The Gifford Foundation

Fostering growth, encouraging change.


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How Nonprofits Can Earn a Profit

The Fall 2021 Newsletter

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.

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?

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

Summer 2021 Newsletter

Lessons and stories about lifting up young people in Central New York.



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

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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.

Perspective: Superintendent Jaime Alicea

Perspective: Superintendent Jaime Alicea

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.

Once Upon a Star

Once Upon a Star

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.

Broadening Perspectives: Building Unexpected Leaders

Broadening Perspectives: Building Unexpected Leaders

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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