Community Leadership Changing the Game

Changing the Game: Community Initiatives

As part of our mission, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital provides leadership to address community needs by engaging a broad array of residents in philanthropy and supporting the nonprofit sector through a variety of initiatives.  We are delighted to work with many individuals and organizations to help them meet their charitable goals and, in turn, help nonprofit organizations carry on their good work.

Below you will find an overview of the various community initiatives Community Foundation staff and leadership are currently supporting.

Nonprofit Board Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative
In 2019, the Community Foundation established a partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development at the University at Albany to conduct an assessment of nonprofit board diversity and inclusion in the Greater Capital Region.

The purpose of the assessment was to understand the current demographics, learn which organizations have policies and procedures related to diversity and understand the current attitudes around diversity. The assessment also identified challenges nonprofits face with board leadership and the challenges diverse community members face to engage and prosper in board service.

The assessment was supported by the Community Foundation and the Charles L. Touhey Foundation. It is now complete and the Community Foundation is convening local partners to identify potential solutions and next steps.

The Community Foundation is currently working with local community leaders to develop programming, create resources, and generate resources to support local nonprofits looking to advance in this area.


Community Indicators: Getting to Know the Capital Region
The Capital Region Indicators is a joint initiative of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC), Capital Region Chamber, Capital District Transportation Committee, and the Community Foundation. This initiative seeks to help a wide variety of public and private organizations better understand the communities of New York’s Capital Region. Using the best available information, the website serves as a common source of data and interactive visualizations that will inform community members about topics critical to the economic and social wellbeing of our region.

The site was custom designed by the Albany Visualization and Informatics Lab at UAlbany and is maintained by CDRPC.

Visit the website at  


Nonprofit Leadership Training
In collaboration with several local funders, the Community Foundation supports organizational development training and capacity building grants for nonprofits aimed at strengthening their infrastructure and operations to make them more effective, efficient, and able to fulfill their mission.

  • In 2019, over 100 executive directors and board members of local nonprofits received training that included board development, volunteer engagement, strategic alliances, and nonprofit life cycles.
  • By participating in the training, nonprofits were eligible to apply for mini-grants up to $2,500 to support continuing capacity building initiatives. In 2018, we collectively awarded 11 nonprofits grants for projects such as technology software, fundraising training, staff and board professional development, and marketing.
  • The Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Accelerator, Co-organized by the Community Foundation and UAlbany’s Institute for Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development, program trained its second cohort of 16 emerging nonprofit leaders by providing training, resources, and connections to succeed in the nonprofit sector.

View more on our Nonprofit Capacity Building Resources Page


Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy
The Upstate Alliance for the Creative Economy (ACE) works with cross-sector, geographically diverse individuals, private and public organizations, nonprofits, and community leaders to develop and implement programs that benefit the people, places, and creativity
of the greater Capital Region.

  • ACE originated from a Community Foundation and Center for Economic Growth funded report called Captivate: Leveraging Regional Assets for a Vibrant Community.
  • As a result of the report and ongoing research, community leaders have learned that the creative industries are the fourth largest employment sector contributing $1.4B in earnings in the Capital Region.
  • The Community Foundation continues to provide leadership and grant support to ACE. In 2019, ACE announced its merger with the Center for Economic Growth to support and sustain regional economic development initiatives.

Visit their website here:


Census 2020
Accurate census data is essential for the fair distribution of political representation at the national, state and local levels—and for prudent, equitable allocation of government resources. The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is taking an active role in promoting an accurate census, ensuring representation for a “complete count” and connecting communities to funding and workforce opportunities.

The Community Foundation has implemented communications and outreach campaign to educate the community about the importance of an accurate census, promote census job opportunities, connect people to census information, provide support to organizations serving underrepresented groups, and inspire community members to help the efforts.

In addition, the Community Foundation serves on committees for the New York State Census Equity Fund to help distribute funds to local nonprofits conducting census campaigns.

To learn more about the Community Foundation’s Census work, please email Jonathan Meagher-Zayas at


Changing the Conversation: Home is Where the Heart Is
Changing the Conversation is a community partnership among Catholic Charities, the Community Foundation, Unity House and the NYS Writers Institute. Our goal is to educate and raise awareness around relevant community issues which inspire changemakers to take action.

On November 14, 2019, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Princeton University Sociology Professor Matthew Desmond joined us for informative lecture and discussion of his book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. By attending this event, participants are now able to initiate an evocative,  inclusive educational experience that transforms perceptions around poverty and the impact housing has on this equation.

Visit the Changing the Conversation event page

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative®
The Capital Region partnership, officially formed in October 2017, is one of more than 30 cities nationwide working with the national Green & Healthy Homes Initiative. The partnership brings together the cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, various nonprofit service providers and GHHI to deliver housing intervention programs for Capital Region residents living in energy-inefficient, unhealthy, and unsafe homes.

The regional GHHI partnership will focus on:

  • Better health outcomes for children, seniors and families.
  • More efficient use of public investment through improved interagency and municipal coordination.
  • Improved energy-efficiency for low- and middle- income families.
  • Higher quality green jobs.
  • Reduced barriers to school attendance and work among families with young children.
  • Support for neighborhood stabilization through more effective and sustainable home investments

The Capital Region GHHI partnership is generously supported by the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, the Schenectady Foundation, KeyBank, MVP Health Care, and National Grid