Community Foundation Encourages Collaboration with New Fund

April 6, 2009 (Syracuse, NY) – In response to the current economic crisis, the Central New York Community Foundation has introduced a new grant opportunity for nonprofits during times when many are challenged with decreased revenue and increased demand. The Strategic Partnership Fund was established to foster collaboration and synergy among like-minded agencies. The resulting partnerships are intended to achieve more effective use of limited resources and enhance program delivery towards a similar mission. Facing increasing expenses, reductions in income, limited resources and plummeting endowments, many local nonprofit organizations are realizing that they must consider new levels of collaboration to ensure future sustainability. With over 700 charitable organizations in Madison and Onondaga County, the Community Foundation sees an opportunity for some to pool their resources and work together in their day to day operations.  Such partnerships would be structured to free up valuable resources that can then be redirected to an organization’s primary mission.

Single grants of up to $25,000, not to exceed 5% of an organization’s operating budget, will be made to  collaborative efforts. Partnership efforts that would receive support include administrative collaboration, joint programming or ventures, regionalization, mergers and consolidations or nonprofit dissolutions. Examples include combining fundraising efforts to share in the costs associated with a fundraising event or sharing office space and administrative support.

A study conducted by Chaplin Hall at the University of Chicago, titled Strategic Restructuring, found that organizations that had completed some sort of collaboration saw resulting benefits. 67% reported they were able to increase their services and 60% increased their market share and/or competitiveness. The Community Foundation hopes to inspire results such as these in Central New York.

“If making this support available prompts conversations, then we will have succeeded in sparking an open dialogue about sustainability,” said Peter Dunn, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “If this triggers new creativity, from collaboration to partnerships or even full mergers that enhance the services provided in our community, then we all have reason to celebrate.”

The Community Foundation is actively accepting applications for this fund. For information, contact John Eberle at 315-422-9538, extension 214; or visit our Strategic Partnership page.

The Community Foundation connects the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York. The Community Foundation annually makes more than $5 million in grants and provides leadership support in the fields of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environment, health and human services. Founded in 1927, the Community Foundation strives to inspire philanthropy in Central New York.

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