Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action

The Community Foundation is a community builder for ALL people and pledges to strengthen our WHOLE community through philanthropy. This includes advocating for, promoting, funding, and supporting equitable policies and practices that ensure justice, safety, and access to opportunities for everyone in our community.

This page contains information on our community initiatives focused on racial justice and equity and provides anti-racism resources.

Nonprofit Board Diversity: A Snapshot of the Capital Region

In 2019, the Community Foundation launched 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 throughout the Greater Capital Region. The goal of the assessment was to understand current demographics, identify organizations with policies and procedures related to diversity, and evaluate attitudes around diversity. The report identified challenges nonprofits face when recruiting a diverse pool of candidates and recognized the obstacles community members of diverse communities encounter when serving on boards.

Findings from this report highlight three key recommendations:

  1. Qualify individuals from underrepresented identities. Provide individuals who are passionate and willing to serve with educational training and resources to support their success.
  2. Match and connect with diverse communities. Connect community members’ skills sets with board opportunities at nonprofits serving our community.
  3. Create a welcoming space on boards. Identify steps nonprofits can take to ensure they are inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of all identities and expertise.

Access the full report here:

The assessment, underwritten by the Community Foundation and the Charles L. Touhey Foundation, highlighted the need to support leaders in our community as they strive to advance IDEA in our region.

The following initiatives, supported by funding partnerships, are a first step in creating a community that is supporting and uplifting for ALL.

Capital Region Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action (IDEA) Collaborative

Focused on the assessment’s key findings, the Community Foundation convened community stakeholders to share the findings and identify actionable next steps. In August 2020, the Foundation created and convened the Capital Region Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action (IDEA) Collaborative – a steering committee comprised of diverse community experts looking to tackle the issue of diversity on nonprofit boards.  The committee will advise the Community Foundation on new initiatives and serve as ambassadors for change in our community.

Steering Committee

Orville Abrahams
NYS Department of Labor, Division of Workforce Development and Empowerment Solutions

Dorcey Applyrs, Dr.PH.
City of Albany

Jason Benitez
Capital Region Chamber

Fran’Cee Brown-McClure, Ph.D.
Union College

Phillip Burse
In Our Own Voices

David Craft, Esq.
Albany Law School

Anthony Gaddy
Upstate New York Black Chamber of Commerce

Peter Gannon
United Way of the Greater Capital Region

Travon T. Jackson
Bluelight Development Group

Hyacinth Mason, Ph.D., MPH
Albany Medical College

Dhanisha Nandigama
University at Albany, SUNY

Aaliyah Outlaw
Berkshire Bank

Ellen Sax
MVP Health Care

Crickett Thomas-O’Dell
Workforce Development Institute

John Eberle
Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region

Jonathan Meagher-Zayas, MSW, MPA
Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region

Deborah Ruggiero, MS, RN, MCHES
Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region


Catalysts for Change Leadership Program: Nonprofit Board Diversity

The Capital Region IDEA Collaborative is excited to announce the launch of the Catalysts for Change Leadership Program: Nonprofit Board Diversity. Based on Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders of The Gifford Foundation, the Catalysts for Change Leadership Program is an 8-week board development series that will focus on increasing inclusiveness and diversity on nonprofit boards. The program is designed for 15 community members currently looking to join a local nonprofit board or new to serving on a board. After completing the program, participants will have the opportunity to connect with nonprofits and join a network of leaders looking to change the state of diversity on nonprofit boards.

More information and applications can be found on our program’s webpage.