New American Women’s Empowerment members

A Focus on Nonprofit Capacity

Giving Voice Spring 2019: Granting Matters

The Central New York Community Foundation strives to support local nonprofit organizations in a variety of ways.  Whether it is through offering grants, convening around pressing community needs or offering workshops and trainings, we have a track record of continuing to evolve to better serve the end goal of improving life in Central New York.

In 2017, our board of directors adopted a new strategic plan. This plan included an enhanced focus on increasing the scope and effectiveness of our capacity building programs. This area of our work seeks to educate, inspire, and connect nonprofits around issues of organizational development, such as data collection, leadership development, and organizational growth. By investing in the increased training and professionalism of our nonprofit sector, the entire community benefits from more efficiently run programs and interventions.

With this in mind, going forward we will be dedicating our summer grant round to only accepting applications, and developing curriculum, for our capacity building learning communities. This includes programs such as:

  • The Leadership Classroom (TLC), an interactive experience for individuals to learn advanced skills in grassroots leadership
  • Performance Management, which helps charities use data to measure, evaluate and communicate the effectiveness of their programs
  • Marsellus Executive Development/LEADUP CNY, offering personal and professional leadership training to nonprofit executives and emerging leaders

The application deadline for each program is July each year. We will continue to offer our Nonprofit Essentials Workshop Series (NEWS), Staff Advancement Initiative, and other capacity building opportunities on a rolling basis.

The dedication of the summer to these efforts does, of course, mean that the Community Foundation will be going from offering three responsive grant rounds to two. As one of the leading responsive funders in the region, it is important to us that we remain sensitive to changing needs in the community.  In recent years we have developed robust grant alternatives to our Community Grant process, and will continue to be creative when it comes to being responsive and flexible.  The two Community Grant opportunities will be in April and October, but we will continue to encourage nonprofits to speak with us throughout the year as we implement this new strategy.

Our hope is that spending more effort delving into our capacity building work will result in stronger organizations that produce even better results for residents of our community. We welcome any input you may have as we move forward working with our nonprofit partners.

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