Community Foundation Pledges Additional $1 Million To Support Say Yes Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Oct. 8, 2013—The Central New York Community Foundation’s board of directors has voted to renew its $1 million commitment to the Syracuse Chapter of Say Yes to Education (Say Yes Syracuse). The gift continues the Community Foundation’s annual support of the Say Yes tuition promise.

The first $1 million pledge from the Community Foundation came in 2009 and concludes in 2014. It remains the largest investment the Foundation has ever made to a community-wide initiative. The pledge provides $200,000 per year to pay for Say Yes Scholarships while the organization builds an endowment to perma-nently fund the scholarships.

“The board quickly recognized the potential of Say Yes to galvanize the community around education reform and economic development,” said Peter Dunn, Community Foundation President & CEO. “The tuition promise is at the core of the Say Yes model, an incentive for students to persevere toward graduation and rein-force the message that college is a realistic and affordable option. We felt it was a priority to make that promise a reality for the first graduating class and those that followed. ”

In 2011, SRC, Inc. committed $5 million in matching dollars to kick off an endowment campaign. To date, Say Yes Syracuse has raised 70 percent of the funds needed to complete the match. The ultimate goal is to build a $20 million endowment, managed by the Community Foundation, to provide a perpetual source of scholar-ship dollars. In addition to overseeing the investment of the Say Yes endowment funds, the Community Foundation works closely with Say Yes to administer the scholarship program and distribute last dollar aid to colleges on behalf of the scholarship recipients.

“We could not ask for a better partner than the Community Foundation,” said Pat Driscoll, Say Yes Syracuse Operations Director. “This is a fantastic commitment from their board – a vote of confidence in the future of Say Yes in Syracuse.”

The Say Yes Scholarship Endowment campaign has attracted significant funding from a number of foundation, corporate, and individual donors including the Allyn Foundation, the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation and Raymour and Flanigan Furniture – who have each committed $500,000 toward the endowment. Neil Goldberg, President of Raymour and Flanigan, co-chairs the campaign with M&T Bank Regional President, Allen Naples. M&T was an early donor to the effort with a gift of $100,000.

Say Yes Syracuse is a landmark collaboration that brings together the Syracuse City School District, Syracuse University, the Syracuse Teachers Association (STA), The Syracuse Association of Administrators and Supervisors, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the American Institutes for Research, a diverse group of Syracuse area corporate, non-profit and philanthropic organizations and a number of public and private higher education partners. Together, the partners work to efficiently and effectively organize people, time and money to support children in the city of Syracuse. To learn more about Say Yes go to http://www.sayyessyracuse.org.

Say Yes to Education Syracuse was recently featured in The AtlanticRead the article here.

Established in 1927, the Central New York Community Foundation encourages local philanthropy by sup-porting the growth of a permanent charitable endowment for the betterment of the region. The Community Foundation is the largest charitable foundation in the region with assets of more than $143 million. It award-ed $8.3 million in grants last year to nonprofit organizations and since its inception has invested more than $120 million in the community. The Community Foundation serves as the steward of charitable legacies for individuals, families and corporations through the administration of more than 600 funds. The organization also serves as a civic leader, convener and sponsor of special initiatives designed to strengthen nonprofits that address the region’s most pressing challenges. To learn more about the Central New York Community Foundation, go to http://www.cnycf.org.

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