Foundation Initiatives Create Opportunity

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.

Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA)

In August 2020, the Foundation convened the Capital Region IDEA Collaborative—a steering committee comprised of diverse community experts looking to tackle the issue of diversity on nonprofit boards. The committee continues to advise the Community Foundation on new initiatives and serves as
ambassadors for change in our community.

As a result, the Community Foundation launched two programs.

The Catalysts for Change Leadership Program (CFCLP): Based on Nourishing Tomorrow’s Leaders of The Gifford Foundation, this expansive board development series focuses on increasing inclusiveness and diversity on nonprofit boards. Upon completion of the program, participants have the opportunity to connect with nonprofits and join a network of leaders looking to change the state of diversity on nonprofit boards. Our second cohort launched in September 2022! Click here to learn more about the program, participants and curriculum.

Nonprofit Board Inclusion Series: Launched in 2021, this series of training programs for current nonprofit leaders was co-created with Angela Dixon, Senior Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer at Berkshire Bank. The series focused on ways to create welcoming board cultures representative of diverse, traditionally underrepresented communities. The goals were to raise awareness and knowledge of the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion for nonprofits, build inclusiveness and diversity on nonprofit boards, and to advance the cultural competency and sensitivity among nonprofit leaders. Click here to learn more about the series and view summaries and videos of the programs.

Strengthening Capital Region Nonprofits

The Community Foundation offers tools and resources for professional and organizational development around helpful workshop topics— from business planning to program evaluation to helping to strengthen our region’s nonprofit sector. Contact Dylan Hall, Director for Community Initiatives to learn more about how your organization can access these opportunities.

Nonprofit Listening Tour: Capacity-building is designed to strengthen organizational leadership and build the skills of the staff and board. In this way, the Foundation can be part of the solution—helping to ensure that nonprofits have what they need to deliver on their mission.

Strategy Labs: are dedicated, deep-dive workshops focused on one pre-identified issue area. The goal of the workshop is to help the organizations develop real solutions and next steps to overcome the obstacles hindering their growth.

Strategy Sessions: Strategy sessions are short informal conversations to help nonprofit leaders to navigate change, align priorities, or build skillsets.

Virtual Workshop Series: Beginning in Summer of 2022, the Community Foundation is hosting an ongoing series of short workshops as an opportunity to gather online to share best practices and learn from industry experts about ways to maximize their efforts and strengthen their work. Click here to register for upcoming programs and view past presentations.

Upcoming Opportunity for Engagement

A Community Conversation— The Cost of Racism
Tuesday, January 17, 2023—National Day of Racial Healing
Virtual Event 7:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.

Join us for a virtual conversation with Heather McGhee, NY Times Bestselling Author of The Sum of Us, What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. McGhee will share proof of the benefits we gain when people come together across race to accomplish what we simply cannot do on our own. Together with our partners from Rochester Area Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Central New York Community Foundation, we look forward to honoring this important day and exploring steps we can take to ensure we all prosper. Registration information available soon! 

Past Events and Initiatives

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  

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:

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