The Gifford Foundation

Fostering growth, encouraging change.


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The Fall 2020 Newsletter

Embracing Disruption

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

Fall 2020 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.

The Center: Building Collaboration Among Activists

The Center: Building Collaboration Among Activists

The Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice is an unusual type of nonprofit. Rather than lobbying for policy change or delivering services directly to the public, they focus on providing a home for other organizations in Syracuse.

Going Public: The Story Behind Ophelia’s Place

Going Public: The Story Behind Ophelia’s Place

Ophelia’s Place has been a resource for people living with eating disorders for over fifteen years. Formed in Syracuse, they have grown from a small family project to a multifaceted organization that has developed innovative ways to self-fund and leverage digital tools to expand their impact. Examining their history and development reveals important lessons not only about food and diet culture in America, but about how thoughtful community engagement by impassioned individuals can flourish into a large scale movement.

Raising Up Voices and Votes

Raising Up Voices and Votes

A disturbing lack of civic participation inspired The League to partner with The Dunbar Association, TNT, and the NAACP to form the Onondaga Votes! initiative in 2018. Their goal was simple: to increase voter turnout across the City of Syracuse.

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