The Summer 2021 Newsletter
Giving Youth a Seat at the Table
Supporting Our Community Since 1954
Through initiatives, grantmaking and neighborhood engagement the Gifford Foundation strengthens community assets in order to improve the quality of life for the residents of Central New York.
Gifford is Putting the Youth in Charge
This year, we are focusing our “What If…” mini grant program on lifting up the voices and ideas of Syracuse’s young people (though adults can still apply). We are inviting residents ages 12 – 24 to make their pitch: What ideas do you have to improve the safety and well-being of our community?
We recognize that there are many individuals and organizations who have a drive to make a difference within their community. Unfortunately, a lack of resources and training can stand in the way of making these ideas a reality. For over sixty years, the Gifford Foundation has provided the grants and leadership training necessary to facilitate broad, community based change across CNY. Our capacity building initiatives help raise the bar for what’s possible.
Over $44 million in grants awarded
Grantmaking is traditionally reactive, but in line with our belief in community engagement we emphasize a personal approach. By developing a relationship with each grantee, we are better able to help them become strong and durable forces within our community.
Grants awarded since our founding
Engage With Us
Our stories provide increased access and allow our community to see what we’ve been up to and the type of work that we support.
Jaime Alicea began his career with the Syracuse City School District nearly 40 years ago as a young Teaching Assistant at Seymour Elementary school. After working his way up through a wide variety of teaching and administrative positions, he was appointed as Superintendent in 2017. In this interview, Alicea discusses how an inclusive mindset and strong community partnerships have helped the SCSD navigate an unprecedented series of crises.
At only 25 years old, Sultani Campbell launched his own youth mentorship program called Once Upon a Star. By teaching life skills and connecting participants with employment opportunities, Campbell supports young people as they seek their own path and identity.
When I began to challenge other organizations about who was represented on their board, the common response was “we can’t find anybody” or “we can’t keep them.” I began to ask myself, “What if we created a space where nonprofits could have access to people who don’t look like them? What if we provided a space for people to learn how to be effective board members?”
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