Point of View

Giving Voice Spring 2023: Point of View

This June, I’ll wrap up 15 years leading the Community Foundation. It has been a remarkable journey. As I reflect, some key milestones rise to the surface that I think bear lifting up:

RESILIENCE

My time in this role has been punctuated by some profound crises — the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and Great Recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of scary investment and political volatility. As an institution, we were designed for the long haul. As we approach our 100th year, I am proud that our fiscal model has endured, we’ve grown substantially, and our role in and impact on the region only stands to grow more in future years.

CNY PHILANTHROPY CENTER

Every day when I walk into our building, I still can’t believe we pulled off the project. There are so many to thank: our board (who took a great leap of faith during the middle of a financial crisis), the great construction and design teams, tenants who wanted to be a part of the space, and the thousands of people who have stepped over the threshold to join together in what is now community space.

COLLABORATION

How best can we move our community forward? Our answer has been emphatically “together” and this has manifested in many collaborations, funder co-investments, and experiments with new ways of deploying philanthropic funds. Examples abound, like our COVID-19 Community Response Fund, the Black Equity & Excellence Fund, multiple literacy coalitions, the new LeadSafeCNY task force, our new participatory budgeting effort, and our Cortland Bright Ideas initiative.

EQUITY

As someone responsible for leveraging community impact using finite amounts of philanthropic resources, I believe that our commitment to equity has been a great investment decision. Using a lens that takes into account systemic bias in all its forms — racial, economic, gender, identity, and ability— enables us to get better results with the funds that donors have entrusted to us. Equity is simply good stewardship.

SAY YES

We have supported Say Yes for more than a dozen years, as the financial backbone and, now, staffing the program. What started as a vision has endured with the help of a collection of community partners, is now permanently endowed, and has supported hundreds of kids and families in Syracuse to help grow opportunity for post-secondary achievement.

I want to thank our current and former staff and board members, who have been rock stars throughout my tenure. The confidence of our donors and our partners, and their faith in our work, has been profound. I will be forever grateful for the trust that you’ve put in me since I arrived in 2008.

Later this summer, in August, I will continue my professional journey as the new CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation in Massachusetts. This is a great career capstone opportunity for

me to help build up the scope, scale and impact of community philanthropy in Central Massachusetts — a community that my wife and her family also have connections to. So, I won’t be far away — just down the NYS Thruway and Massachusetts Turnpike — and we will always welcome visitors!

Related Stories

What we are up to staff image
Topics April 23, 2024

What We Are Up To: CNYCF Staff Updates

Learn about the expertise and passionate commitment amongst our team members as they drive positive ...

Publications April 22, 2024

Beyond Great Expectations: An Unexpected Gift with Unending Impact

The unexpected and unrestricted nature of Lucy’s bequest echoes the quiet yet profound impact individuals ...

Koerner Family outside
Publications April 22, 2024

The Koerner Family Funds: Like Parents, like Daughters

Education was a cornerstone for the Koerner kids, instilled by their successful and civic-minded parents. ...

Woman standing in office
Stories March 19, 2024

Giving Seamlessly: Leyla Morgillo

Giving has always been intrinsic to Leyla Morgillo's being whether it be through her time ...

hand holding growing money
Publications March 5, 2024

FAQS: A Snapshot of Clients’ Tax-Time Charitable Giving Questions

With the year is in full swing, now is a good time for advisors to ...

Men gardening
Blogs March 5, 2024

A safe space for Deaf New Americans to develop education, leadership, and life skills without limitation

Monu Chhetri, founder & CEO of Deaf New American Advocacy, Inc. explains how her participation ...

Group of people at event
Publications March 5, 2024

Collaborative Engagement with Nonprofit Partners

Giving Voice Winter 2024: Granting Matters

Woman sitting with young children
Publications March 5, 2024

Meet Our New President & CEO

Giving Voice Winter 2024: Cover Story

What we are up to staff image
Topics April 23, 2024

What We Are Up To: CNYCF Staff Updates

Learn about the expertise and passionate commitment amongst our team members as they drive positive ...

Publications April 22, 2024

Beyond Great Expectations: An Unexpected Gift with Unending Impact

The unexpected and unrestricted nature of Lucy’s bequest echoes the quiet yet profound impact individuals ...

Koerner Family outside
Publications April 22, 2024

The Koerner Family Funds: Like Parents, like Daughters

Education was a cornerstone for the Koerner kids, instilled by their successful and civic-minded parents. ...

Woman standing in office
Stories March 19, 2024

Giving Seamlessly: Leyla Morgillo

Giving has always been intrinsic to Leyla Morgillo's being whether it be through her time ...

hand holding growing money
Publications March 5, 2024

FAQS: A Snapshot of Clients’ Tax-Time Charitable Giving Questions

With the year is in full swing, now is a good time for advisors to ...

Men gardening
Blogs March 5, 2024

A safe space for Deaf New Americans to develop education, leadership, and life skills without limitation

Monu Chhetri, founder & CEO of Deaf New American Advocacy, Inc. explains how her participation ...

Group of people at event
Publications March 5, 2024

Collaborative Engagement with Nonprofit Partners

Giving Voice Winter 2024: Granting Matters

Woman sitting with young children
Publications March 5, 2024

Meet Our New President & CEO

Giving Voice Winter 2024: Cover Story

View More