Community Foundation Awards Grant to CenterState CEO

April 25, 2011 (Syracuse, NY) – The Central New York Community Foundation has awarded a $25,000 Strategic Partnership Grant to the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO).  CenterState CEO will utilize the grant to supplement programs and organizational priorities resulting from the merger of the Metropolitan Development Association and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce.

“The creation of a unified business organization for the region was an effort 30 years in the making,” said Robert M. Simpson, president of CenterState CEO.  “This accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without the leadership and support of our members and organizations like the Central New York Community Foundation.”

“CenterState CEO provides an example of successful consolidation for other organizations and agencies throughout the area – public and private,” said Peter Dunn, President & CEO of the Community Foundation.  “Through this Strategic Partnership Grant we hope to enable CenterState CEO to realize new efficiencies, enhance its programs and build stronger partnerships, benefitting its 2,000 members and the community at-large.”

Since the merger, as a combined organization, CenterState CEO has realized approximately $1 million in operational savings.  CenterState CEO now serves as a model of effective partnerships for the region, and other areas of the country.  The organization’s work has drawn interest from chambers and economic development organizations across the country and support from national organizations, including the Surdna, Ford and Kauffman Foundations.

The Strategic Partnership Fund, formed by the Community Foundation, supports projects that reduce overall operation expenses while working to enhance program delivery in the community.  Funded projects involve administrative consolidation or affiliations, joint programming, regionalizations, forming a subsidiary or a full-scale merger among two or more nonprofits. Since the fund’s inception in 2009, more than $100,000 has been granted to help organizations streamline their operations. Additional information about the Fund, including how to apply for a grant, can be found at

The Central New York Community Foundation has served Central New York for more than 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 Community Foundation awards more than $5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations annually. The Community Foundation, of 431 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13202, can be reached at (315) 422-9538 or

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