Celebrating The Local Impact of Community Foundations

During the week of November 12-18, 2016, The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties will join more than 700 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For more than 25 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic, societal and economic challenges.

“Community foundations impact lives, solve problems and improve futures,” said Alicia Dicks, Community Foundation President/CEO. “Our community, like so many across the country, has limited resources and a growing need for services. We are committed to bringing community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems.”

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities.

Over the past few years, The Community Foundation has explored how best to invest the community’s philanthropic dollars – today and in the future. As a result, the organization is transitioning from reactive grant-maker to transformational change agent. While still awarding grants to those organizations in greatest need, The Community Foundation also researches, studies and implements programming in response to the community’s most pressing challenges.

Earlier this year, The Community Foundation launched its first Impact Investment, a $1 million coalition-driven effort aimed at eliminating childhood lead poisoning in Herkimer and Oneida counties. The Lead-Free MV Coalition works to strategically address this longstanding community challenge, with The Foundation serving as the “backbone organization” to coordinate efforts and leverage resources with like-minded partners.

In addition to special initiatives, The Community Foundation has awarded nearly $5 million in total grants this year with more than $2 million allocated to funding educational programs and scholarships.

Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—working to advance solutions on a wide range of social issues.