Grant dollars alone cannot address our community’s complex challenges. The Community Foundation has a long history of offering initiatives that focus on one common goal — strengthening our region’s nonprofit sector to make the greatest impact on Central New York.

Nearly 30 years ago, the Community Foundation recognized that neighborhood groups had the power to build their communities from within. Since then, The Leadership Classroom (TLC) — previously named the Neighborhood Leadership Program — has led more than 350 individuals from close to 100 organizations through intensive grassroots leadership training sessions. Many of our graduates have developed their groups into sustainable and highly effective organizations that are changing lives every day.

Investing in nonprofit leaders and staff can have an exponential impact on the community. Our Staff Advancement Initiative has awarded nearly $400,000 toward the cost of sending front-line workers to courses and training seminars that expand their abilities. The John F. Marsellus Sabbatical assisted nearly 30 nonprofit executives with the opportunity to set aside time for reflection, learning and renewal. Its new iteration — the Marsellus Executive Development Program — provides nonprofit leaders with training and peer support to become more focused, energized and effective.

When we established the CNY Philanthropy Center as our new home in 2010, we envisioned using the available space to support local nonprofits at a higher level through learning and convening activities. Since then, we have welcomed more than 1,000 attendees to our Nonprofit Essentials Workshop Series (NEWS), which offers individuals working in the nonprofit field a variety of tools for professional and organizational development.

We also work to help organizations build their capacity to efficiently achieve their missions. Funding provided through our Strategic Partnership Fund has created new collaborations between nonprofits so that they can enhance program delivery. And over the past five years, close to $1 million has been awarded through the Performance Management Learning Community to help organizations better measure their outcomes and share stories of how they’ve impacted the community.

Our approaches will continue to evolve with changing needs. We remain steadfast in ensuring that our nonprofit community remains strong, healthy and impactful.