Our board and staff are in the midst of a planning process that will lead us to adopting a new five-year strategic plan in 2023. Our next strategic plan dovetails with a key milestone … our 100th year in 2027. A hundred years really is a long time!
Community foundations were created in cities across this country in the beginning part of the last century, starting with The Cleveland Foundation in 1914, and have been growing exponentially from there. We were created in 1927 to be the place where legacies and bequests, large and small, and gifts of all kinds for many different purposes, are invested to grow and be disbursed to impact the changing needs of Central New York over time. Legacy, history and stewardship are a part of our story.
The cover article in this newsletter speaks to these interlocking issues and is heartening on so many levels. The Westminster Presbyterian Church was founded on the Northside of Syracuse in 1810 — 15 years before Syracuse was incorporated as a village and 20 years before the Erie Canal was completed. We are honored that after more than 200 years of service, the church chose the Community Foundation to be the repository of its remaining financial assets by creating an endowed fund to support the greatest needs of the Northside neighborhoods where the church made its home.
Over the decades, there have been many examples of organizations that have put their faith in our future by creating permanent funds at the Community Foundation. From social and community organizations such as the Corinthian Club and the Carriage House Foundation, to nonprofit human service organizations like the Syracuse Dispensary, Consolidated Industries and the Cayuga Health Association, all phased out their activities and entrusted their remaining assets to us to support charitable purposes in line with their missions. Over the last decade, more than a dozen local private and family foundations have also become funds at the Community Foundation. We are encouraged by the confidence that our friends, neighbors and partners have put in our work over so many years.
Our history helps inform our work and our strategy as we plan for the future. This kind of discernment, however, also has us resolutely focusing forward on what we aspire to be and hope to see in our community in years to come.