For more than 90 years, we have been called upon to serve in a significant leadership role in the five-county region of Central New York by addressing the community’s most pressing needs as they evolve, encouraging unprecedented innovation and collaboration, and helping generous residents support the causes they care about, now and in the future.

We are your community foundation.

Year Founded

1927

Total Assets

$260M

Grants Awarded

$15.2M

How We Get Results

By combining the experience and networks of multiple funders and community partners, we are able to tackle new problems that arise, such as the COVID-19 crisis; address issues that require new approaches, such as childhood lead poisoning; or help entire communities, such as adult learners. We channel more resources, expertise, and attention when we work together with our funder, academic, nonprofit and community member colleagues, making our efforts exponentially more effective.

Our work goes hand-in-hand with the work of local city and county governments. Our grants support new projects that government can then expand, help communicate program results to residents or provide the flexibility that leverages larger government resources. In addition, often systematic change can only be achieved through efforts to change or establish new public policies or programs. Our policy advocacy for lead poisoning reform in Syracuse promises to yield lasting improvements.

None of our grant objectives can be achieved without a vital nonprofit sector. Our capacity building efforts have included creating synergies in and between nonprofits to enhance program delivery, training mid-level managers for leadership positions, and improving data measurement to help organizations track their efforts.

Our grants and programs help nonprofits continuously improve the services they provide local residents. By supporting new approaches to education, employment, or human services—and rigorous assessments of the outcomes—our grants contribute to the collective knowledge of what works and what does not.

Impact Highlights

Safe Housing

Unsafe housing, especially where lead poisoning is involved, comes at a cost paid by all of us. The resulting health complications undermine community efforts to increase literacy rates, encourage high school completion and foster successful careers.

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Mother holds baby next to a pile of diapers

Poverty & Economic Development

While our community is facing some of the highest concentrated poverty rates in the nation, much is being done to bring opportunities and new hope to our region’s residents, paving new paths for the benefit of current and future generations.

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Nonprofit Effectiveness

Equipping the region’s nonprofits with the tools and know-how to manage healthy operations and impactful programs helps them to accomplish their missions and serve the community in the most effective way possible.

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Children listen in a reading circle at Earlville Library

Education & Opportunity

Access to a quality education is a foundational value that addresses numerous community challenges – from poverty and unemployment to kindergarten readiness and healthcare outcomes.

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Mercy Works

Crisis Response

When a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic hits, we are not going to do less as a community because of uncertainty; we are going to do more, because our neighbors need us.

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Community Investment Stories

Lee Gatta and Joe Redick
Publications February 16, 2021

Lee Gatta & Joe Reddick: Community Caregivers

Lee Gatta and her husband, Joe Reddick, feel blessed by the support they have received ...

Black female and male sitting at table and talking
Publications February 16, 2021

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Make a Difference

It is commonplace for many of us to avoid estate planning for a whole host ...

Collage photos of Bob Vitkus fishing and with friends and family
News Releases February 9, 2021

$10 Million Estate Gift From Dr. Robert J. Vitkus Will Preserve Nature for Central New Yorkers to Enjoy

When Bob Vitkus passed away last year, his estate named the Community Foundation the recipient ...

Stories January 28, 2021

Jef Sneider & Gwen Kay

Through their work in the fields of medicine and education, Jef Sneider and Gwen Kay ...

Donald Trufant
Stories January 8, 2021

Donald Trufant

Thanks to the generosity of former Cayuga County resident Donald Trufant, a $3 million scholarship ...

Mary Thorpe
Stories January 8, 2021

The Thorpes

The generosity of this brother-sister team will now carry on into perpetuity. Already it has ...

The Spanfelners
Stories January 8, 2021

The Spanfelners

Visiting Idaho and Montana every year to fish, the Spanfelners felt a strong connection to ...

Don Ryder
Stories January 8, 2021

Don Ryder

Don Ryder lived a very private and quiet life in Baldwinsville, NY. But when he ...

Dorothy Riester at the Cazenovia Art Park
Stories January 8, 2021

Dorothy Riester

Those who knew Dorothy Riester knew that she was a talented artist and sculptor. Dorothy ...

Lee Gatta and Joe Redick
Publications February 16, 2021

Lee Gatta & Joe Reddick: Community Caregivers

Lee Gatta and her husband, Joe Reddick, feel blessed by the support they have received ...

Black female and male sitting at table and talking
Publications February 16, 2021

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way to Make a Difference

It is commonplace for many of us to avoid estate planning for a whole host ...

Collage photos of Bob Vitkus fishing and with friends and family
News Releases February 9, 2021

$10 Million Estate Gift From Dr. Robert J. Vitkus Will Preserve Nature for Central New Yorkers to Enjoy

When Bob Vitkus passed away last year, his estate named the Community Foundation the recipient ...

Stories January 28, 2021

Jef Sneider & Gwen Kay

Through their work in the fields of medicine and education, Jef Sneider and Gwen Kay ...

Donald Trufant
Stories January 8, 2021

Donald Trufant

Thanks to the generosity of former Cayuga County resident Donald Trufant, a $3 million scholarship ...

Mary Thorpe
Stories January 8, 2021

The Thorpes

The generosity of this brother-sister team will now carry on into perpetuity. Already it has ...

The Spanfelners
Stories January 8, 2021

The Spanfelners

Visiting Idaho and Montana every year to fish, the Spanfelners felt a strong connection to ...

Don Ryder
Stories January 8, 2021

Don Ryder

Don Ryder lived a very private and quiet life in Baldwinsville, NY. But when he ...

Dorothy Riester at the Cazenovia Art Park
Stories January 8, 2021

Dorothy Riester

Those who knew Dorothy Riester knew that she was a talented artist and sculptor. Dorothy ...

View More