The Gifford Foundation

Fostering growth, encouraging change.


Learn More

Banner Photo Credit: Daylight Blue Media

The Winter 2021 Newsletter

The Transformation of Arts Organizations

Announcing Our Newest Program

The Embracing Disruption Cohort is a 15-month virtual cohort program developed to support organizations as they navigate the everchanging environment through a Lifecycles approach to organizational development. 

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.

Capacity Building

We help nonprofits build the skills and resources necessary to boost their impact.


Since our inception, we have given out over $44 million to CNY nonprofits.

A Network of Support

Our staff works to facilitate development and growth within our community.

Our Vision

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

Winter 2021 Newsletter

Lessons and stories about building civic engagement in today’s world.


Resources about capacity building and grantmaking have been updated to reflect the latest developments.

Meet Our Team

Our new directory allows you to instantly connect with and learn about our team members.

Read Our History

Take a look back at the origins of The Gifford Foundation as we celebrate our 66th year.

Sign Up For Our Mailings

Stay informed about events, grants, workshops, and more by joining our email list.

Socialize With Us

Are you connected with us on all of our platforms?

Featured Stories

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.

Using Art to Teach Capacity Building

Using Art to Teach Capacity Building

In November of 2020, The Gifford Foundation together with the CNY Community Foundation invited Abby Wilkymacky and Kim Larkin to host a three-part Digital Collaboration workshop for nonprofit organizations in Central New York. Held virtually, these sessions were designed to teach participants how to smooth the transition to remote work, host more constructive meetings, and reimagine the traditional processes behind brainstorming and goal setting. The primary avenue through which Wilkymacky and Larkin taught these sessions was one that many participants were not expecting: the arts.

Why The Pandemic Could Create Bigger Audiences

Why The Pandemic Could Create Bigger Audiences

Theaters, galleries, museums, and performance halls of all types have been among the most drastically impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Relying on live and often crowded events to engage with the public, most arts venues across CNY and the world have had to shut their doors since March of 2020. The drive to stay afloat has pushed many to redesign their operations – investing in streaming technology, virtual experiences, and improved communication with patrons. While there is no doubt that the current situation is dire, many hope that these changes will lead to a more vibrant, democratic, and accessible arts scene in the future.

Energizing the Electorate

Energizing the Electorate

We sat down with Councilor Joe Driscoll to discuss the challenges surrounding engagement during a pandemic, fake news, and how to fight back against a loss of faith in our civic institutions.

Stay in touch

We have a lot of stuff in the works - don't be the last to know.

Stay in the loop!

Join our mailing list to receive occasional articles and updates about grants, programs, and the CNY nonprofit community.

You have Successfully Subscribed!