Monday, December 28, 2009


The Cayuga Community Fund, a community endowment established in 2008, is launching its first grant rounds in 2010. The Fund is expected to award up to $25,000 in total grants over the next year to qualifying organizations headquartered in and serving Cayuga County.

Grant Information Session
The Fund’s Leadership Council will host a free grant information session to help potential applicants understand the application process on Wednesday, January 20 at the Springside Inn in Auburn from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Attendees will learn about the Fund’s strategic approach to grantmaking, walk through the application process and receive advice on the types of projects that are most likely to receive funding. Interested parties may register for the event online at or call Stephanie at 315-422-9538.

Applying for a Grant
A total of $25,000 is available for grants in 2010. Requests may range from $500 - $5,000. This year’s application deadlines are March 31 and September 30. The Fund’s Leadership Council, comprised of Cayuga County residents, will be responsible for selecting grant recipients.

Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations [501 (c)(3) or other publicly supported organizations] that reside within Cayuga County may apply. Grants must directly benefit the residents of Cayuga County. Visit for a grant application and guidelines.

About the Cayuga Community Fund
The Cayuga Community Fund is a geographically specific fund, administered by the Central New York Community Foundation. The Fund was created to benefit residents of Cayuga County by serving as a source of permanent charitable dollars available to nonprofits serving residents of the County. Grants will be awarded from the endowment fund annually to aid vital programs in education, health, social services, the arts, civic and environmental concerns, as well as the preservation of historic resources in Cayuga County.

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for over 80 years, receiving, managing and distributing charitable funds for the benefit of nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded for programs in the areas of human services, arts and culture, education, environment, health, economic development and civic affairs. The region’s largest endowed philanthropic foundation, the Central New York Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, with its office at 500 South Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

Onondaga Community College decides to close pool because it's too expensive to maintain reported that Onondaga Community College pool will close for good as a cost-cutting measure. As the article relates:

“I would be a lost soul if I weren’t able to continue what I started so many years ago,” Dekleermaeker said recently in the locker room after an afternoon swim. “It would be a disaster if it closed, not just for me but for many other people.”

Those people include thousands of OCC students and area children who learned to swim and dive in the college pool, and the teachers and lifeguards who have spent decades at the poolside.

“When I look at the families coming here for swim lessons, we’ve had more than 1,000 in the past year,” said Beth Maio, who runs the community swimming program. “This pool has been open for, what, 30 years? The number of people that have taken swim lessons here in this pool, I couldn’t even guess.”

The college announced last month it will close the pool at the end of the spring semester because it had simply gotten too expensive, while state aid to OCC has declined. It costs about $250,000 a year to run and maintain the pool, officials said, and the college would have to spend about $500,000 to install a dehumidifier system.

“We did a careful analysis which resulted in a decision not to re-open the pool,” said OCC President Debbie Sydow.

Bill Emm, the college’s chief financial officer, said the pool building will house heating and ventilation equipment for the arena being built next door and for office space and classrooms. Read more here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Syracuse Common Council tables Landmark Theatre tax deal reported that the Syracuse Common Council Monday delayed voting on a proposed settlement of overdue taxes and payments with the non-profit Landmark Theatre.

The theater is seeking the deal so it can get a bank loan for a stage expansion. Councilor Lance Denno objected to the vote, which prompted the resolution to be tabled until the council’s next meeting.

Denno opposes the deal, which exchanges more than $28,000 the Landmark owes the city in back taxes and payments in lieu of taxes for the city’s overuse of the facility for free events, valued by the Landmark at about $38,000. The agreement also forgives of tens of thousands of dollars in late fees and penalties owed by the theater.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Community Foundations Share Perspective

Colgate University offered the following interview with the directors from three Community Foundations in the region.

Dunn says that Central New York has a modest foundation community, with only $400 million in assets and $20 million in annual grants. With those funds, how can we have the most impact. He has seen many encouraging conversations about sustainability in not for profit organizations in the community, and discussions about merging, sharing objectives, and regionalization. OShea says that, as the largest funder in their area, several smaller foundations have come under their umbrella as donor advised or designated funds. This enables them to have a conversation about their interests and the impact of their charitable dollars. She also stresses the importance of the indicator study as a way to articulate the needs of the community to themselves and the community. Brown does the same thing by relying on other agencies to give them this information. They are concerned with the power differential and remind themselves to remain sensitive about this. She shares an example of a cultural organization that has systemic issues. They also discuss the definition of philanthropy and the creation of the Center for Philanthropy by the Central New York Community Foundation.

Beyond Collaboration: Re-engineering for Success

Presented by Doug Sauer, CEO, New York Council of Nonprofits, Inc.

Are your nonprofit resources getting tighter while expenses are increasing? Concerned about more regulations and accountability demands being placed on you? Are you looking for solutions other than more belt-tightening, service cut backs, and ramping up fundraising efforts? Are you missing out on lost opportunities? Have you considered merging, shared services or developing an alternative legal arrangement with another nonprofit? "Re-engineering" is a serious solution to the serious issues facing today's nonprofits. Come learn about the options, the benefits, risks and processes of re-engineering.

Date: Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Cost: FREE
Location: Oswego Metro Center
The Atrium, 2 Clinton Square
Syracuse, NY 13202

Register Here:

If you have questions, contact Andrew Marietta by e-mail or call (607) 436-3124.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Former gym building is a sinking boat for Erie Canal Museum reported about the Erie Canal Museum's challenges with a $499,000 building they purchased previously for an expansion, now cancelled. Now the building is for sale and the museum owes Onondaga County more than half a million dollars related to the aborted project.

The museum put the building — the old Water Street Gym — on the market six months ago and plans to pay back the county with money from the sale, museum Executive Director Diana Goodsight said.

Once the building is sold, the county will set up a plan for the museum to pay back whatever remains of its $552,105 debt to the county, said Ben Dublin, county director of intergovernmental relations.

“We need to recoup that taxpayer money,” he said.

Dublin was quick to point out that the situation dates back to 2006, before County Executive Joanie Mahoney took office.

It began with a $1.2 million federal grant and the museum’s plan to expand into the building a few doors down in the 300 block of East Water Street.

The county applied for and in 2006 won the federal grant, which came through the state Department of Transportation. The money was to be used by the museum for the expansion.

When the museum killed the expansion — after it bought the building — the grant reverted to the state, but the county was on the hook to pay back the state for the grant money already spent, a total of $431,000, Dublin said.

After the county won the grant, but before the money came in, the county advanced the museum $552,105 for the project, he said. Then County Executive Nick Pirro and the county Legislature agreed in 2006 to advance the museum up to $1.7 million for the project, according to Dublin. The projected cost of the expansion was $1.7 million.

The $1.2 million grant was supposed to buy the building, replace its 1950s facade and ready the interior for use as exhibition galleries, classrooms and hands-on learning space. The museum was responsible for coming up with the other $500,000, Goodsight said.

To actually install the exhibits and finish the project would have cost at least $800,000 on top of the $1.7 million, Goodsight said.

When the economy soured, and given other projects the museum was conducting, its board decided to cancel the expansion to avoid a possible “financial mess,” she said. Read more here.