From the Community Foundation of Otsego County:
Springfield Center, NY- Two million dollars is the goal for the Founders Campaign of the Community Foundation of Otsego County (CFOC). Led by a 16-member board, CFOC is seeking to bring together financial and human resources to address challenges and increase opportunity in Otsego County.
Community foundations are grantmaking public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. According to the Council on Foundations, there are more than 750 community foundations in the United States. With its targeted focus on Otsego County, CFOC aims to make a lasting and measurable impact. People are responding to CFOC’s goals and approach, with more than 100 pledges and donations already totaling $1.7 million to the Founders Campaign.
“The Community Foundation of Otsego County is dedicated to creating strong partnerships with other local organizations, resulting in positive social and economic initiatives for our community. CFOC works to identify where the greatest needs exist, and then fund programs designed to improve the quality of life for all who call Otsego County home,” says CFOC Board Member David Bliss.
“We invite everyone to join us as CFOC Founding Donors and work together to achieve a better future for all Otsego County,” says Harry Levine, CFOC Board President. Levine said people are encouraged to make five-year pledges to Founders Campaign, but one-time donations are welcome. All donors who respond during this initial fund drive will be formally recognized as Founding Donors.
“The Community Foundation will allow the voices of our neighbors to be heard, and work to break down barriers to community growth and shared understandings of impactful change,” explains CFOC Board Member Candice Shannon.
CFOC had its first full year of operations in 2020, when it established the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund. Levine says, “We were able to channel the community’s generosity to help people in need and equip businesses and organizations with health and safety measures.” CFOC raised over $215,000 for the COVID Fund and will continue to make nonprofit awards to help the County weather the pandemic. CFOC is also partnering with community groups, nonprofits, and local government agencies to help people get COVID vaccines.
CFOC recently announced it will invest another $200,000 during 2021 to build the capacity of local nonprofits to address challenges identified by a community survey it conducted earlier this year. Full details are available on the CFOC website, cfotsego.org, but the main issues include food insufficiency, affordable housing, job creation, and economic development.
“We have gotten off to a great start and have already proven our value to the community,” says Levine. “There is so much more that can and should be done.”
Donations to the Community Foundation of Otsego County can be mailed to PO Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468, or made online at cfotsego.org. CFOC can also accept donations of stock or other assets.