (NEWS)
NEWS is a monthly training series designed for nonprofit professionals to gain knowledge on a variety of tools for professional and organizational development. Attendees come away with valuable skills and techniques to implement within their organizations. This year, nearly 270 attendees from more than 120 organizations participated.  

Staff Advancement Initiative
The Staff Advancement Initiative awards grants for front-lineworkers in nonprofit agencies to attend courses and training seminars that fall outside their organizations’ training budgets. This year, 38 participants received a total of $25,073 for professional development.

Performance Management Learning Community
The Performance Management Initiative awards grants to help nonprofits develop their capacity to use data to better manage their work. Ultimately, these skills can improve the precision and confidence with which organizations tell the stories of their impact on the community. Each organization is invited to participate in a year-long learning community to share their project implementation experiences. In the 2016 fiscal year, 13 organizations participated in our fourth learning community.