Opportunities for Organizations & Individuals

Explore Our Programs & Resources

The Gifford Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to the stewardship of the funds entrusted to its care. We are committed to using our financial and human resources to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to enhance the quality of life for the community we serve.

Explore the opportunities and resources below to see which is the best fit for you:

Is something missing? Tell us what we could do better by submitting a quick and anonymous message here.
The Gifford staff pose together smiling at the camera at the Everson Museum. From left to right - Sheena Solomon, Lindsay McClung, and Sheria Walker,

Talk to Gifford

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. If you are interested in setting up a meeting with Gifford staff, we would love to hear from you!

These conversations help us identify ways to offer technical assistance, build relationships, and brainstorm solutions for challenges that you or your organization may be facing. We will also have a chance to review upcoming Gifford programs to help identify ahead of time any opportunities that may be a strong fit for you. 

 Use the button below to access Foundant – our online management system:

  • If you have used our online system in the past, log in with your username and password.
  • If you are accessing it for the first time, simply follow the instructions for creating an account.

“What If…” Mini Grants

The “What If…” Mini Grant program is designed to help City of Syracuse residents of all ages foster growth in neighborhoods, strengthen their capacity, and improve the safety and wellbeing of their community.

Successful grants will make positive changes in their neighborhood while increasing community participation, awareness, and partnerships. We believe that the people who live in a community should decide what happens in their community. Therefore, we look for projects that are driven by neighbors, grassroots organizations, or others who are actively involved in making our city a better place.

The “What If…” program helps individuals become more active and engaged citizens by building their capacity to organize projects, apply for funding, and build community partnerships.

Cohort Capacity Building

All organizations go through developmental stages – those that have the most impact, and are sustainable in the long run, understand their developmental stage and consciously strive to progress in their development. Gifford’s cohort capacity building programs help organizations self-assess and plan as they grow and work toward achieving their goals.

Under our model, small groups of similarly sized nonprofits embark on a 12 – 24 month journey of self-assessment and deep planning. They are provided with significant personalized consultant support as well as an additional monetary grant to support the goals that emerge during the program.

Past initiatives have included the Embracing Disruption, ADVANS, and POWER programs. In 2019, Gifford commissioned an external evaluation of the ADVANS program which has helped document the success of this approach while providing valuable feedback that has informed how we have implemented this model over the subsequent years.

Workshops & Trainings

The Gifford Foundation hosts a range of learning and development opportunities for Central New York nonprofits. Some are organized year after year while others are offered on an ad-hoc basis in response to community need. Two of our longest running and most well-known programs include:

  • Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders (NTL): A nine week course designed to teach participants how to become effective board members with the goal of increasing diversity across nonprofit boards and growing the pool of qualified community leaders. Learn More
  • The Board Development Series: A three part workshop series that gives participants the knowledge and tools necessary to build and maintain a more effective, engaged, and inclusive board of directors. Content centers around board duties, best practices, and strategies for avoiding common pitfalls.

Additional workshops hosted by Gifford have included a grant writing series, an HR seminar on recruitment and retention, and a communications workshop on digital collaboration. Sign up for email updates and follow our social media pages to be alerted about new opportunities to participate.

Nonprofit Tools

The Gifford Foundation maintains a public database of resources curated to support the needs of Central New York’s nonprofit community. Our collection draws on decades of building regional networks, hosting capacity building programs, and studying the needs and stories of our local partners.

If you are looking for leads on board member candidates, preparing to interview local consultants, or are seeking tools and templates to kickstart your organizational development – our collection of resources can help you get started.


Federal Grants

Since 2004, The Gifford Foundation has partnered with the US Attorney’s Office to administer funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – a Dept. of Justice grant aimed at community-wide violence intervention and prevention.

Getting Grant Ready

Tuesday July 9 and Saturday July 20

The Gifford Foundation is partnering with The Central New York Community Foundation to offer our next two-part workshop series on grant writing led by consultant Babette Baker.

Getting Grant Ready is a free 6-hour workshop designed to prepare organizations to become “grant ready” by equipping them with essential skills and tools for proposal writing. Through interactive exercises and real-world examples, attendees will gain hands-on experience writing practical proposals that stand out to potential funders.

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