What We Do

Community Grantmaking

Our community grants are directed towards helping organizations maximize their efficiencies, strengthen their boards and diversify their revenue. Even our grants towards programs emphasize the ability of organizations to meaningfully and sustainably affect change while at the same time actively engaging their constituents. We believe in working with organizations and the community from where they are, not from where we think they should be. Our goal is to build assets, not simply plug deficits – assets are interpreted not just as dollars but also as people, creativity, innovation and spirit. Learn more about our community grants.

What If… Mini Grants

An earlier multi-year engagement with specific urban neighborhoods has evolved into a grant program designed to foster growth in neighborhoods and strengthen the capacity of residents in the city of Syracuse. Small (under $5,000) and nimble (quick turnaround), the “What if…” mini grants are available to associations and grassroots organizations actively engaged in making positive changes in their neighborhood and increasing community participation, awareness and partnerships. Learn more about What If… Mini Grants here.

ADVANS and POWER Initiatives

The Foundation’s mission has at its base an underlying belief in developing the capacity of individuals, the community and organizations. In order to fulfill this mission in direct and strategic ways we proactively develop initiatives that are dynamic, impactful and ground-breaking. Currently the Foundation is involved with two initiatives: ADVANS, or Advancing and Developing the Value and Assets of Nonprofits in Syracuse, and POWER: People and Organizations with Energy and Resilience. Learn more about our initiatives here.

Kathy Goldfarb-Findling Leadership Award

In an effort to celebrate the many strong professionals in our local nonprofit arena and honor the memory of our late executive director, we established the Kathy Goldfarb-Findling Leadership Award. “The Kathy” is awarded jointly with the Allyn Foundation (where Kathy also served on staff). Each year we select a nonprofit professional who represents those qualities that made Kathy a great leader: nimble, creative thinking, a willingess to take risks, and a desire to work with all individuals to better our community.

Workshops, Trainings and Convenings

As an organization that consistently calls on its grantees to exhibit innovation and community buy-in we hold ourselves to the same standards. That is why we also develop projects that benefit a wide range of our constituency and share our time and talents to build community capacity. Whether a city sector revitalization program, trainings for board members and prospective leaders or a neighborhood summit, projects are geared towards dialogue and sharing, towards creativity and cooperation.

In addition the Foundation is often asked to pull people together on community issues, to provide a sounding board on sensitive topics and where needed encourage collaborations and partnerships. Our open door policy and willingness to truly listen allows us to make connections that might otherwise be missed – as when we help alliances form. Trained in such areas as community engagement and facilitation, our staff talents are also shared through retreat facilitation, consultations and board advice. Learn more here.

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  • Gifford Foundation on TwitterCongratulations to our friends at ARISE CNY on 40 years of incredible work in this community!
  • Gifford Foundation on TwitterLast night we kicked off another Nourishing Tomorrow's Leaders cohort. As always, a huge thank you to our partners… link
  • Gifford Foundation on TwitterOur POWER 3 groups are learning the ins and outs of board governance today. Roles & responsibilities, creating a di… link
  • Gifford Foundation on TwitterA huge congratulations to our own Sheena Solomon for being awarded the InterFaith Works Racial Justice Catalyst awa… link
  • Gifford Foundation on TwitterWant to join the Gifford team? We're hiring! Details on the Program Administrator position and information on how… link